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Kurdish Culture

Written by Loya Demir

Today the Kurds are about 40 million. Their homeland is called Kurdistan, which means "country of the Kurds." Kurdistan is not the name of a country or state, but rather, a land that, in the 20th century, was obligatorily divided among five states (Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and the Soviet Union). After the dissolution of the Soviet Union at the beginning of the 1990s, the Soviet part of Kurdistan ("red Kurdistan") became a part of Azerbaijan and Armenia. The Kurds are today the largest stateless territorial nation in the world. Despite this, the Kurds have a very colorful culture.


Kurdish (Kurdî) is part of the North-Western division of the Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. The dialect spoken in the geography of Kurdistan is Sorani[1] and Kurmanji [2]. However, there are also Zaza [3] dialects spoken in Northern Kurdistan and Luri [4], Kelhori [5], and Gorani [6] dialects spoken in Southern Kurdistan. Other languages ​​spoken in the region are Arabic, Turkish, and Persian. More than 30 million people speak Kurdish within the geography of Kurdistan. Today, the Kurdish language is divided into three main alphabets. These are the Latin alphabet, the Arabic alphabet, and the Cyrillic alphabet. Kurdish has three main dialects: Kurmanji, Sorani, and Kelhori [6].


Kurdish music is an integral part of Kurdish culture and has traditionally been used by Dengbêjs to convey stories about Kurdish history. The word 'deng' means sound, and 'beige' means 'singing.' Many popular Kurdish musicians of the 20th century, such as Hasan Zîrek and Ahmet Kaya, sang in Turkish or Persian and Kurdish. While Western Kurdish music has more Anatolian, Greek, Turkish, or Balkan sounds apart from the language in which it is spoken, Southern Kurdish music is more influenced by Arab music styles, and Eastern Kurdish music is more North-Eastern than Persian, Armenian, and Caucasian styles.

Diyarbakir dengbej house

3-Kurdish Cinema

Kurdish cinema started with the movie Zare, which was shot in Armenia for the first time in 1926 and began to rise in the 2000s. The Lumière brothers organized the first public screening after the birth of the cinema on December 28, 1895, and the movie Zare was shot 31 years after this first screening. One of the pioneers of Kurdish cinema in Turkey is Yılmaz Güney. Although Güney pioneered Kurdish Cinema, he made his films not in Kurdish but in Turkish. Kurdish cinema develops itself day by day and produces new films.

4-Food culture

Kurdish cuisine is considered a fundamental part of Kurdish culture. Kurdish dishes called "Pel" (stuffed rice with grape leaves), Kutilk (spicy ground beef in a thin layer of mashed rice), Ser û pî (head trotter), Ur û Rovî (bumbar), Parêv (lamb cooked in a covered It is traditional and the most popular among them. At the same time, tea forms the basis of the daily life of the Kurds. It is usually drunk 2-3 times daily, usually during a social activity. In addition, the internationally famous product of the Kurds is ayran, a yogurt-based drink called Çeqilmast or Dêw.



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