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 Newroz: The Kurdish festival story, the forbidden festival  

 Source : Great.Reporter
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Newroz: The Kurdish festival story, the forbidden festival  22.3.2007 
By Ruken Tursun


Every Turkish national day is celebrated, and Newroz isn't counted as a holiday.

March 22, 2007

A traditional holiday celebrating the deliverance of the Kurdish people from a mythical tyrant is under threat...
It is Newroz festival today. Newroz means 'new day' in Kurdish.

They say this 'new day festival' is being celebrated in all Eastern cultures but for Kurdish people it means a lot more than a new day that says spring is coming.

Once upon a time, there was a cruel commander whose name was Dehak (Zuhak), in Mesopotamia.

Maybe he wasn't called cruel before, maybe he was a good man, but there was something which made him to do bad things.

It was his illness. He was near death. A doctor said he could live longer if he would eat the brain of a young boy every day.

He was afraid of death, he wanted to live longer but didn't think that his victims might also want to live and was afraid.

He began to execute them one-by-one everyday. He searched for new ones, and went on killing and living longer.

Kawa a Kurd who was an ironworker, had a son too. He loved his son like every father but was brave.

He decided to play a dangerous game. He preferred to be killed to seeing his son die at Dehak's hand.

Kawa, the ironworker (Kawey Asinger)

Kurds around the world celebrating the New Kurdish year "NEWROZ'

He shared his plan with the citizens. He said: "I'm taking my son to  (Zuhak) Dehak's house. I will take my sledgehammer with me.
I'm going to kill him and rescue my son. If I succeed, I will make a fire on the mountainside as a sign of victory, if I don't, you will know both of us are dead."

Kawa and his dear son went to Dehak's house. Dehak  (Zuhak)was grinning, a new victim came and would give his life for Dehak that day.

Kawa, for the sake of his son's life, hit his sledgehammer on Dehak's head, hit many times until sparks flew and those sparks became a big fire that could be seen from the mountain.

Newroz then became a celebration of a new day, coming after the dark.

The powerful commander lost his life by the hand of an ordinary ironworker to give life to those young innocent people. It was a sign of victory and hope for many generations since then.

Today Kurdish people light fires everywhere to mark the occasion.

It is not a sign of victory, but the hope that victory will one day come. They want to be independent in their own country under the name of Kurdistan.

They want to speak Kurdish everywhere, to learn and teach it to their children at schools, and learn Kurdish history and literature.

As it stands, they can't even use their Kurdish names. The current injustice is bigger than Dehak's. Although every Turkish national day is celebrated, and Newroz isn't counted as a holiday.

Students, teachers, doctors and nurses are not allowed leave to celebrate. If they do go, they will be questioned.

People are being assimilated. Kurdish culture is dying. The cruelty is bigger now than it ever was before.

There are Kawas but not many because courage is also dying.

Newroz means 'a new day' but Kurdish people still hope for a real new day.

greatreporter com

** The use of the term "Kurdistan" is vigorously rejected due to its alleged political implications by the Republic of Turkey, which does not recognize the existence of a "Turkish Kurdistan" Southeast Turkey.

Others estimate as many as 40 million Kurds live in Big Kurdistan (Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Iran, Armenia), which covers an area as big as France, about half of all Kurds which estimate to 20 million live in Turkey.

Before August 2002, the Turkish government placed severe restrictions on the use of Kurdish language, prohibiting the language in education and broadcast media.

The Kurdish alphabet is still not recognized in Turkey, and use of the Kurdish letters X, W, Q which do not exist in the Turkish
alphabet has led to judicial persecution in 2000 and 2003

The Kurdish flag flown officially in Iraqi Kurdistan but unofficially flown by Kurds in Armenia. The flag is banned in Iran, Syria, and Turkey where flying it is a criminal offence"

Southeastern Turkey: North Kurdistan ( Kurdistan-Turkey) wikipedia
More about Kurdistan


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