Everyone recognizes them from news, social media etc. but do you really know them? They always are mentioned with war, grief and inequity. Some think they are heroes some think they are terrorists. Let just get rid of our prejudgments and put aside all the mainstream cliché stuff about the Kurds and look at them as a world citizen.
Who are they? Are they Arab or Turk?
No. They are not Arab nor Turk. Kurds have their own language, culture, heritage and all the stuff that would make them a completely different and unique nation. Kurds originated from antique Medes folk. They used to live on Zagros Mountains and probably never thought of going somewhere else. When you look at the other nations every one of them has a momentum, which derives from travelling,conquers, wars, migration and of course forced moving because of natural causes. But Kurds? Nah, they just stayed at the same region for centuries and I am sure they are going to stay at the same place for a long time.
Majority of Kurds are Sunni Muslim and there is some Alevi(Shia) Kurdish people but from my perspective the new generation is going to be an agnostic one. Accessibility to information with the power of internet started to change world already. Kurdish youth started to see that religion might not be the unchangeable truth. There is a growing disbelief against religions and religious customs among the youth. The reason of this disbelief is the Radical Islam and its product Radical Islamic terrorist organizations. I am not saying that Islam is something bad but this Radical Islamism is the real enemy of Islam’s itself.
Where do Kurds live?
That’s a complicated question because the majority of Kurds are separated in four countries. This countries are: Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. Nearly half of the Kurdish population lives in Turkey and then it is followed by Iran, Iraq and Syria. Kurdish people inhabited in the same region for centuries. An official Kurdish state was never established throughout the history and Kurds lived in feudal principalities that were under other state's control. This is why Kurds never moved. Because they never had a collective consciousness. Today that is changed tough. Kurds started to move more organized and started to have a collective consciousness.
Kurdish could be one of the most interesting languages in the world because It is altered from country to country and even from city to city so much that it becomes impossible for some Kurdish people to understand each other. There are three main dialects of Kurdish: Kurmanci, Sorani and Pehlewani. Kurmanci being spoken in Turkey, Sorani in Iraq and Iran, Pehlewani only in Iran. As a Kurmanci speaker can not understand Sorani or Pehlewani because they differentiated from Kurmanci too much. The reason of this alteration is because Kurds separated in 4 countries and had no connection to form one united language. Today, Kurdish is recognized as an official language only in Iraq.
Fun Fact: Kurdish and English are in the same language family, which is called Indo-European language family.
Food and Culture
Kurds love meat. There is meat in almost every Kurdish recipe. And of course floor tables, most of us have our dinner on floor tables. This is an ancient tradition but unfortunately modernity started change traditions too. When I look to other cultures every one of them has a drinking culture but this doesn't apply to Kurds. It is nearly impossible to even talk about alcohol in a Kurdish family. Perhaps it is because Kurds mostly are Muslims.
Finally I want to talk about Kurdish weddings. Kurdish weddings could be the only place to see this much color together. When you add the deafening Kurdish music on top of it you might think that you used some kind of hallucinatory drug but for god's sake Kurdish people love this type of weddings.
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