Kurds are definitively interesting people. They are the largest national group in the world without sovereignty over a recognized state. Still they are divided not just among countries, mainly Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria, but also among themselves. It took a while for me to understand that Kurmanji and Soranî are not to be confused: they speak different languages, dress up with peculiar traditional cloths and often look ones at the others with some diffidence.
There is no religious identity either, holding among Kurds. Yes, some of them are believers of Islam, however there are Christians as well as Jewish Kurdish communities. And it is not all: Zoroastrians and Yazidis profess some of the most interesting religious beliefs human beings have developed.
I have witnessed Kurds discussing about being from a city with a better reputation than another. And the name of the clan is considered a proof of value kept in great consideration among them.
This specific focus on parceled identities in a common strong — and well defended — identity sounds always so interesting, to me. I grew up with the persistent idea that national identity has no actual importance, nor meaning. A price I pay for being born in an occupied city, with a name imposed by the invader, and no clear idea on what I am. I have often entertained friends and acquaintances describing my ethnic heritage: 12.5% of this, 25% of that, and so on.
Land and identity
So it is kind of curios to talk to someone who may trace back their clan heritage to many generations. And to think about the ironic fate of me having a land, but not an identity, and them having an identity but not a land.
An heroic Kurdish girl
Fadime Sahindal was an heroic Kurdish girl, who lived in Sweden. Fadime fought for her freedom, love and life. Take a minute to read about her life, and dramatic murder: http://theincredibletide.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/in-honor-of-fadime/
Female fighters of Kurdistan
A photo gallery and a documentary on women guerrilla soldiers in Kurdistan: http://wp.me/p1YzuE-1ex
Updates. About these pictures.
2012 07 26, 8:00 am
I have received some feedback from two readers, both suggesting that these pictures are actually not portraying Kurdish girls. And eventually indicating that “their mannerism and clothing look much closer to Indian western tribes” than to Kurdish traditional cloths.
Considering that both readers have a much deeper knowledge of Kurdish and Indian cultures than I have, I should apologize for the erroneous attribution of these pictures. I have collected them in two Russian blogs, where they were referred to “курдские женщины в национальной одежде” (Kurdish women in national dress). Now, running a search on Google Image, I could not identify any other source for these images. I will search more, and eventually update the information.
Any comment is welcome (here or on Facebook)!
2012 07 26, 10:40 pm
I got it! It took a while, and a new functionality of Google (drop a picture in the search bar, and get results for that image!) — So, the pictures in this post were actually taken by a Hong Kong-born, California-based photographer named James Giovanni Pan. The girls in the photos are American models, and it is possible to see more on James Facebook page. If I understand it well, it seems that James Pan favorite subjects are cosplayers.
So, not Kurdish girls. Still beautiful pictures!