Reality TV

My new show will be a reality TV show about me becoming a singer/artist in Chechnya. There is a new rule that all singers must perform live on stage. Previously everyone was lip synching – so this will be interesting.

Kristall

I’ll be working with Aimani Aidamirova, Tamara Dadasheva and many others. I have to admit, I’m nervous about this show because it’s going to be difficult to learn so many songs, dances, movements and I must take acting classes. The reason for the acting classes are because I have NO facial expressions when I am performing – lol. It is tragic.

Today I will pick up a song from Islam Ahmedov – he has so many hits – I’m excited to work with him.

Ислам Ахмедов (Islam Ahmedov)

He did this for for Tamilla Sagaipova:

He is also in the group “Grozny” ( Гр.Грозный )

Гр.Грозный ("Grozny")

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My new favourite village – KHOI (Хой)

I love the village of Хой. It has the best ruins and tonnes of petroglyphs.



There are 7 combat towers here and there used to be 350 homes in this village. It was built in the 9th century. There are petroglyphs everywhere.


Ruslan is Inguish – and this petroglyph of a solar symbol is on the flag of Ingushetia. Cool stuff!!

FLAG OF INGUSHETIA


I found this structure underground completely in tact. I love the architecture in Chechnya. Before I moved here I had no clue that the signal system existed and there were so many ancient ruins.


There is a Koran in the village that is more than 100 years old. When the Chechens were deported in 1944 the Koran was taken to Dagestan. It was returned to the village of Khoi in 1982.

At the end of the day, we had a picnic at Lake Kazenoi AM because it is only 3 km from Khoi.


>MY FIRST NATIONAL COSTUME!

>I am so happy. My first national costume is complete!!!! I picked it up today and wore it to shoot a segment of my show. It looks awesome. I was dancing with Tima. Actually the costume he is wearing is mine as well. It was a present that i received from a lady named Mariat this week. So I suppose I have 2 national costumes. How cool.


Amnat ( my dressmaker ) and I

It was 41 degrees and we were dancing directly under the blazing sun! Oh well, it looked good even though i was completely SOAKED.

My dance teacher Ashab Meijidov was there to guide me …



>Itum Kale

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Today I went to Itum Kale. It was great! Artur, Said Hussein and Ruslan came along with our driver.





By the end of the trip it started to rain. But, that was ok because we found a huge defense tower and climbed to the top of it from inside.
Now I have so much work to do for my show, I am not sure where to start – I better sign off.

>"Chechnya Through My Eyes"

>Hello everyone, my vacation is officially over.
I have a new program on Grozny TV called, “Chechnya Through My Eyes”. It airs tonight.

There is a new segment called – Road Trip – where I travel throughout the republic. Most of the shows have been shot for the season already.
For the first show I am in the Vedeno region at Lake Kazenoi (Кезеной-Ам)

This photo looks like I was standing in front of a green screen and it is a fake background.

our driver, me and Ruslan

Ibbi

Ruslan the cameraman

>Sernavodskaya Water / Boys Military School

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This week has been really busy. On Tuesday I went to Sernavodskaya ( 70 KM west of Grozny ) to film. I love getting out of the city.

Sernavodskaya Water company is there. Their mineral water is #2 in the world. In this photo I am with the director of the company and Yusup the cameraman. We are at a hot water spring. It smells like boiled eggs and actually tastes the same. However, this isn’t the water they bottle – it is used for medicinal purposes.

Alihan, the director of the company, is explaining all the details of the water and the way it is processed.

Today Artur is with me because Madina is home with her kids. They are sick.
And Yusup is the cameraman.
They also have a spa here!!! Artur and I are getting a massage in these awesome chairs.
Back to work. We need to get an interview with Alihan.
On Thursday I went to a military school for boys. They are AWESOME! They win every competition they enter.
Ibbi was with me on this day – Madina’s kids are still sick.
Thank god I wore these colours – they match the uniforms!
Ibrashka was the cameraman. We all love him!! He does such a great job every time!!
We ended up having a lovzar party!!! Hahah -I love Chechnya. Spontaneous lovzar parties happen often.

>CNN

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Yesterday I took this photo of Artur from the TV station. He is always so busy and usually is talking on 2 phones at once.

Today I got a call from Said-Sellim ( head of Grozny TV ) telling me that I will do an interview with CNN at some point today.
I ended up meeting them around 3pm for a couple hours.
I am in this photo with the correspondent who interviewed me. His name is Ivan Watson.

>Maximus Circus – Grozny

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The circus has been in town for a few weeks. Today I went to check it out and had a private show! Lions and tigers!!!

Xalid was the cameraman.

Even our driver came in to check it out!

This is the trainer Lubamir.
A great experience with extreme kittens!!

Ahhh, last night I was in editing and Ibbi broken an apple in half with his hands.

I saw Artyr do the same thing last week! I have never seen this done before. Apparently all the guys here have the skill to halve an apple almost perfectly with their hands !!!!

>Chechen Theatre

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I did a show about Chechen theatre today. I really have never been that into plays – they always seemed so boring to me. However, this was one of the best times I’ve had filming a show. Everyone on the cast of this play had great attitudes and were really good actors.
The year is 1935 – the revolution is over. I am playing the role of a peasant girl named Kelisat who lives in the highlands of Chechnya. I am from a poor illiterate family and have just received a degree. I can read and write. No one else in my family can. All the guys in the village want to marry me.
Kelisat ( AKA Chrystal ) I am nervous and worried I won’t be able to pronounce my lines in Chechen .
Rehearsing with Khava Akmadova ( director of this theatre group ) and other actors.
In this scene, I am proving to my family that I can write their names – they are so impressed – because none of my family can write their own names.

This is me and Khava Akmadova. She is also a singer and has a TV show on Grozny TV called Daimokh.

My next scene: I am going to the stream to get water. I have called all the guys that are in love with me there. I want to tell them all that I am getting married and that they should stop bugging me.

But..they continue to profess their love, sometimes trying to give me gifts.

And…some offer me a wonderful life. However, I have already made my decision and I leave them all standing there. I pick up my water jug and go home.

The cast of the play.

This is Kameta – she is the girl that plays the part of Kelisat ( I just took her spot for today )

Cool day – acting is fun !

>Presidential Sinkeram, Tamara Dadasheva and PONDAR (Дечиг пондар )

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Monday March 8th was Women’s Day. The President threw a cool sinkeram party – and I went. It was my first sinkeram party and everyone had to wear national dress. I was so nervous. They wanted me to sit in the front row – but of course I didn’t. I asked to sit on the back bench – I was so nervous – I thought I would have to dance. I was asked a couple times but I said no. I thought I would make a fool of myself. I don’t know how to dance with a guy – I can dance alone, but when there is a man dancing next to me I get too nervous and forget what I am supposed to do – hence, I am making a cultural program about it because I MUST know how to dance at a party.
I am watching it on Grozny TV . I love the way the mayor of Gudermes was dancing. He has an interesting personality. 

I was completely confused of the process at these types of parties. There is a mediator that will go to a man and he will tell her to ask a girl to dance or he will tell her to tell a girl he likes her and to look at him. Apparently, these parties are where a lot of couples meet and get married. I was confused when one woman kept coming over to me and saying that a guy liked me and wanted me to look at him. I was like…ok…and…..what is your point? Hahahahah. I had no clue what was going on. It felt extremely strange to me – culture shock big time. Only the next day did I find out some of what the process is.

This is my colleauge from the TV station. She was in national dress but she changed to normal clothes when the party was over.
On the right is Amina – she is also a colleauge from the Ministry of Press and Information, External Affairs and Policy – she’s Kazbek’s assistant. 

More friends from Grozny TV.

All of us are from the Ministry of Press and Info….

This party was fabulous! The best part about it was when Sahab Mejiedov was playing the dechig pondar.
The dechig ponder is the national instrument of Chechnya – it is gorgeous. I fell in love with it at this party. I HAD to meet Sahab ( he is the best pondar player here and an “Artist of the Chechen Republic”
Artur from the TV station sent me his number and Madina and I went to meet him today! My cameraman was Ruslan ( I decided to make an episode of my show on the pondar. I am going to learn how to play it. Sahab also ordered me one from Gudermes today and I am going to pick it up tomorrow!!!!!!!!
Sahab is teaching me a song and Ruslan the cameraman is writing it in tablature !
He also told me I needed to cut my nails off – so I did. I am so excited to play this instrument.
Me and Sahab with pondars!!
And… I had to meet Tamara Dadasheva today because she is QUEEN OF LOVZAR / SINKERAM MUSIC!!!
Me and Tamara Dadasheva
Ruslan and Tamara Dadasheva
Tomorrow I will go to the Ministry of Culture and meet Sahab and pick up my very own pondar!! I am also meeting Sahab’s son Ashab who is a famous dancer. He is going to teach me all about dancing !!!!!