CULTURAL ASPECT OF ARMENIAN-KURDISH RELATIONS: PLAGIARISM – AT THE LEVEL OF STATE POLICY OF ARMENIA

CULTURAL ASPECT OF ARMENIAN-KURDISH RELATIONS: PLAGIARISM – AT THE LEVEL OF STATE POLICY OF ARMENIA

 

Appeal to the Armenian people

 

 

LATIF MAMMAD & ANKOSI ISHKHAN ASLANOVICH

 

 

Modern Armenian-Kurdish relations are still largely under the shadow of the past …

 

In recent years, especially from the Armenians, a special interest has increased in Kurdish culture, music, folklore, folk traditions and customs, but with an “Armenian bias”. For example, have already been released music CDs (CD, MP3 format) with collections entitled “Armenian Music Village: Best Drinking Songs” (2004) and dated May 5, 2008 (format: MP3 duration: 251 min. package: Jewel code in My-shop.ru: 363387/25 – CD-ROM (MP3), where 5 songs out of 20 works (02. Oh, Naze 14. Mali 18. Dylan 19. Nazo and 20. Calo) and 2 dance tunes (15. Jrid and 16. Kochari) are Kurdish. The other two music collections (2004, 2008) under the name “World Music Village. Russian, Ukrainian, Georgian, Armenian, Jewish Folk Songs ”and“ The Best Russian, Jewish, Ukrainian, Georgian, Armenian Folk Songs ” contained 21 songs, including along with two Armenian songs (19. Im khortikyar (Armenian folk) and 21. Opina (Armenian folk), also included the Kurdish folk song performed in the Kurdish language (20. Oh, Naze), which for some reason is indicated as “Armenian folk” !!! If there is no “language of dance, melody”, how can you pretend that 5 songs performed by the Kurds themselves in Kurdish are “Armenian folk songs”, and one folk Kurdish song in the international collection “The Best Russian, Jewish, Ukrainian, Georgian, Armenian Folk Songs” is Armenian folk. (“20. Oh, Naze (Armenian folk))? July 5, 2006 at 19.40 on the Russian NW TV in the show “Peace”, Armenian singer Anush Arshakyan performed the “folk Armenian” song “Tamzara” to the tune of the Kurdish folk dance “Tenzere” with the lyrics from various popular Kurdish songs, while singing in pure Kurdish language “Ay eman yar, dilo can” (“ Oh you darling, you are my heart! ”). Her other hit, the Kurdish folk song “Y (E) man Dilo” (“Wicked Heart”) was translated into Armenian, but the chorus “Y (E) man Dilo” is performed in Kurdish, although in Armenian the word “Heart “Means” Sirt “, and in Kurdish – Dilo. And all this is presented as “Armenian” [1].

 

Armenian dance groups travel around the world with concert programs, which including Kurdish folk dances with distorted names – Tamzara, Pompooreeg, Papooree, Gorani, Govenk, Khumkhuma, Lorke Lorke, Yarxushik, and many dances are lost by the names Teen and Halay. [2 ]

 

On July 12, 2009, on the Shant TV channel, there was a continuation of the Armenian folk dances competition, but for some reason, Kurdish folk dances Betalo, Papuri, Tenzere, Neynоke, Sheyxane, Ververi, Yarhushyk, etc. were taken as the basis for the competition programs.

 

There are separate articles on the Internet about allegedly Armenian dances, which have Kurdish names. [3] Moreover, they do not disdain for anything. For example, “GOVAND” is Armenian folk dance. And they do not give a damn that this article about Govanda was written according to the reports of Farkhat Patiyev, a teacher of the folk group “Nujin” [4]. At the same time, the authors of such articles do not even think that the concept of “tribe” is not is not peculiar for the Armenian people, that “Sargovand”, “Byngovand” are Kurdish words and these concepts are not even close to the Armenian lexicon.

 

The Kurdish songs “Meyro” [5], “Nare” [6] became “Armenian folk” also… The song “Mayro (ke)” is performed by the outstanding Kurdish singer, the late Mairam Khanum. Such singers as Mayram Khanum, Aisheshan are so dear for every Kurd as Gohar Gasparyan is for the Armenian people. The song, which was recorded in Baghdad at the end of the fifties, for Kurdish radio programs, says: “Miro, Mayroke, from the (hekaki) Khakaki tribe”. Do Armenians really have a Hakak tribe? And what about the modern song “Alagyaz”? [7] Alagyaz (Elegez) is the Kurdish name of the mountain (and Azerbaijani Turks, adopted this name from the Kurds, called the mountain Eleyiz) in Armenia, which the Armenians themselves call Aragats … Naturally, the question is: why do Armenians call their “folk song” in Kurdish “Alagyaz”?

 

Here is what Cemale Usiv, a former employee of the Armenian Public Television and Radio Broadcasting Committee, writes about plagiarism questions: “Armenians have stolen, they are stealing and will be stealing. Read “Armenian fairy tales”, poems by Hovhannes Shiraz, short stories by Avetik Isahakyan, “Armenian folk songbooks”, ethnographic scientific works and much more, and see how the fraternal Armenian people are grateful to the Kurdish people!

 

They helped our people, so our wealth – songs, dances, tales, epics were saved from extinction. But it’s sad when our Armenian neighbors says: “This is ours – Armenian.” This is a lie! Even many Armenian gusans songs belong to the Kurds. Maybe I’m a little mistaken, but 60% of “Armenian folk songs” are stolen, stolen from other nations … It’s ridiculous and sad when they stole the song of my idol SHVANE PARVAR “Welat ciqas xweş u rinde” and the song was called “Fidai” … Not even a single note has changed, they have no shame! They do it anyhow and the song is ready …

 

For some reason, the name “Kurdish folk song or dance” was never mentioned on the concert scenes when Sasunian ensembles from the Talin region performed and there was not a single Armenian song and dance in their repertoire. Remember at least Aram Khachaturian’s “Suser par” !!! This is exactly same as the Kurdish work “Jrid” (Qeyde ciride), which has been heard for centuries and still is played at any Kurdish wedding. This is the “Jrid” by our SHAMLE BAKO, which no other performer in the world can do anymore! Zurna without Jrida “does not happen” and Jrid “without zurna … Unfortunately, now the Armenians say that the words “zurna”, “duduk” are also Armenian words … About the song” Oh Naze – Naze “, which Armenians recently appropriated: this song has been aired on the Kurdish radio in Yerevan performed by our friend, the supporter of our people, the famous singer Hovhannes Badalyan, from the 60s. And he was proud to be performing this Kurdish song. Dozens of Kurdish folk songs executed by famous Armenian artists, singers are stored in Kurdish broadcast archives. And if they “accidentally” disappeared from the archive, the copies have been preserved by me. I can cite dozens of examples about how and who exactly stole our wealth — songs, folklore, even traditions… I worked in the State TV and Radio of Armenia for a long time and I know the ins and outs of this organization…

 

I was born in Armenian, got an education, sat with the Armenian friends at the same table. Our people have a saying: “If you drank water from a source, don’t throw stones in there”. It would be a mistake if we think that we are an enemies of the Armenian people. We were and remain an age-old friends. But we are outraged! We are offended when they steal our wealth … My teacher and colleague late Ahmade Goge wrote the song “Fikra ez birme ciae me” in the 1980s. It is still played by Arame Tigran and the author. A few months after the premiere, the song was translated into Armenian … We wandered to different authorities for a long time and wrote many complaints … But no effect … ” [8].

 

There is no doubt that this process is started…

And against this background, there is a growing pressure on the Kurds remaining in Armenia, who are practicing Yezidism, in order to survive from this the most mono-ethnic Republic in former USSR. How else can we explain the brutal murder on June 3, 2009 of an old man, two women and a child in the village Noy, Abovyan region (Majid Gasoyan (60), Zarif Gasoyan (55), their daughter Narine (37) and grandson Tengiz (13), whose heads were cut off?

 

Is this an intimidation or warning?
Naturally, this raises the question: what is the reason of such a massive and well-directed attack on the Kurdish culture and in general on everything what is Kurdish? Is it all a coincidence or a well-thought-out points in the same chain?

 

Armenians and Kurds have been neighbors for thousands of years … How have relations developed over these centuries? How did the process of interpenetration of spiritual and material culture proceed? What are their views of the Armenian-Kurdish relationship in the future?

 

Yes, it is pointless to deny that there were anti-Armenian actions taken by the Kurds. But we must also truthfully answer the question: why, at the end of the 19th century, beginning in 1894, after more than 2 thousand years of peaceful coexistence, did Armenian-Kurdish relations have deteriorate?

 

Travelers, researchers, scientists, diplomats, missionaries, as a rule, dealt with these issues superficially, as if passing against the general background of regional events. Quite often, some strokes of this question were purely subjective and far from the truth. Therefore, the questions regarding the relationship between these two nations are still waiting for their scientific, impartial and objective research.

 

Today, Armenian-Kurdish relations issue opens up a vast field for research. The fact that the Armenian people, unlike the Kurds, already has its own independent state, powerful research centers and propaganda apparatus, an extensive media network, means that the Armenian side has more opportunities for comprehensive cover of this issue. Despite the expectations of an objective analysis of the Armenian-Kurdish relations, we observe a completely different approach from the historiographic, sociopolitical and cultural elite of the Republic of Armenia: a total distortion of history, a vision of Armenian-Kurdish relations only in a bad light, offensive attacks against the Kurds.

 

It is deeply regrettable that over the past two hundred years, individual representatives of this elite, having become a hatred generators to all Kurdish people, impose their negative vision of the Armenian-Kurdish relations not only to their own people, but also to others. And such an approach regarding the Kurdish people is currently taken to the state level.

 

The Kurdish and Armenian people have lived in friendship and good neighborhood for thousands of years. We can cite a thousand, tens of thousands of examples of close friendly, fraternal relations between Kurds and Armenians, because at least two and a half millennia they lived not only as good neighbors, but also as one family. I doubt that we can found another example of a such good neighborhood in the world…

 

It was the Kurdish people who saved hundreds of thousands of Armenians from the massacre in the tragic 1920s. And we can give a thousand more examples.

 

It is easy to make enemies, but you need to look for friends in goodness, and if someone is looking for friendship and brotherhood, he will definitely find them.

 

M.S. Lazarev writes: “The brutal exploitation of Armenian peasants by Kurdish feudal lords gave reason to incite discord between Kurds and Armenians . The Turkish ruling circles were interested in this, hoping in this way to strengthen their positions …

 

It is impossible not to take into account another circumstance that contributed to dirty game of different reactionaries around the Armenian and Kurdish issues. Armenians held key positions in trade and business in the east of Asia Minor, what facilitated anti-Armenian propaganda among the dark and backward Muslims, and especially among the Kurds exploited by the Armenian bourgeoisie .. For example, in the Sivas wilayah, where Armenians made up about 35% of the population, there were 125 Armenians out of 166 major merchants-importers, 32 out of 37 bankers, 6,800 small merchants were Armenians out of 9,800. 98% of all trade was in the hands of Armenians in Van wilayah. There were 18 exporters and importers in wilayah (all Armenians), money changers – 20 (all Armenians), craftsmen 1,100 (Armenians 1020 and Turks 80). However, the existence of such preconditions did not mean the inevitability of the subordination of class contradictions to national ones, the substitution of class struggle by national enmity, as Armenian leaders tried to prove and put into practice … For the Kurdish and Armenian working people, the problem was in a completely different level. After all, the Armenian peasants and artisans were oppressed not by the Kurdish people, but by the Kurdish feudal elite, along with Turkish officials and the Armenian comprador and middle bourgeoisie. At the same time, and this must be emphasized, the Kurdish peasant-rayah lived in peace and harmony with their Armenian neighbors; there was no hostility between them. In the history of relations between the Kurdish and Armenian peoples, there was a steady tradition of friendship and good neighborhood, based on common historical destinies and leaving noticeable traces in their life and culture ”[9].

 

Armenian nationalists openly pursue an anti-Kurdish policy, distorting historical facts in order to justify a hostile policy towards the Kurdish people, who are allegedly involved in the Armenian genocide. But how was it in reality? To answer this question, we will cite several historical facts that honest Armenian historians wrote about.

 

Col. D.Y. Lazarev writes in his booklet: “The condition of the Armenians has deteriorated sharply after the “second” conquest of Kurdistan by the Turks as a result of the campaigns of Reshid Pasha and Osman Pasha in the 1930s and 1940s.” “It is fair to say,” asserted D.Y. Lazarev, – that Armenians had better days with Kurdish derebeks than with 47-year Turkish anarchy … [10]

 

The Armenian newspaper “Azadamard” noted that the agrarian issue in Kurdistan is not political at all, but rather social, “since the Kurdish people apply the same requirements to their agalars (ah’a ax’alar) as Armenian rural population ”[11].

 

One Armenian traveler (who wrote under the pseudonym A-do) reported “There is no national difference for the exploiter,” the economic and political oppression of the Turkish government equally puts pressure on the agricultural population, “whether they are Armenians, Aisors, Kurds, or Turks,” but the Kurds suffer more, “Legally and economically the Kurd’s position during the Maraba was even worse than the Armenians” [12].

 

Instead of objectively analyzing the Armenian-Kurdish relations, moving away from cliches and stereotypes in assessing the Armenian national movement, the Armenian side diligently exaggerates the image of the enemy represented by the Kurdish people. The main approach of the Armenian side is to create stereotypes about the Kurds as “wild nomads”, whose historical past “is hidden in the darkness of ages: they have neither history nor literature, and what has been preserved in oral traditions is too small to say anything positive about their historical fate”[13]. That “Aesthetic, ethical and spiritual values are beyond their understanding. After all, the Kurds are traditionally nomadic herders, which means that their worldview simply lacks awareness of the value of material culture monuments, especially architecture. They never built anything. The spirit of creation is extraneous to their mentality [14].

 

A similar thesis in the history and cultural significance of the Kurds became decisive in the behavior motives and approaches of Armenian historiography and politics. The last decades new directions in the “Kurdish issue” emerged in Armenian historiography and politics, they openly declares that the Kurds are historical enemies of the Armenians and therefore “The ideas of Kurdish nationalism run counter to the national interests of Armenia” [15], and the Kurdish national-independence and sovereignty movement threatens “from a political perspective, the national security of Armenia” [16]. That “Creating a Kurdish state — whether in Turkey or Iraq — is a great threat to our national interests. Attempts are being made to dismember Iraq and create a Kurdish state on its territory, which will become the dummy structure of the West. It should be taken into account that if there is a constructive dialogue with modern Turkey – the established state aiming to the European Union – then the Kurdish array is an unpredictable and uncontrollable element, which is definitely anti-Armenian. And on this score there can be no illusions ”[17].

 

It means, the freedom of the Kurds, Independent Kurdistan is not acceptable for the Armenian people!!!

These modern-day Garnik Asatryans are obsessed with delusions of grandeur and ferocious hatred of everything Kurdish. In their statements, they reach the point of absurdity: the world-famous Mehrdad Izady is a “stupid man” for the reason that he is a Kurd and, moreover, he is a professor at Harvard University in the USA. It turns out that we are “not Kurds” at all, since our dialect is Kurmanji. And our statements that “We are Kurds” are “very amazing” for them… Therefore, they chose the role of the Messiah to set the Kurds on the path of truth.

 

Since the Kurds are enemies, all is fair in actions against them…

The Armenian side proceeds from these principles and builds perspectives for the development of Armenian-Kurdish relations.

Here are the main directions of this policy towards the Kurdish people:
1. To question the autochthonous nature of the Kurdish ethnic group on the territory of “Historical Armenia”.
2. To convince that there is no such ethnic group as the “Kurdish people”, but there are some Iranian-speaking tribes, designated under the general term “Kurds”.
3. That the Kurds are alien wild nomads and are not culturally developed, they have a poor material and spiritual culture.
4. That the Kurds as well in the first place are guilty in the genocide of the Armenian people.
5. To exaggerate the idea of “crypto-Armenians”, to introduce it in the Kurdish environment, to prove that Kurds-Zazas and Kurds who practice Yazidism are not Kurds, but a separate nation, which is in many ways close to Armenians, and in the next stage “awaken Armenian ethnic consciousness” with the following absorption.

 

At the same time, the core of the Armenian policy is to prevent and slow down an accelerated the ongoing process of ethnic, social and political formation of the Kurdish people into a single core at the final stage of the creation of Kurdish statehood.

 

This is openly and directly as part of the Armenian state policy stated by a group of Armenian scientists and politicians headed by Garnik Asatryan, Doctor of Philology, Editor-in-Chief of the “Armenian Orientalist Journal Iran-Name” (partially subsidized by the Islamic Republic of Iran), who believe that “state policy should be based on scientific knowledge”, namely:

 

Victoria ARAKELOVA: “It was thanks to the efforts of the Armenian Orientalists that the Yezidis were recognized as a separate ethnoconfessional group. Later this was recognized internationally. And this happened not because of the politicians and fighters for the rights of national minorities, but the efforts of Armenian orientalists. And this, too, has become an important factor of ensuring national security, has diverted from us a serious threat to become a country with a “Kurdish factor.” Not least thanks to the academic work of our Iranianists in Turkey, a new ethnopolitical factor has emerged – Zaza people.”

 

Ashot MELKONYAN: “It is very important to intensify researches on Western Armenia. When in the 80s I began to study the ethno-demographic problems of the Erzurum Vilayet, I often wondered: why is this necessary, because Western Armenia is irretrievably lost? Then I realized what a huge role the historical memory of the people can play. Today I look at this problem quite differently. Can Western Armenia be considered irretrievably lost if 37% of the population of Turkey hates Turks and 42% of the population of this country do not consider themselves as Turks? Today, 90% of the population of Western Armenia are Kurds. That is, this territory is actually Kurdistan ”[18].

 

Such fabrications are far from scientific researches and full of lies and slander against my people.

Of course, I could quote from many international authorities, who recognize the great cultural significance of the Kurds in Asia Minor (Marr), that “the Kurdish song is in high esteem among Armenian Christians” (Nikitin), that the Aisors and Armenians of Van loved to sing Kurdish songs (Lalayan), many Kurdish songs are common in the Middle East translated into Turkish (Nikitin), “that the researchers of this region tend to see the high quality of Kurdish songs as the source of the knightly characteristics inherent in the Kurdish people” and “perception about the Kurds as a heroic and romantic people” is explained by the “availability of the ancestral ancient in norms and motifs of poetry “[19]. And here is another characteristic of the Kurds: “If we want to be fair, it is necessary to put for comparison Kurdistan next to Europe, as it was six hundred years ago. And even nowadays, a comparison of a European with a Kurd will not be in favor of a European, if we accept moral ideals and rules as a criterion. Among the thousands of Kurds, no matter where he dwells, you will find fewer shameful phenomena than among the same number of Europeans” [20].

 

The ancient history of the Kurdish people is the history of Mesopotamia, as part of the ancient history of world civilization. The written sources of Sumer, Egypt, Assyria and Babylonia mention about protokurds (Guti, Kuti). The Median empire with the activities of the Kurdish dynasty of Fraort-Dahok laid the foundation for the ancient Kurdish statehood. After the Median empire and the Kurdish state of the Achaemenids collapse, appeared numerous Kurdish feudal and state entities, and the Kurds had to forget about the central Kurdish state for thousands of years.

 

This was reflected in the material and spiritual development of the Kurdish ethnic group. The historical fate of the Kurdish people has developed in a peculiar and tragic way: “This nation,” – academician I.A. Orbeli wrote about the Kurds, – “… lost its sons under the guise of Iranians, Turks, Arabs, Armenians, lost sons, whose names as names of glorious poets, musicians, generals adorn the history of nations” [21].

 

In the past two thousand years, the Kurds have been “donors” for the peoples of Asia Minor and Transcaucasia – for Persians, Arabs, Turks, modern Azerbaijanians, Armenians and Georgians.

 

The invasions of Arabs, Turks, Mongols and the following partition of Kurdistan into four parts, attempts to assimilate and dissolve the Kurds in the Arab, Turkish and Persian environment did not stop the onward development of the Kurdish people, and the Kurds survived. Moreover, they did not just survive, but even in extremely adverse conditions they managed to preserve their spiritual and material culture. And, despite the unfavorable external and internal factors, the Kurdish people have not interrupted the struggle for the creation of a Kurdish independent state for a single year and the events of recent decades indicate that the Kurds are very close to fulfilling their age-old dream.

 

The conquerors managed to divide our homeland, but they could not divide our people, break our free spirit and completely control us.
The Kurds have written their history with their own blood and there are a lot of glorious pages in it. That’s where such a powerful layer of Kurdish spiritual culture comes from. This is one of the most powerful folklore among the peoples of Asia Minor.

 

In the ancient Kurdish myth, it is told that many thousand years ago our God Azda in his home – Paradise in Heaven created the Prokurd and lowered him to the earth to create here his Paradise home in the likeness of heaven. Our Paradise, as defined by our Prophet Zarathushtra, is on the land of Khakaria (Khak-Arias, Aryan lands).

 

The Kurds were and will remain knights of the East. On this occasion, the outstanding Armenian enlightener Khachatur Abovyan wrote: “Kurds could be called knights of the East in the full sense of the word, if they had led a life more settled. Militancy, frankness, honesty and unlimited devotion to their princes, strict execution of this word and hospitality, revenge for blood and tribal enmity, even between close relatives, passion for plunder and robbery and unlimited respect for women are the virtues and qualities common to all people.” [22].

 

For some reason, modern-day Armenians disown their famous compatriot’s words and present everything about the Kurds in a different light …

 

The struggle of the Kurdish people is the story of the struggle for freedom, peace and happiness not only for the Kurds, but also for the peoples around them. It is not by chance that the Kurds in their prayers ask God: “Oh, God Almighty! First, give wealth and prosperity to all 72 nations [23] of the world, and then to our people! ” No other people in the world have such a prayer-request. This is where the spiritual greatness of the Kurdish people is.

 

Today, the democratization of Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey is precisely attributable to the Kurdish national liberation movement, this is a generally accepted fact.

 

Inherent in the Kurdish people the chivalrous character, freedom-loving, the exaltation of the role of women in Kurdish society is the philosophy of Kurdish life, which is expressed in three postulates defining the role and duty of a person in this world: “Good deed, good word, good act”. Maybe it was this benevolence that turned for us into a curse? Probably, because of these qualities inherent in our people, our homeland was dismembered, they robbed us and continue to rob spiritually?

 

It was not a surprise for me that a number of articles appeared in the media and on the Internet accusing Armenians of plagiarism, since in the early sixties in Armenia they started a campaign, call things by their proper names, stealing Kurdish songs, dances and music. It is surprising something else. It is the fact that material and cultural piracy in Armenia has gained in strength now, and some representatives of the Armenian people have behave more cynical. If earlier in Armenia they tried to secretly translate Kurdish songs, pieces into Armenian, our dances were presented as “Armenian folk”, now Armenians openly not only in the republic, but also far beyond its borders – in the CIS countries, European countries and The United States began not only to present Kurdish folklore as “Armenian”, even songs in Kurdish language, Kurdish performers and Kurdish dances with Kurdish names to be released on the CD and sell, shoot music videos as “Armenian folklore”.

 

What is the purpose is served by the Armenian clergy and chroniclers historians, who in relation to the Kurdish people distort historical facts and attribute them to the Armenians?. And today, the younger generation of Armenian falsifiers continues the order of their ancestors: no matter what happens, destroy the history and culture of the Kurdish people, and what cannot be destroyed is deeply hidden in the basements of the Matenadaran (repository of ancient manuscripts of Armenia). In 1982, I met a priest from the Temple of Garnia. I forgot what his name was, but he was so pleasant, handsome, and honest that I still have a very good impression of him. He was from Lebanon. The priest said in secret that he is married and has a son and wife who live in Beirut. He told me with his voice down that “tens of thousands of materials concerning the history of the Kurds are preserved in the archives of churches and Matenadaran. The publication of these materials will not only be a sensation, but also a revolution in the history of the Kurdish people, and in general, in the history of the Middle East as a whole. ” In 1986, while working at the State Television and Radio of the Armenian SSR as the editor of the information department, our manager, a very respected and intelligent person, Ruben Simonyan, knowing that I was interested in the history of the Kurds, advised me to use the Matenadaran manuscript collection. For this you need a petition from the Chairman of the State Radio and Television. I took the appropriate petition and handed over to the subscriber department to acquire the appropriate pass. On the third day at the checkpoint, my pass was withdrawn and they said you are not allowed to use this fund. To the question: – Why? The answer was concise: “You are not Armenian!”.

 

Everything is clear as day: Armenian friends are not interested in bringing up historical facts about the Kurds that could destroy the entire foundation of Armenian history. Otherwise, how to explain the fact that the materials concerning the Kurds that remain in the Matenadaran are state secret of the Republic of Armenia? For example, the well-known Kurdish scholar and public figure Karame Ankosi, without any obstacles from the Georgian side in the National Manuscript Center of Georgia in the ROS Foundation, studied and systematized extremely valuable materials about language, literature, folklore, history and ethnography of Kurds in the early 30s of the XX century. Most of these materials are handwritten form in Kurdish, Russian, and Armenian [24].

 

And why is in Armenia even the Armenians themselves have not done this (by the Kurds for the above mentioned reason, it is clear)? How else can one justify and explain such unwillingness of Armenians to open the doors of the Matenadaran for the Kurds? Really, for 2.5 thousand years of the neighborhood of the Kurds and Armenians, the Armenians did not mention their neighbors?

 

Maybe the reason is different?

On the territory of the USSR, more than 150,000 Kurds lived, cut off from many millions of their people, and for some reason they “did not forget and took with them” their folk songs and dances, customs and traditions. And the millions of Armenians who left their homes under compulsion “forgot” … Oh, what a pity … And now these poor people are driving around their former habitats, looking for those who do not know their native Armenian, but speaking Kurdish, Turkish “highly classified Armenians” and “restore their songs and dances.” Here is one of the “happiest” cases: “At the end of the 1960s, the choreographer of the State Song and Dance Ensemble Azat Gharibian decided to return to Daron in order to find the “camouflaged” Armenians and gather knowledge of Armenian dance and music traditions, which they have left. The dance, known to us as Daronee, was compiled by Azat in parts. The song Daronee was recorded by the orchestra of the ensemble. My teacher Tom Bozigian, who worked with Azat, told me in 1987 that they could not translate the song because the text consisted of many archaic dialectical subtleties, but my friend and colleague Shakeh Avanessian succeeded in partial translation in 1996.” [25] .

 

It turns out that until 1915, the song Daronee was not archaic, but for 50 years it became such, and mentioned in the song (Chorus: Gorani, Gorani, my beloved Gorani …) Gorani – “partly related with the mountain ridge, home of the god of war” and this association gives the dance and song a figurative series of “fights in the battle for life”. And Lashghert, mentioned in the song, is probably the name of a place in Daron.” [26]

 

It turns out that among Armenians, the “mountain range” and the “house of the god of war” (my beloved Gorani) can both act as a lover. Why not? For the most ancient people, that goes without saying… And the Lashghert mentioned in the song is “the name of a place in Daron” or somewhere else? Well, you know, all this is a bit “archaic”, and is lost in the Neolithic dust…

 

But for some reason, the Kurds, the Armenian neighbors, sing the Kurdish song “Deran”, and the words are not archaic, but understandable to everyone, even modern ones. Goran is the name of a Kurdish guy, and Gorani is a pun and already means “Fickle” (Unable to keep his promise). There is also the Kurdish folk round dance Gorani (“Gorani”). Goran – except male name, is the name of the Kurdish Goran tribe, which bears the ethnonym of this tribe, Goran in the Eastern (Iranian part) of Kurdistan. In the song “Gorani” the Kurdish woman complains that (Yare mn Gorana – “My beloved Goran”, that is, “Fickle” (Failing to keep his promise). Lashghert – Alashkert (Kurdish Eleşkirt, Turkish – Eleşkirt, Toprakkale) a city of the same name in the Ağrı Province and a district in the eastern part of the Erzurum Vilayet. Armenian sources indicate this city in antiquity as “Vagarshakert on the territory of Western Armenia”. Wait, the Armenian song “Darone” is so “archaic” that they forgot about the Armenian “Vagarshakert”, the later Alashkert and use its Kurdish song form Lashghert (Eleşkirt-leşkirt), while determining its location according to probability theory? And how do Armenians search for “forgotten and dropped” songs and dances,stories, legends and other epic works, it becomes known from the story of Artak Vartanian, a member of the ethnographic ensemble “Akunk”, following a trip to “Western Armenia”, who in Mush “bought several CD’s with Kurdish music, finally found songs by Shwan Parvar, including the famous folk novel “Zambilfrosh” – about the love of the baskets seller and princesses, versions of which were once known among Armenians of Taron” [27].

 

This A. Vartanian, during his trips, determined the number of the “hidden muslimizated Armenian” population: according to his calculations, about twenty thousand Armenians live in Van, three thousand live in Bitlis, and almost half of the population in Mush are made up of such Armenians … And among the Zaza Kurds… Oh, oh! It turns out that even people from the Armenian royal family were hiding among them!!! What a discovery he made, even the Armenian historians have no idea about it and are surely shocked by this news. And everywhere, typical Armenian people who survived in the Kurdish environment… But what about the genocide?! But this is not the main thing for him. But the fact that he finally acquired the famous folk novel “Zambilfrosh”, performed by Shwan Parvar. The logic is simple: since everywhere are “hidden and muslimizated Armenians, then everything that is sung in Kurdish on the territory of “Great Armenia from sea to sea ” is “Armenian”. Therefore, the day is not far off when in the secret laboratories of Armenia samples of Kurdish folklore, including Zambilfrosh, “re-melted” from Kurdish into Armenian works, will appear in God’s light in Armenian clothes. By the way, Armenians have a special love for the creation of Kurdish singer Shvan Parvar: they even manage to translate his songs Kine Em? – KURDIN Em!!! (“Who are we? – We are KURDS!!!”), but already in “Menk HAENG” (“We are ARMENIANS”) and “Welat ciqas xweş u rinde” (Armenian “Fidai”).

 

That’s what I would like to ask these “cultural archaeologists” … In the 20-30s not a thousand, but more than a million Armenians were forced to flee to the territory of present-day Armenia, other republics of Transcaucasia, Russia, Europe and the USA. Did they lost their memory that theyand completely forgot their dances, songs, customs and traditions? Tens of thousands of pages about language, literature, folklore, history and ethnography of Kurds of the early 30s of the XX century are stored in the National Center of Manuscripts of Georgia. Most of these materials are presented in handwritten form in Kurdish, Russian and Armenian. On their basis, the prominent Kurdish scholar and public figure Karam Ankosi published a book entitled “Description of the Kurdish materials of the National Manuscript Center of Georgia” (Tbilisi, 2009) [28].

 

It is noteworthy that among the collectors of Kurdish folklore, in addition to the Kurds themselves (Gadzhie Jindi, Vazire Nadiri, K. K. Kurdoev, and others), there are a lot of Armenians – Sisyan, Movsesian, I. Mirakyan, Dzhilovyan, Shahen Kuzikyan, K. M. Ogansanyan, etc. Most of the respondents (informers) are Armenians who speak fluent Kurdish (Mkrdich Vartayan Sasouni, Tigran Sahakyan Sasuni, Yakud Davityan Mushi, Kirakosyan from Mush (80 years), Mkrdich Vartanyan Sasuni Ochnyuk Astrakhan Azuki from the Mush (80 years old), Mrkrdich Vartanyan Kazaryan Sasuni, Manuk Arutyunyan, Iego Stepanyan (50 years old, native of the Sara Makhinan district of the Van region of Turkey), Galust Khachatryan (72), Manuk Arutyunyan Mukushli). Among them are people from Sasun, Mush, Moks, Van, Hakkari and other regions, which the Armenians call Western Armenia, and the Kurds – Northern Kurdistan. The folklore material is rich and diverse: epic poems (“Rostamé Zal”, “K’ulke Sileman”, “Leylo-Mecrym”, “Mem – Zin”, “Haco Musa – beg”, “Zenbilfiroş”, “Sit’o Ferxo”, folk poem “Axt’amar “[29]), heroic songs (“Esker ku hat cihe me”,”H’eyorano”), a song of a plowman-farmer (“Cotvan”-“Plowman”), and wedding dance songs (“Gulazer – sitrana govende”, “T’ilzendan” – sitana govende), “Şexani”, “Beblek’an”, “Sitrana govendiyе girano – Sineme”, “Gule hoyönar” “” – sitrana govende), “Şekir – ax’a “- sitrana govende), “Leyle”- sitrana govende), “Daye, dile”(sitrana govende), “Silt’an R’eşid “(sitrana govende), dance song (“Zeynoque”, “Avka te”)… And all this wealth in Kurdish language is written according to many Armenians – natives of the areas where they were going Armenian “black diggers” to find Armenian folklore “under layers of age-old dust”. It is interesting, why did Armenian researchers write down and collect these Kurdish folklore materials from the Armenians, while at the same time they could collect and record Armenian folklore from the Armenians?! Isn’t it strange? Or maybe it is something else? That there was nothing worthwhile in Armenian for fixing? On the other hand, the geography of the informants indicates that the Kurdish culture and the Kurdish language were dominant in the so-called “Western Armenia”, and there can be talk here not about the mythical “Great Armenia from sea to sea”, but about Great Kurdistan, known as the Median Empire in ancient times. Many sources indicate the influence of the Kurdish culture on its neighboring people. If there are early news about Assyrians, Medes (ancient Kurds), the same cannot be said about Haya-Armenians. Even descendants of the ancient Assyrians are influenced by the Kurdish culture: “The folk song of the Aysor is for the most part influenced by the Kurdish; their folk songs are few in number, as there is a custom to sing Kurdish songs and tell Kurdish tales ”[30]. E. Lalayan wrote these words in 1913-14. Here is he opinion of a modern researcher almost 100 years later, on the same topic: “The main musical and song genres prevailed in the modern folk tradition of Russian Assyrians are dance music (close to the Kurdish “govandi” and, apparently, having been influenced by the Kurdish musical culture during their stay in homeland) songs… Many tunes the singers themselves identify as Azerbaijani, Iranian and Kurdish”[31].

 

That is why the Armenians are afraid to open the doors of the Matenadaran to the Kurds, so that the languishing there manuscripts regarding the Kurds and Kurdish history can see the light.

 

In addition to the the aforementioned objectives, pursued by Armenians in relation to the historical past and spiritual culture of the Kurdish people, Armenians also set themselves other tasks: assimilation of the small amount of Kurds, survived after of ethnic cleansing in Armenia, professing Yezidism. Thus, the Armenians will achieve two tasks: first, as they say, Armenia will avoid the fate of the countries having the “Kurdish issue”, and secondly, the Armenians will facilitate the appropriation of the spiritual culture of the Kurdish people. Naturally, this raises the question: why do Armenians need all this? And the answer lies in the fact that Armenian ideologues imagine it to themselves, presenting Kurdish dances and songs as “Armenian”, through “spiritual intimacy” it will be easier to assimilate or attract the Zaza and Yezidis Kurds, and on the other hand, this will contribute ”the awakening of Armenian self-consciousness” in the so-called “crypto-Armenians”. At the same time, Armenians will demonstrate to the whole world their “developed spiritual culture” – at least songs and dances.

 

All these miserable Armenian attempts can only reveal a wretched way of thinking and understanding of the world around them and their political reality some of the individual representatives of this people have. No matter how Armenians try to convince themselves and others that “Yezidis are a separate nation,” the songs and melodies that were preserved by Yezidi Kurds living in Armenia, but the expelled from Armenia Muslims Kurds were not save them, this is not serious. Yes, the Kurds forcibly accepted Islam, but remaining “conditional Muslims”, they not abandoned their richest national customs and traditions and sacredly preserve them. This is an evidence of their commitment to their historical past and spiritual continuity between generations in such a long time span of several millennia. At the same time, despite the change of religion, the Kurds not only preserved their spiritual and cultural values, but also multiplied in all its diversity.For the preservation of our thousand-year-old national culture, customs, tradition, and language, we have been fighting with the Turks for almost a thousand years, for 1300 years – with the Arabs and we have been able to defend.

 

At the beginning of the XIX century a small part of our people from their homeland came under the jurisdiction of Russia and received Russian citizenship. After the October Revolution, the Kurds of Russia became citizens of a new, socialist country. On the territory of Russia (USSR), new national “states” were formed, and Armenians and Turks of Azerbaijan, Georgians, Turkmen, etc., had attained statehood. We, the Soviet Kurds, also “felt” and “probed” some sweet fruits of the new system. On its oldest land, in Northern Ostana of the Median empire – Atrapatakan (in future Azerbaijan) in Khakaria (Khak-Aria = that is, Aryan land), received an autonomous region called “Red Kurdistan” (Lachin district) within Azerbaijan. But this breath of freedom and success were very short, and the fruits were bitter. Half of the Kurds remained in the territory of Armenia, the second half in Azerbaijan, in the “Red Kurdistan”. During the Stalinist repression, “Red Kurdistan” turned into “Black Kurdistan” – a real tragedy and nightmare for Kurds of Lachin (Khak-Ari) in Azerbaijan: half of its Kurdish population was repressed and sent to the Central Asian republics, and the second half was assimilated into a Turkic mass of Azerbaijan. In Armenia this process began a little later, but no less tragic for us.

 

In this article, our goal is to briefly analyze the real situation of the Kurds of Armenia in 1939-2009. We know very little about the real situation of the Kurds of Armenia. Our “intelligentsia” always wrote about the Kurds of Armenia in the way that the “Communist Party” and personal interests demanded of them. There was even a song written in Kurdish called “Party”. It says “Partya me mezine, Qrare we mera mizgine” (“Our Party is great, and its decisions are a good messenger for us!”) And the Kurds sang this song on the way to Siberia and the republics of Central Asia and Kazakhstan, and they sing there still. But, in fact, the situation of the Kurds of Armenia differed very little from that of the Northern (Turkish), Eastern (Iranian), Southern (Iraqi) and North-Western (Syrian) Kurdistan and Hak-Aria ( Lachin Azerbaijan.) If the Turks, Persians, Arabs conducted an open and aggressive anti-Kurdish assimilationist policies, and the Azeris – the policy of “soft assimilation”, then the Armenian authorities pursued a hidden and so-called “cultural death” policy, and this despite the fact that the Kurds lived for thousands of years in the territory of modern Armenia. When these lands came under the jurisdiction of Tsarist Russia, Armenians and Kurds were automatically part of it, then Armenia, as such, did not exist. After the revolution, the Armenian SSR was organized, where the Kurds remained.

 

At the beginning of the Soviets in accordance with the Lenin national policy, and later in the interests of the USSR foreign policy (the foreign Kurdish factor), certain conditions were created for the development of the national culture of the Kurds. But  in the late thirties and early forties, when Leninist communist ideology began to die in the USSR, everything turned upside down, gradually they took everything away, even what we had before the revolution. Throughout the Soviet Union (in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and the republics of Central Asia and Kazakhstan), of course, there was no “Kurdish problem”. And why did it not exist? Because no one spoke of it, and no one was allowed to say anything. A kind of taboo was imposed on the Kurdish topic.

At that time, among a small group within the Kurdish intelligentsia, the following slogan was in use: “Long live the Soviet Union and its voluntary workers – the Kurdish people, who have nothing, do not ask anything,  and therefore the Kurds have nothing to lose!”

On the other hand, who was supposed to talk and care about the problems of the Kurds? Of course, first of all, the Kurdish intellectuals itself. But what kind of intellectuals? Someone like the “Mind, Honor and Conscience of his people”? Unfortunately, the Kurds didn’t and couldn’t have those for several reasons. In those years, the intellectuals of the Kurds was just emerging on the territory of the USSR. People with higher and secondary special (technical) education could be counted on the fingers. And then they were finished off with repressions: by the beginning of the Second World War, the Kurdish people had practically lost their intellectuals. Pashae Shirin, Kadyre Ono, Azize Gaji Sadyk, Tayfure Ali, Iskandere Sheikhbzni, Makhmade Slo, Jahangir Aga and others were repressed. Others died on the fronts of World War II. Of course, among the survivors there were patriots … But none of them wanted trouble, and, first of all, for their loved ones. Everyone were under the still-fresh impression of Stalin repressions in their memory … And the law of lawlessness rules in the country …

On the other hand, availability of higher education is not yet the standard of education, much less of intelligence and patriotism. These Kurds were just people with higher education, civil servants. Because of such an obedient and conciliatory position of the Kurdish “intellectuals”, our people did not receive anything, on the contrary, what they had was taken away. The Kurds have literally lost everything. To this day, we are dealing with the results of the actions of some of our similar “intellectuals” in Armenia, who primarily acted in favor and in the interests of the authorities, but not their people. Today, of course, we weren’t talking about the physical destruction of the Kurds (Yezidis), but no one can deny this.

“Kurds, you are lucky! As the Armenian proverb says: “Friday comes before Saturday!” These words belong to the third secretary of the Aragats RK of the Communist Party of Armenia, some Valery Tonoyan, a native of the village Vardablur, who two days after the terrible earthquake in Armenia, on the 10th expressed the Kurds of the village Jamshlu, Araghats region: “If it were not  the earthquake on December 7th, Armenian nationalists planned to organize a massacre of Kurds living in Armenia on December 11th. For these purposes, gasoline tankers were found in advance, already fueled, goals were defined – (Yezidi Kurdish settlements),  areas with sizeable populations of Muslim Kurds (villages, streets, specific houses addresses), and specific executors.”

Only in Alagyaz, 11 Yezidi villages should have been destroyed and by that put an end to the “Kurdish issue in Armenia” and by that “stabilized” the demographic composition of the population, as the Dashnaks advocated: “Armenia is only for Armenians!”.

Unlike our other neighbors, the Turks (Turks in Turkey, Turkmans in Iraq, Turkic people in Azerbaijan), who appropriate the material and spiritual values of the Kurdish people (our customs and traditions, folk art, folklore), the Armenians began this process a little later, because before that socio-political circumstances were not yet ripe. Such phenomena openly took scope in the early fifties of the twentieth century, especially after the massive repatriation of Armenians from Lebanon, Syria and Iran to Armenia, most of whom, apart from Kurdish, did not know another language and even called themselves “Kurdahos” and the repatriates called themselves “Ahpar”. [32] These settlers with an exceptional Kurdish mentality were alien to the Armenian language, customs and traditions. They all “did in Kurdish way” – a funeral (Kurdish crying), weddings (Kurdish songs and dances), all of them had mostly Kurdish names, especially female names. Kurdish culture with its folklore richness suppressed Armenian and something had to be done in order for newly arrived repatriates (more than 130 thousand) to integrate into Armenian society and prevent their return outflow.

At the same time, an attack on the Kurdish identity began in Armenia: in the “nationality” column, the employees of the passport service instead of the nationality “Kurd” began to write “Yezid” and more often “erroneously” – “Armenian”, and in the passports of Muslim Kurds – “Azerbaijani”.

In 1991, together with a group of Kurdish intellectuals (Tosyne Rashid, Charkaze Rush, and others), I received a reception from Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrosyan. Charkaze Rush asked him a question: “Don’t you, as an orientalist, know that the Yezidis only differ in religion from the rest of the Kurds and are part of the Kurdish people? Your policy is aimed at driving a wedge between Kurds of different denominations.” Looking into our eyes, Ter-Petrosyan cynically answered: “We are acting in the interests of the Armenian people!” [33].

The 1988 earthquake, the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict around Nagorno-Karabakh, the heightened anti-Kurdish mood in Armenia and the collapse of the USSR forced the Muslim Kurds completely, and more than half of the Yezidi Kurds to leave Armenia. The Armenian Newspaper “Pyunik” (No. 2/10, 16. 02. 1991, p.24, in Armenian) reported: “Today there are no more than 700-1000 Kurds left in Armenia …”. Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrosyan at one of the rallies of the Armenian National Movement (ANM) held in Yerevan in 1994 said with pride: “What we (i.e., the Armenian National Movement) did in 2-3 years, others have not done for 600-700 years: we have cleaned out Armenia from other nations” [34].

And all this means: “And we will further purify our Armenia from other peoples and this process will continue …”. In Armenian websites, the question of how to create a “Great Armenia” (by assimilation and ethnic cleansing) is quite seriously discussed: “As for the comparison of old maps and new ones, there is a positive thing: the mono-ethnicity of Armenia in its current borders. Looking at the old maps it was difficult to imagine how is it possible to recreate historical Armenia considering the ethnic patchwork with the Turkic peoples and Kurds without using large-scale ethnic cleansing ”[35].

An attempt by the Armenian authorities to oppose the Kurds and Azerbaijanis living in the republic served these goals. It was not entirely coincidental when in 1982 a group of Kurdish “representatives” was invited to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Armenia, where they were invited to organize the resettlement of all Kurds of the republic to the Amasiysk district “for the purpose of compact living and cattle herding”. But in fact, the purpose of the resettlement of Kurds to the Amasiysk district was to force compactly settled there the Azeris to leave Armenia. On the other hand, in the future, to use the potential of Muslim Kurds in their own interests as a result of the subsequent Kurdish-Azerbaijani hostility …

But, fortunately, the Kurds, with their natural chivalry, refused this Jesuit Armenian authorities venture and, simultaneously with the Azerbaijanis, they also began to leave Armenia.

According to the information of Armenian electronic media as of June 2009, practically no Muslim Kurds remained in the Republic of Armenia (“there are no Kurds in Armenia”) [36]. And this ethnic cleansing policy will continue with reference to the Yezidi Kurds … Unfortunately, these secret and semi-official Armenian social-nationalist forces, which, long before that, constantly created intrigues and distrust between nations, at the present stage they are openly and officially on behalf of the authorities structures. Back in the early 1950s, not only in Armenia, but also in many other republics of the former USSR, when the foundation of the fortress of “internationalism, friendship and brotherhood of nations” cracked, nationalism flourished illegally under the conditions of “glasshouses” – in the offices of the highest echelons of power.

In the first decades of the Soviets, the Kurds got some opportunities to develop their national culture, language, customs and traditions as in Armenia, so in Azerbaijan and Georgia. The first Kurdish schools, the Kurdish Pedagogical Technical School, the Kurdish State Theater in the Kurdish village Alagyaz were organized in Armenia. The first books in Kurdish for Kurdish elementary schools began to be published. The first Kurdish national staff appeared, the fight for the illiteracy eradication began.

But the cultural spring for the Kurds did not last long. Before and after World War II, all these tiny national institutions were gradually eliminated and the successes of cultural development were negated. Particularly the Armenian Party institutions were concerned about cultural development of the Kurds . First of all, it was from their submission that everything that apply and could contribute to the cultural and national development of the Kurds gradually began to slow down and turn into oblivion:

  • at the end of the forties, was eliminated the Transcaucasian Kurdish Pedagogical College in Yerevan, which trained quite a lot of national professionals. Do you think the Kurds did not need national personnel? Moreover, the lack of teachers was strongly felt in the Kurdish villages. Despite this, many teachers were repressed and shot.
  • The Alagyaz Kurdish National State Theater, which was organized in 1937, was liquidated in the early 1950s. The author of the book “Notes on the history of Azerbaijani and Kurdish theaters in Armenia” Grayr Ovakimyan writes: “The Alagyaz Kurdish state, national theater” in the first five-year plan of its existence (1937-1941) achieved great creative success and became one of the cultural centers of the Kurdish people.” And indeed, it was a symbol of the rebirth of the culture of the Kurdish people. For the ten years of its existence, the theater has played an extremely important role in the development of our national culture. The theater enjoyed great recognition, popularity, love and success both among the Kurds and among the Armenian population of the republic. The theater team at various festivals has repeatedly won prizes.
  • in the Kurdish villages, the hours of teaching and learning the Kurdish language were gradually reduced and brought to a minimum – one hour per week. And this is despite the fact that the number of schoolchildren and home schooling to eliminate illiteracy in the Kurdish environment has constantly increased.
  • After the collapse of the USSR, the newspaper “RYA TEZE”, which was published in Kurdish, ceased to exist. Armenian authorities refused to finance it.
  • The Armenian authorities organized a “Yazidi” radio puppet – a splitting radio station that broadcasts in the same Kurdish language (Kurmanji dialect). In Armenia, the hour and a half schedule of radio programs in the Kurdish language was reduced, leaving only thirty minutes, at the same time they organized two radio stations – Kurdish and “Yezidi”. Who needed two radio stations in one, the Kurdish language, where the same language and music were heard? And if in Armenia the Yezidis were officially recognized as a separate nation, opening a 30-minute radio program for them, for whom does the 30-minute Kurdish radio broadcast if there are no Muslim Kurds in Armenia? What is this chimera for? What rights, principles of morality and considerations guided the Armenian Parliament or who gave it such authority to try to split the united Kurdish people into Kurds and Yezidis?

Among the Armenians there are Gregorians and Catholics-Franks. And “dialects sometimes differed more than Slavic languages differed” [37]. And what, all of them are different nations?

And what is behind this unfriendly act of Armenia in relation to the Kurdish people? And this an artificial separation of the Yezidis from the Kurdish environment and their recognition as the “Ezdian nation”, what gave it to the “Yazidi people” itself in Armenia, except a potential role of the fifth column for the entire Kurdish people? Is this the hidden plans of the Armenian leadership?

If Armenia, taking into account the highest Armenian interests, decided to recognize the nation as a Yazidi, they would be logical, then the next step would be to recognize the Yezidis as the second nation or people in this country, as is customary in the civilized world. The Yezidi language should be recognized as a second state language, from the state budget should be allocated funds for the development of the language, culture, customs and traditions of this newly minted in the political laboratories of Armenia people. In all schools and universities in parallel with the Armenian and foreign languages, should study the “Yezdian language.” Parliamentary quotas for Yezidis should be allocated in the Armenian Parliament, it’s time to start discussing the issue of granting autonomy to the Yezidis with all its attributes. For example, in the 111-seat Kurdistan Parliament in northern Iraq, seats were given to national minorities, including one mandate for Armenians. Of course, we are pleased and wholeheartedly congratulate the deputy of the Kurdistan Parliament Mr. Aram Shahin-Bakoyan, who represents the 2,000th Armenian diaspora of Kurdistan [38]. This step is an indicator of the tolerance of the Kurdish people and the level of development of democracy in the Kurdish public. In this regard, the question arises: why for more than 60 thousand “Yazidi people” living in the Republic of Armenia they can’t find at least one deputy seat … Or has Armenian democracy not reached this level yet?

Armenians have always sought, through the ethnic cleansing, to expand their “vital territories” at the expense of their neighbors, including the Kurds. It is not by chance that the Armenian ruling circles, historians and politicians at the official state level declare the Kurds as an ethnic group posing a threat to the “Armenian national interests”. Therefore, to talk about the “Kurdish autonomy” in Armenia neither in the past nor in the even distant future is best passed over in silence. The Karabakh conflict was a convenient opportunity to expel all Kurds (30 thousand Muslim Kurds and 60 thousand Yezidi Kurds) from Armenia [39]. Currently, in this mono-ethnic republic, there are actually no Muslim Kurds left, but there are a couple of tens of thousands of Yezidi Kurds left. And in order to get rid of them, for example, during the privatization of pastures in the mountains, the Kurds were simply removed from this process and pastures were given exclusively to ethnic Armenians who don’t even know the paths to these mountain pastures. Back in the seventies, at the request of a secretary of the RK KP of the Masis region of a certain Saakyan,  all sheep and property of one Kurdish Yezid Ozmanyan Slo Dadoyevich from the village of Aha-Hamzalu [40] of the Masis region were confiscated. During the trial, the judge asks Slo: “What is your name?” He answers – “Previously, the name was Slo, but now have I become Khachik?”. The judge asks in bewilderment: “How? Why Khachik? “It’s very simple!” Says Slo, “When Yezid Slo has no sheep, there is no “Willys” car [41], there is no horse for Slo to roam on “Zozans” (i.e. pastures) and sing vocally, so Slo will automatically turn into Armenian Khachik!” And it has come to this…

 

What goals did the Armenian elite pursue and pursue now, recognizing the Yezidis as separate from the Kurds “nation”?

 

Of course, the main goal of the Armenian authorities is not to recognize the “Ezdian nation”, but to divide the unified Kurdish ethnic group into Yezidis (by faith) and Kurds (although most are Muslim, but they are not called Muslims) with far-reaching plans and this is just a disguise of their devious designs. And the main goal is the assimilation of the Yezidis, who are already considered as Armenians. By building fantastic projects to create “Great Armenia” by ethnic cleansing and assimilation, the Armenians plan to bring the population of the newly-formed Armenian state to 8 million and start “digesting” 1.5 million Kurds. It is predicted that “out of these 1.5 million Kurds, 500 thousand Kurds are purely formal. These are settled Zaza, Yezidis, Alevis and others, forced to position themselves as “Kurds”, many of whom have Armenian roots or a significant percentage of Armenian blood. They will become  Armenians (at the same time maintaining their national identity on an equal footing), as Yezidis in Armenia who are exposed to Khai cultural influence are Armenians”[42]. And Tatul, Armenchik, Spitaktsi Hayko, Ilo and Vle [43], who are popular in Armenia, will be directly involved in this cultural influence. Tatul (Totol), Ilo (Ilo Kashahi) and Vle (Valodeh Ahmad) – Kurds who practice Yazidism, who have to using their songs  inspire “Armenian” roots in Kurds, Yezidi Kurds and Zaza Kurds. Is it not a paranoia, especially when it comes to “crypto-Armenians”?

Armenian historians know not worse (and even better in some matters) than the Kurds themselves the history and the historical path of the Kurdish people. Yes, they know, but they are silent, and not only they are silent, but they are trying in every way to distort and destroy our history. Why are they silent? Many valuable historical materials of the history of the Kurds, are hidden in the “Matenadaran” (the repositories of ancient manuscripts). They know the Kurds very well, because the Armenians are literate people, and they understand that all Kurds before Christianity and Islam confessed Zoroastrianism. But in the Kurdish issue the Armenians are no different from other peoples who divided Kurdistan – Turks, Arabs and Persians. Armenians, like them, use the same methods and means to prove that the Kurds are not autochthons in Front Asia and the Middle East, that in many regions the Kurds appeared much later than these peoples, that the Kurds are not descendants of the Medes, etc. And behind all this is the only goal: to assimilate Muslim Kurds in the Arab, Persian, Turkic masses, Yezidi Kurds among Armenians at any cost, to nullify the Kurdish question and to unhindered seize and assimilate not only Kurdish lands, but also rich customs, traditions, folklore and Kurdish folk arts. The Turks, until recently, wrote about the Kurds as “mountain Turks”, denying the very existence of the Kurdish people and still carry out an assimilation policy. It is for this purpose that the Turkish authorities agreed with the Germans that Germany from Turkey accept the Yezidi Kurds, since the non-Muslim religion of this part of the Kurds was the main obstacle to their assimilation. These evil intentions of the Turks prevented the Kurdish national liberation movement led by the PKK.

And the Armenian nationalists untiringly, sparing no efforts and means, resorting to sophisticated propaganda methods, climb out of their way to prove that the Yezidis are not the Kurds. With the existence of the Kurds, the Turkic dream of “One State, One People” fails. The same can be said about Armenia and Azerbaijan, where the presence of Kurds makes it difficult to talk about a “united nation”. Therefore, in this matter the Armenians are no different from the Turks, Azerbaijanis, Persians and Arabs.

On the other hand, the existence of Kurdistan and the Kurdish people is an insurmountable obstacle for the Armenian schizophrenic illusions and dreams of the so-called “Great Armenia from sea to sea”. It is this myth about “Great Armenia from sea to sea” that poisons the Armenian ethnic and social consciousness, at the same time being a source, a generator of hatred towards the neighboring peoples of the region. That is why the positions of all our neighbors about the Kurdish issue coincide, that is why everyone dreams of our “evaporation”.

That is why the Armenians have outlived the Muslim Kurds from Armenia so that the Yezidi Kurds would be left alone with Armenian nationalism, opening the way to their gradual assimilation.

Let Armenian false historians better take care of their history, let them find out where and when Armenians came to this region, where is their ancestral homeland? And only then let them carry out their plan to divide the Kurdish people according to their religions and dialects into “separate nations”. And more than ever, our people need national unity, cohesion and solidarity. We do not interfere in the others affairs, but we ourselves will not tolerate interference in our history.

Armenians call themselves “Hai”. And how did they get the name of the Armenians? Who were the real Armenians? Did the foreigners say “Armenians” mean the “Hayasa” people or other people? Hayasa are not Aryans. They think that if Muslim Kurds are separated from Yezidi Kurds, we can say and confirm that Muslim Kurds are not the indigenous inhabitants of the Middle East. We live in the twenty-first century, gone are the days when the water was muddied. Armenian “historians” have a long-cherished dream about this and still dreaming, tried and trying, wrote and writing. Yesterday’s tales are not in fashion today. Many people think that later, in the near future, they will write that the Yezidis are “mountain Armenians”, following the example of the Turks (Kurds are “mountain Turks”), they will write that the Yezidis were “Armenian Yezidi tribe”, were assimilated by Kurds who were engaged in animal husbandry and composed Armenian folk songs and melodies in Kurdish.

The round dance song “Lurke-Lurke”, the songs “Oh Naze”, “Nazo” are very popular among all the Kurdish people, like wedding and lullaby songs. They were sung both in the Kurmanji dialect and in the Sorani dialect, and they were first broadcast on the Iranian Kurdish radio station from “Qasre Shirin” and “Voice of Kermanshah” and then on the Iraqi Kurdish radio station “Voice of Baghdad”. Our Yerevan radio station also decided to record these songs for reuse. These songs were prepared for the Kurdish singer Saide Slo (construction engineer by profession) from the village of Barozh, Talin district of Armenia. His voice for performing folk wedding songs was unmatched. As Hovhannes Badalyan was a famous singer of Armenia and a friend of our people, at his request the song “Oh Naze” and several other songs were given to him to sing, as a sign of friendship and respect. O. Badalyan sings several more Kurdish songs with a chorus. By the way, for each recorded song he was paid a huge fee, compared to others. For example, H. Badalyan, as an Honored Artist of the Armenian SSR, received 450-500 rubles in remuneration for performing each Kurdish song, but our Kurdish performers received only 120-150 rubles (this was the monthly normal salary) and in the sixties it was a lot of money. There was such a curious case: at one of the meetings of the “Artistic Council” they discussed new recordings (performance) of Kurdish songs, including songs performed by H. Badalyan. Head of the Kurdish-language program department Khalil Muradov  requested the famous Armenian singer Ophelia Ambartsumian: “Ophelia! Maybe you, like Hovhannes Badalyan, also perform a few Kurdish songs? ” In the presence of all the members of the “Arts Council”, Ophelia answered with irritation: “Poof! I will not sing in this dirty language in my entire life!”. Immediately an angry Kurdish writer Jasme Jalil sharply replied to her: “Ophic, in Kurdish language sang such great singers as Komitas, Hovhannes Badalyan, and you and your dirty mouth, like a stable, are not worthy of sweet and tender Kurdish words!”. Today, Armenians write that these songs are Armenian. These naive thieves do not know that very well-known musicians, writers and art historians of Armenia were members of the “Arts Council” at the State Radio and Television of Armenia. None of them even thought or hinted that these songs were “not Kurdish,” because not all of them were charlatans. The song “Lurke-Lurke”, which means “Wiggle-wiggle”, a lullaby that means swaying a child, says “Luri lawo” “Sleep, sleep, son…”. If you heard Sasunian Armenians grieving, or cradling children in Kurdish, you would be stunned. There is such an Armenian wordplay, they say: “Krdi LaMuk – Hayi Manuk”, but in reality it should be “krdi lawk — hayi manuk”. In both languages, these words mean baby, child. Armenians in chants (in rare cases in the Armenian language) never say “Manuk”, always use the Kurdish word “Lao”, the correct form of the word is “Lawo”. These arguments, at first glance, seem insignificant, but they are very important for a precise definition of who is who, and what each of them gave, what it claims to be and for what purpose. Or a Kurdish man, calling his wife, says Lele Naze, means a woman Naze, and a Kurdish woman calls her husband like that; Lolo Heso, which means the man Heso.

hat is why Armenians wrote and writing that the Kurds came to the territory of Turkish Kurdistan all the way in the 11th – 12th centuries together with the Turks. The Kurds have such an old saying: “They say once the clay tureen said:“ My bottom is made of gold! ”, And in response the ladle says:“ I will mix your bottom, I know that it is not gold, but decrepit clay”. The Armenians themselves are well aware that “tsovits-tsov Hayastan” (“Armenia from sea to sea”) never existed. In an elementary mathematical way, it is possible to predict the approximate growth of the world’s population over the centuries. If now the number of Armenians is not more than 7 million, at the beginning of the twentieth century there were not more than 3 million, how many were two, two and a half thousand years ago? And even if the number of hayas is admitted in the amount of 100 thousand, then for every 10 thousand sq.m. the territory claimed by Armenians (“Armenia from sea to sea”) would live only one Hayas (Armenians). Is it possible to believe the tales that people with such a small number are able to create a state “from sea to sea” and even be able to defend it? That is why Hayases (Armenians)  have no stomach for  the Kurds. They are trying by any means to show, prove, convince others that the Kurds are non-indigenous people of Mesopotamia. And only for this purpose in Armenia “created” a new nation  represented by Kurds, professing Yezidism. The Yezidi Kurds living in the Ararat valley, who acted in concert with the Armenians, were opposed to the Muslim Kurds. Practically, from 1988 to 1993 almost 99.9% of Muslim Kurds and more than half of the Yezidi Kurds left Armenia and moved to Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Western Europe, the United States and even Australia. If the notorious plan of the Dashnaktsutyun party at the end of the nineteenth century “Armenia for Armenians only” did not work and the Armenians had the opposite effect (“Armenia without Armenians”), this time everything went according to the plan and the Armenians achieved their ethnic cleansing goals: Armenia completely expelled the Muslim Kurds and Azerbaijanis. Even Kurdish cemeteries were bulldozed and wiped out. How can this action be interpreted, if not as vandalism? At the end of the seventies, almost 100,000 Kurds lived in Armenia, and perhaps about 20,000, twenty-five thousand a most Yezidi Kurds  live in Armenia today, and these unfortunate people have no time for ethnic self-consciousness. Each of them only thinks of how to feed the family and survive in this homogeneous and monochrome country. In the South (Iraqi part), 2,000 Armenians live in Kurdistan, and the Kurds in the Kurdistan Parliament gave them one deputy mandate, and there are no Kurds in the Armenian parliament, not even “their own Yezidi”. The splitting and unfriendly policy of the rulers of Armenia in the last years of the Soviets, and the policy of the government of modern Armenia that has replaced it regarding our people, continues openly and cynically. Under the direct cover of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Armenia, the Council of Ministers, the Supreme Council, law enforcement agencies, since 1987 there has been an “Anti-Kurd Committee”. Today this committee also exists, but in a different capacity. I knew that this group was directly supervised by the First Secretary of the Myasnikyan RK KP of Armenia, Muradyan, who, as the Head of the Reception of the Supreme Council of the Armenian SSR, continued to lead this committee. In the same 1990, when the Armenian anti-Kurdish campaign reached its apogee, Kurdish houses were burned, openly distributed anti-Kurdish leaflets, at our urgent request, our delegation, consisting of 9 people, met with the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Armenia Movsesian. At this meeting we finally understood and saw for ourselves that there are certain anti-Kurdish forces and what goals they are pursuing. Right after the meeting, right on the protected territory of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Armenia, Armenians provoked a fight and beat our delegation. Everything has already become clear: if you want to stay alive, then – “the suitcase – then the station”…

After the collapse of the USSR, almost all the Yezidis in Armenia became hostages of fate. They are powerless, helpless and are not the masters of their own destiny and, as a community, they do not represent anything. Today, both hands of Armenians are untied, and they act as they want with the Yezidis. Even in a dream, these Armenian nationalists could not have dreamed that these Kurdish rich customs, traditions, folk art, songs, music, and folklore would remain “without a master and without protection,” and they can put their hands there. But they clearly miscalculated – this wealth has owners in the person of the Kurdish people themselves.

As I noted at the beginning, there are certain circles in Armenia that are trying to appropriate the Kurdish national customs, traditions, music, folklore.

In the late fifties, early sixties, nationalism in Armenia finally took over. The nationalist trend intensified especially during the years of Zarobian’s reign as the first secretary of the Communist Party of Armenia Central Committee. It was  under his leadership in Armenia that relations between Armenians and Kurds deteriorated, becoming more complex. With the direct and open support of Zarobian in the republic, the anti-Kurdish tendency intensified. The period of moral, political and economic oppression of the republic’s Kurdish population began. We, the Kurds, almost every day, every hour, felt a discriminatory policy of the authorities towards our people. We, the Kurds, were put in such an  unenviable situation that we were not only ashamed, but also afraid to speak our native language. When the Kurds spoke their native language, our thousand-year-old neighbors, Armenians, were asking with amazement: “What language do you speak?”. As if they did not know what language we speak. Of course, the answer was exactly and unequivocally – in English. It’s not funny, but a nightmare – just as offensive, as annoying. Everywhere we felt terrible moral pressure towards ourselves. In the late eighties, the Kurds stopped speaking the native language on the streets of Yerevan, it was already very dangerous. I remember my student years, when European Western music was in fashion, our classmates, and in general Armenian youth laughed at us – Kurdish students and young people because of our Kurdish songs, as old-fashioned, for which there were often quarrels between us, students. And today, these our “old-fashioned” Kurdish songs not only became popular, but many have already turned out to be “Armenian”…

It was at the beginning of the sixties that the Kurds in Armenia were artificially divided into two parts according to religious and confessional grounds – Yezidi Kurds and  Muslim Kurds. I myself remember very well that before this, in the Kurdish environment, the word “ezdi” (“Yezid”) was very rare, only during religious rituals was used. In the mid-fifties, the State Committee of Broadcasting organized programs only in Kurdish. The radio began its broadcasting with these words “Yerevan hhabar d’da! Em dest b habardana zmane kurmanji d’kn” (“Yerevan speaking! We start our broadcasts in Kurmanji language.” Both Muslim Kurds and Yezidi Kurds did not put a difference between themselves, and everyone considered and now consider themselves Kurds, saying: “Kurd is Kurd.” With its diversity of religion, the Kurdish nation has its common, one God, whom all Kurds call Xude (Xoda). The Kurdish phrase “Ashir Bave Ashireya” means that all of us are from a single father and faith does not determine nationality. Only with the advent of Zaroboyan in the political arena in Armenia an open antikurdish campaign begin. Armenians openly accused the Kurds of involvement in the Armenian genocide. At least two thousand years Kurds and Armenians lived and live in good neighborliness, no national problems existed between them, and suddenly the Kurdish people became involved in the massacre of Armenians? “There have never been examples for the clergy or some fanatics to inflame Kurdish tribes and force them to wage an unjust war with neighboring nations,” wrote in 19th century the great enlightener of the  Armenian people Khachatur Abovyan [44]. Therefore, let the Armenians look for the reason in themselves. In order throw off persecution (“Kurds are enemies of the Armenian people, they, along with the Turks, slaughtered us, Armenians, etc.”), Kurds of the Yezidi religion since 1962, at first whispered that we were Yezidis, because they knew it was a shame to  renounce their nationality, but then the word “Yezidi” came into use by the Yezidi Kurds. And this, despite the fact that there is a unified Kurdish people and all religions and religious trends – Alawi, Yezidism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Shabak, etc., all this is a floral bouquet of Kurdistan, emphasizing the degree of its spiritual wealth, ancientness and tolerance.

The Armenians, taking advantage of the widespread diaspora and extensive network of media, loyalty to them from the Christian peoples, highlighting the tragic events of the late XIX – early XX centuries presented information about their millennial neighbors-kurds in a completely different light, blaming them almost the main accomplice of the Turkish crimes. And the Kurds, at that time without having neither the media nor the diasporas, couldn’t bring objective information about the current state of affairs to the world community.

Today, the whole world knows that one of the main perpetrators of the tragedy of both nations, along with the Turks, were the Western imperialist colonial powers. With their consent, silence and approval, the Turks cruelly acted with the Kurds and Armenians, their peaceful coexistence brought to the confrontation. In the assessment of the Armenian-Kurdish relations, the trouble is that Armenian nationalists suffer from delusions of exclusivity, rave about the special missionary role of Armenians in history, they believe that only they are good, smart. From here they have the developed psychology of the “surrounded fortress”. They do not see anything good in their neighbors except the bad, the negative. Let’s remember together where and when the Armenians wrote that at least one neighboring nation is a good, friendly people. I have not met with such statements. For example: Russia has done so much good for the Armenian people that the Armenians themselves have not even dreamed of. It was Russia that saved the Armenians from the final massacre, millions were saved, they created a republic, provided and are providing comprehensive assistance. But it turns out even the Russians are bad. In the early nineties at rallies, the Armenians shouted that “Russians are like sheeps, who are they to lead us! We are the most intelligent people. They gave us nothing, only robbed our wealth! Only with the sale of our mineral water, we will live in paradise!”.

Well, it can not be that all the neighboring nations are bad, and only the Armenians themselves are so good.

Armenians live among other nations and feel good in accordance with the Armenian proverb: “Vorteh hatc, einteh kats” (that is, “where there is bread, live there”). At the same time, they don’t want other nations to live in their midst according to their cannibal slogan “Armenia is only for Armenians”. After such a hateful, hostile policy towards other peoples, of course, the Yezidi Kurds,  to the detriment of their national interests, are forced, with thier teeth clenched, to endure and submit to Armenian arbitrariness. And where should they go? Therefore, the anti-Kurdish policy in Armenia by no aspects concedes to Turkish. I myself have witnessed many times when one Armenian, if he wanted to insult, humiliate an interlocutor, says: “What, are you a Turk or a Kurd?” Even children who were just beginning to talk, perceive the words Turk or Kurd as an “enemy”. Is this the Armenian way to foster patriotism? And who will these children become tomorrow? Will they be able to respect the Kurds or other peoples adjacent to the Armenians? After this, how can a Kurd-Yezidi call themselves a Kurd in Armenia? The word “Yezid” for the Kurds of Armenia is a kind of “body armor.” This is the spiritual genocide. It is for these reasons that the Yezidi Kurds ceased to consider themselves Kurds, since the word “Kurd” in Armenia meant “Muslim”, that is, “enemy”. Armenians created such an atmosphere of public opinion that the Yezidis were forced to say that they were not Kurds. But Komitas, the famous Kurdish-Armenian composer, himself an Armenian by nationality, did not think so. He was a great internationalist and for many years engaged in the collection and improvisation of Kurdish songs, was friends with many Kurds, was a friend of the Usub Bek family, the leader of the famous Yezidism professing Kurdish tribe “Hasnia”. The subject on the presentation of the Komitas’s dissertation in Paris was improvisation of thirteen Kurdish songs. Why precisely Kurdish, not Armenian? Komitas, as a specialist, and the first composer among Armenians and Kurds, knew that there were no such Armenian songs equal in content, poetry and musicality to Kurdish, and therefore he chose Kurdish songs. Did he love the Kurds more than Armenians? Of course not. Probably Komitas would  like to improvise his Armenian national songs, but he did not find any in 1840. “Woe betide you, Armenian people! – exclaims Komitas. – You are all recognized as a distinctive nation. You have your language and are able to speak; you have a brain and you think … But only a heart capable of feeling, you have not your own: it turns out to be Syrian-Byzantine, Indo-Persian… ” Komitas would never be Komitas if there were no Kurdish music and Kurdish folk songs. Armenians have never had their own distinctive and independent music, about which the Great Russian composer Arseny Koreshenko wrote in one newspaper: “Armenians have learned Kurdish and Persian singing perfectly. Everything, nowadays perceived as Armenian, actually does not belong to the Armenians, but is a product of borrowing from other nationalities.” A great Armenian musician Makar Ekmalyan in the preface to his work “Pataraga” announces: “Armenian music is part of Iranian-Kurdish-Arabic music”.

The great son of the Armenian people, the Armenian enlightener, ethnographer, philosopher, founder of the Armenian literary language “Ashkharabar”, author of the novel “Verk Hayastani” (“Wounds of Armenia”) Khachatur Abovyan writes: “The folk poetry of the Kurds made amazing steps and achieved possible perfection. Every Kurd, even every Kurdish woman, are an innate poets at their heart. All of them possess an amazing gift of improvisation, it would be hastily to demand from the nomadic people harmonious poetic creations, elegant paintings and rhetorical decorations of speech…” [45].

With a heavy heart, Khachatur Abovian also writes about his own Armenian people: “Unfortunately, I must note here that the Armenians, my compatriots, are far behind the Kurds in this regard, despite the fact that they have benefited from the education and therefore can boast of the great development of spiritual life in front of all Asian nations, especially their neighbors (with reference to the Kurds – A.I.). We do not have folk poetry, because all our folk songs and legends were composed and are now composed in Tatar (that is, in the Turkic language – I.A.)” [46]. In the 30s ХХ century Armenian cultural activist Vaganyan wrote that “…Take the Kurds. But still, the Kurds would be able to contribute to the international proletarian ideas collection, a contribution of tremendous value for the working people, for communism. If Kurds couldn’t contribute anything other than their bellicose songs, fighting motives, if they couldn’t contribute anything more than their infinitely picturesque dances, then this would be an excellent contribution to the international proletarian store of ideas. This is truly folk art – songs and dances of the Kurds…” [47].

But years later, representatives of the new generation of Armenian “seekers” suddenly began to find their folk poetry in Kurdish folklore, and Kurdish folk art became a treasure for contemporary cultural scientists from Armenia.

As Armenian contemporary researcher Armen Davtyan writes: “Armenian rural dances of the 40-50s differed from Georgian and Azerbaijani sometimes less than among themselves… The only female dance was called “Bouquet”. He was, as it turned out, Turkish. Male ensembles danced Georgian “shalakho” and two Moldavian dances – “moldavanka” and “bulegeryasku so zhukem”. The whole repertoire was limited by this. Is it not surprising that the people of Yerevan did not even know about the existence of a dance, which will then be called simply “Armenian dance”?

In the 60s, an amazing thing happened. One would like to say: “Where did that huge richness that we saw in the 60s suddenly come from?”… Over the decade of the 60s, Armenians were owners of hundreds of old and new Armenian songs… Meanwhile, the mechanism of this cultural phenomenon were not hidden from the eye. It was based on exactly that Yerevan residents “cultural enthusiasm” of 60s, who in the process of adaptation to city life with might and main sought, restored, and even composed “ancient Armenian traditions”. The part of the intellectuals that dealt with real history and ethnography played a role in this process. Just as the “Poet in Russia is more than a poet,” in Armenia it is a historian more than a historian!” [48].

Isn’t it amazing? Such a renaissance of Armenian culture, folklore (songs and dances), so surprisingly coinciding with the arrival of more than 130 thousand Kurdish-speaking repatriates in the 60s in Armenia.

In this way, Armenians, all of a sudden, “their national songs and dances” were not only “found” in Kurdish folklore, but even began to prove the opposite, that this is not Kurdish, but the actual “native Armenian”, since in “Great Armenia from Sea to Sea”- everything is Armenian and all that is within its borders belonged to Armenians. Probably, that day is not far when Armenians begin to substantiate that the Kurdish language is the old Armenian language, because there are a thousand Kurdish roots in the Armenian language. Afterwards the Armenians switched to the “Grabar” language and in the middle of the nineteenth century, when Khachatur Abovyan created a new Armenian literary language (“Ashkharabar”), they switched to this literary language, sending their old language to the shelves of the archive.

The impudence and cynicism of plagiarism of Armenian cultural figures, who claim with the example of Kurdish dances, that “Many people find something special in Armenian dances, in their passion, refinement and eloquence,” [49] knows no boundaries. At the same time, without any morality in their defence, in order to squeeze out an opponent’s sympathy, they cruelly exploit the tragedy of their people, justifying themselves by saying that “Armenians have lost their songs and dances because of the genocide”. Well, how can you lose the spiritual values, which the people themselves carry? These values are not a material thing (church, houses, bridges, fortresses, carpets, gold, etc.) to drop, lose somewhere or forget in a wardrobe… Did leaving their homes, the Armenians also left their songs and dances on the ruins and ashes of their homes? But even before that, in 1840, Kh. Abovyan wrote with regret that we, the Armenians, do not have folk poetry. And his modern descendants based on Kurdish folklore “are striving to revive their ethnic uniqueness through dance and music. In addition, they are often very successfully exported around the world to international folk dance groups” [50]. Yes, we know very well that in Armenia there are several dance schools that study Kurdish dances, driven to the professionalism and, as Armenian dances, are presented them to the foreign Armenian diaspora and the outside world. Immigrants, especially the younger generation, with an overwhelming sense of nostalgia, not knowing the true state of affairs, perceive them as “Armenian dances” and this is considered one of the forms of their patriotic education.

The absolute majority of Armenians know well that these dances are Kurdish, but they are silent, they think it’s good that we are stealing so professionally… Armenians, propagandizing Kurdish folklore as “Armenian”, don’t even wonder why the names of songs, dances and musical instruments are Kurdish names, not Armenian ones.

Even Komitas, processing and improvising Kurdish songs with high skill, did not hide the fact they are based on Kurdish ones. This testifies to his greatness and decency as a true musician. And today, his followers Kurdish improvisation “Dlo, yaman” [51] (“Insidious heart”), posing as Armenian, cannot even know what the name of this song means. True, the translated in Armenian text feels the sweetness of Kurdish music and the spirit of the Kurdish people, although it sounds not bad in Armenian, but the male and female forms are mixed up, because these forms are absent in the Armenian language. For example, the Kurdish text says “Dlo, yaman,” in the Kurdish text, the word dlo is masculine, but in the Armenian translation, “Dle yaman” sounds to be feminine. For this reason, the Armenians themselves still cannot understand for who this song is addressed, although in the song the Kurdish appeal to a woman (“le-le”) remaining without translation indicates that this is unsophisticated song of the shepherd, reproaching his beloved for unanswered love. On the other hand, in the Armenian text, as a result of literal translation, the Armenian expression “Achki khmats” (“Drunk Eyes” and this is about the woman you love? !!!) already indicates the translation character of this song. At present, Armenians deny these facts at all, claiming that this song is “Armenian”, even taking it out to international competition programs, as it was performed by D. Pevtsov and Z. Mgoyan in Russia. At the same time, the name of the song “Dylo, Yaman” cannot be translated by the Armenians and to the question: “What does the name of the song mean?” – utter a bald-faced lie, like: “Oooh! It doesn’t exactly translate! This is an exclamation!!! There is all Armenian sadness in it, which can be understood only after listening this song…”, and same nonsense… But how do you perform the “Armenian folk song”, the name of which is not able to translate?

There are many specific subtleties of the Kurdish language, transitional moments, due to which any Kurd will immediately understand that the performer of a song is not Kurd by nationality. For example, during the massacre of Armenians in 1914-1915, Turkish punishers to determine whether this person was Armenian (most Armenians knew the Kurdish language) or Kurd, asked the question: “If you are a Kurd, say -“ She is my daughter, he is my son and this is my wife.” Armenians have always confused masculine and feminine forms (there is no forms in the Armenian language, which indicates its underdevelopment compared to the Kurdish language), and the Turks more easily determined that this person pretends to be Kurdish, and in fact, is Armenian. Before the tragic events of the early twentieth century, more than 70 percent of Armenians were fluent in Kurdish. This helped the Armenians to escape from the massacre, pretending to be Kurds, as tens of thousands of Armenians were hidden by Kurdish families. But about this, for some reason, Armenian historians forget to write, and they consciously hold back everything good in the history of Kurdish-Armenian relations. But they always write about the Kurds negatively, unfriendly. For example, not a single Armenian historian wrote that the Armenian national hero Andranik was hiding in a Kurdish family in Syria for six months during his escape. But they are eagerly and enthusiastically writing how the Kurds, along with the Turks, participated in the massacre of Armenians. Armenians also fought against the Germans in the ranks of the Red Army and many became heroes, do the Germans have the right to accuse Armenians of extermination of Germans? Definitely not. Why are the Kurds guilty of the deeds of the Turkish authorities? Armenians also suppressed the Kurdish uprisings in the ranks of the Turkish army many times, but nobody blames them for anti-Kurd actions, realizing that they were soldiers of the Ottoman Empire.

The famous Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian in the ballet “Spartak” also used Kurdish melodies and music of the Kurdish dance “Jrid” (“Haide Siyara”), known in the ballet as “Sabre Dance” (A. Khachaturian himself called it “Dance of the Kurdish youth with sabers”). In this ballet, in addition to this dance, a lot of improvised Kurdish music is also used. Aram Khachaturian had the courage to say that he used Kurdish music. But modern Armenian art historians, despite the obvious facts, categorically deny these moments. In phonetics (in Armenian – dzainadarane, although “daran” is Iranian-Kurdish) there was an original melody from the ballet “Spartak”, in the credits of which it was written “Dance of the Kurdish youth with sabers”. I myself was interested and more often I looked at this box and every time I thought when this inscription would disappear. Indeed, after some time, the words “Kurdish youth” were erased.

Anotherclear example: the well-known Armenian writer Hovhannes Shiraz, the beloved Kurdish folk poem “Haja Zare and Siyabande Slivi” translated into Armenian, slightly changing the storyline of the poem. The story of Haja Zare and Siyabande Slivi is taken from real events in Kurdish society. In the poem Haje – the name of a beautiful girl with golden blond hair. In Kurdish, the word zar is golden, yellow; Zere zah is golden brown. Siyabande Slivi, i.e. Siyaband from the Kurdish tribe Slivi. Siyaband (Ziya-bang) is a purely Kurdish name, which means “dragon tamer”, Slivi is the name of the Kurdish tribe Slivi

1.Shiraz changed name Syiaband to Syamanto, and indicated his nationality as “Armenian.” After that, the Armenian media, knowing well that the poem was Kurdish, but still, the Armenian folk poem “Siamanto-Hadzhezare” was written and still is written, and no one even asks the question, but where, in what boondocks of Great Armenia was this “Armenian poem”, which was discovered in the folk environment that did not create it, but at the end of the twentieth century flowed out of H. Shiraz’s ballpoint pen?! Is it not theft?

When a Kurdish writer and a great patriot, the late Jasme Jalil asked Shiraz: “Is this poem “Haj Zare and Siyabande Sliv” – “Armenian”? And H. Shiraz, without blinking an eye, replied: “I deliberately changed Siyabande Slivi to Syamanto and indicated him as an “Armenian” in order to bring together more closely and strengthen the Armenian-Kurdish friendship!” This is the Armenian version of the concept and meaning of “friendship”. Although everyone knew that H. Shiraz openly hated the Kurds and did not even try to hide it. Examples of this kind can be cited forever. I knew many Armenians who were happy, encouraged the theft of cultural values of other nations. They had the feeling that this was a heroic deed, or a battle trophy — so we captured it for ourselves. But there is a very good Kurdish saying: “The legs of theft and immorality are very short!”.

In 1974 I worked as a secretary of the Aragats district Komsomol committee. Once, at an extended meeting of the Bureau of the District Party Committee, where directors of state farms, chairmen of village Soviets and activists were invited, there was a very interesting question. It turned out that the First Secretary of the Aragats RK KP of Armenia, Arutyun Smbatovich Hakobyan, liked the funeral rites of the Kurds. At this meeting, the bureau of the party took a special resolution, which obliged the Armenian residents of the region to adopt this beautiful custom. At the end of his speech, Akopyan added: “Who can prove that the ceremony is not Armenian or that it is Kurdish? What’s the difference? We are neighbors, and many of our customs may be similar. All good things must be accepted and maintained.” Are the national customs, rituals and traditions created by party decrees? It turns out that it was possible in Armenia.

The customs, traditions, music, language and character of each nation have been created and transformed over thousands of years. This is not the story on the papers that some Armenians hint to the Kurds that we allegedly do not have. The real story is the customs, traditions, music, language and character of the host nation.

Our Aragats RK Communist Party of Armenia in its “work” practiced the moral and political destruction of all leading staff of Kurdish nationality. In the Aragats district, this was done with special chic. It was decided to release by the decision of the district party Bureau the already isolated Kurdish party and economic personnel from their positions with binding wording: “Do not trust leading positions in the future.”

The goal was clear: remove the Kurdish cadres from the political arena and morally behead the Kurds? Was such an interpretation a coincidence? No, it was part of the policy of further assimilation of the Kurds. Such tactics were planned and confirmed in the highest echelons of power. It was a purposeful, day-to-day, carefully planned and disguised policy of cultural genocide against our people. The word “genocide” is understood by many as the physical extermination of a people, for example, how the Turks destroyed Armenians. The moral and spiritual genocide is worse than all the existing anti-human acts. Why did they do this to Kurdish staff? At the beginning of the WWII in Armenia several districts were liquidated, but for some reason in 1973 all of them were restored with their district centers, except for the Alagyaz district with the the village Alagyaz as a district center. Is it because of the fact that all the residents of the village of Alagyaz and a dozen of other settlements were Kurds? It was also one of the ways to get rid of local Kurdish personnel.

The village of Tsakhkahovit was made a regional center, far from the main road, at an impasse, at the foot of Aragats mountain, without any communications. Even the Armenian population of the Alagyaz district called for the village Alagyaz to become a district center, as it was before. People in positions of power determined that if the Kurds are demanding a district now, tomorrow they will demand autonomy. Then the real repression began – the hunt for the Kurdish personnel and the Kurdish intellectuals.

Uncovered Armenian nationalism even forced the USSR party leadership in the face of the Central Committee of the CPSU in the 70s to take a special resolution on the admissions and manifestations of nationalism by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Armenia. But, made some noise and forgot.

During the 16 years of existence, the new district center, the village Tsakhkahovit was not have time to be build, the USSR and Armenia, and the Aragats region collapsed. In this region and the republic people was and still are hungry. Like in a fairy tale. “Again, the old man and the old woman remained still in the same hole.”…

Thus, in the early 1950s, Armenia gradually and purposefully began to pursue a  policy of infringement the Kurds, depriving them of all rights and further their spiritual and moral destruction. What good did the Kurds have in Armenia?

Right after the establishment of the Soviets in the Transcaucasus, including Armenia, some cultural structures and conditions were created for the propaganda of the Soviet ideology in Kurdish. Then it was presented as Kurdish institutions, although in content there was nothing Kurdish there, except for a skilful screen. But we, the Kurds, were glad even for this, because we had nothing national. The newspaper “RYA T’EZE”, the organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Armenia, the Supreme Council and the Council of Ministers of the Armenian SSR, has been published for more than half a century. If today we turn over the pages of this “Kurdish newspaper”, we will absolutely learn nothing about the life and activities of the Kurds in Armenia, except for animal husbandry. Most likely, it was the party agricultural messenger.

At the Academy of Sciences of the Armenian SSR was the Institute of Oriental Studies, where there was also a department of Kurdology, Iranology, Turkic studies, etc. It is interesting that this department of Kurdology has not prepared a single Kurdish national staff during its existence. Therefore, it is not surprising that not a single document that leaves the walls of this department reflects the real situation of the Kurdish people and their struggle for freedom and independence, their history. All “scientific” materials had to comply with the foreign and domestic policies of the USSR and the Armenian SSR, and it was directed against the aspirations and expectations of the Kurdish people. In fact, there was nothing Kurdish there, and a well-thought-out mock of national politics was created as a distraction. It was a policy of delusion.

At the  Main edition of broadcasting office of the USSR Gosteleradio, the Main Editorial Office of the international broadcasting was organized in Yerevan, where they broadcasted in various languages, including Kurdish, Arabic, Persian and Turkish. “Kurdish Radio” in the full sense of the word never existed. Today such radio stations exist in the USA, Russia and Iran. Are they Kurdish? No, they belong to these states, and each of them promotes the policies of it state. Today, the Kurdish music fund has been illegally transferred to Armenian radio. Probably, in order for the Armenians to finally looted the entire Kurdish music fund, and they are great masters of this business and carry out this activity on a large scale, “in Stakhanov style”. After the entire fund will be “recycled,” then it will be simply utilized. For this, they have already prepared in advance both the arguments and the reasons.

In the Office of the Union of Writers of Armenia was the Kurdish department, and the circulation of materials recommended for publication was limited to a very minimum  and, besides, it was under the strict control of Glavlit and not only it. This department had such a scanty fund that its distribution turned into a subject of fights and intrigues, sometimes reaching hand-to-hand combat between individual authors of books. This pitiful fund was distributed not according to its merit, but through an acquaintance. On this occasion, then still a young employee of the newspaper “Rya Taza”, the future Academician, doctor, professor, Sharaf Ashiri wrote his famous

humoresque “Gazgazk” (“Nettle”), where he wrote that “Mala nviskara hevdu dane ber dara” (“In the House of the Writers Union” they were fencing with the sticks”). This artificial restriction pursued the sole purpose of pushing the Kurds away from their spiritual culture. This is what the Kurds “had” in Armenia.

Of course, “there are bad apples in the bunch….”. But in Armenia there are enough normal and decent people, real patriots. I myself often heard from many people about how they accused these thieves. It is enough to look through the Armenian press of the seventies and eighties, especially the newspaper “Grakan Tert” (“Literary Newspaper”), where the best representatives of the Armenian intellectuals, art historians, composers, speaking in the press, criticized these thieves and pirates. They are supporters of purely Armenian music, protect their national dignity, openly and harshly criticizing all those who stole Kurdish music, customs, traditions and folklore. One day, speaking at a meeting of the “Arts Council”, the editor-in-chief of radio programs for “Spyurka” (“Diaspora”) Sarkis Muradyan and the chief editor of the broadcasting Rafik Abalyan in the presence of the deputy chairman of the State TV and Radio Broadcasting Committee Shegen Taturyan, expressing their disagreement and dissatisfaction with the theft of Kurdish songs and dances, ironically remarked: “If the internationalization of Kurdish songs and melodies goes on like this, soon all of us Armenians will sing Kurdish songs! And who will pay us the fee then?”

I repeat once again, honest and decent Armenians do not like it. It should be noted that the thieves have their fans and patrons not only at the highest levels of government, but also among the so-called Armenian intellectuals. It is these forces and groups with a definite purpose systematically carried out and are pursuing an anti-Kurdish, predatory, humiliating assimilation policy.

I was still a student when the head of the Kurdish language program department, the late Muradov Khalil Chachanovich in 1967 offered me a job as a music editor for the Kurdish department. My joy knew no bounds. First of all, it was necessary to sort and classify Kurdish music by genres and their authors, to restore order in the record  library (music store), where 1676 songs were collected, more than 200 instrumental works (zurna (surnay), may (nay), blur, fiq, tutk, daol and daf), more than 25 radio compositions recorded at different times. Not even once was there a hint that some  of Kurdish music or song stored in the fund are Armenian. And it is true that all our Armenian colleagues admired Kurdish music. I should note that all these songs,  dances, melodies, and radio compositions were taken for repeated use as stock records after  vibrant discussions and debates, approval and decisions of the “Art Council”.  And each time the newly recorded works were accepted into the fund only by the decision of the “Arts Council”, and only after arrival to the radio (record library) fund, the fee was paid. I also remember such a case: once a complaint was made by several Armenian radio listeners at the “Arts Council”, “why we are voicing a song about the legendary Bshar Chato” – a song about the act of the Kurd Bshar Chato, the real person of the end of the 18th-beginning of the 19th centuries. After long debates and detailed discussions, the commission decided not to destroy this song. But many of our songs and melodies were written off due to “low technical quality”. And our radio compositions, each of which is a masterpiece of Kurdish folk art, have never been heard in the history of the Soviet period in the last 20 years. Compositions lasting from 30 to 90 minutes cannot be voiced because the Kurdish radio is on the air only 30 minutes a day.

As noted above, in the early seventies, a real hunt for Kurdish songs and music began. Different groups of Armenian musicians-speculators appeared and improvised Kurdish music. From a bouquet of Kurdish melodies they created something like a sport dances and presented them as Armenian. Every nation has its own specific beat in the music. And Kurdish music is not an exception. It impossible that different nations can create the same beat. Even the Kurdish and Persian bars are different, despite the fact that both peoples are related and for several millennia live in close proximity and practically lead the same way of life. How can a melody or dance be considered national when the people themselves cannot dance to the rhythms of this music? All those Kurdish dances that our Armenian friends stole and call Armenian, an ordinary Armenian cannot dance. These dances can not be considered folk or national, because the people did not compose them. When we indignantly told the Armenians that this is our music and a dance is Kurdish, the answer was very laconic: “You can’t prove it!”. And they added: “We have every opportunity to show and demonstrate to the whole world before you that these melodies and songs are “Armenian.” Moreover, we have already convinced the whole world that “Armenians are the most ancient people and descendants of Noah!”. After that, you can no longer convince anyone of the opposite, because the world does not know you, you have neither history nor opportunity, no one knows who the Kurds are.” This is one of the many reasons for Armenians to liquidate the Alagyaz Kurdish State Theater and all other Kurdish tiny cultural organizations.

But today, Armenian dance groups engaged in the study and performance of Kurdish songs, dances and melodies have attacked our material and spiritual values in a wide front, they capture and export it very professionally all over the world. Among them are the Kurdish folk dances “Tanzara” (Armenian “Tamzara”), “Papure” (“Pompooreg”), “Gorani”, “Lurke-Lurke” and others. Armenians do not even know what these names mean, but stubbornly claim them.

We must pay tribute to the Armenians. They even manage to engage world famous professionals in their venture. It was  with the filing of Leyla Saribekyan and her uncle that Igor Moiseyev included four Kurdish dances under the general name “Mainuki” – that is, “Naynoke”, as part of “Dances of the World”, representing them as “Armenian-Kurdish suite”?!

At the Kurdish wedding, when it’s time to take the bride out of the house and put her on a horse (now on the car) to go to the groom’s house, dance music called “Neynik” (“Neynoke”) is played, which, depending on the age of the dancers, can be slow or a bit paced. On the other hand, the sounds of the melody “Neynik” (“Neynoke”) are a kind of warning for the indoor bride to complete the final preparations and for parting with loved ones, and for guests invited to the wedding, it is a signal to prepare to saddle their horses or build a wedding procession. When close friends while holding the bride accompany her from the room to the horse or car, someone from the bridegroom’s relatives always goes with the mirror in their hands in front of the bride, thereby protecting the bride from evil eyes and other evil spirits as if by mirror reflection. Therefore, the name of the dance in Kurdish means “Mirror” (“Neynik”, “Neynoke”), which the Armenians have redefined into the “Maynuki” meaning nothing in Armenian!? Even the distorted Kurdish Naynoke into the incomprehensible “Maynuki” indicates that the Armenians confused the masculine and feminine forms. On the other hand, did anyone hear about similar hybrid names for dances, such as Armenian-Russian (-Georgian, -Greek, -French, etc.) suite? But Armenians in this regard, a very talented people and they successfully implement it. And so in an unseemly way, the Kurdish dance “Neynoke” turned into an incomprehensible “Armenian-Kurdish” “Maynuki”…

I remembered one case. In 1988, the days of the Azerbaijan SSR in Afghanistan were held in Afghanistan (Kabul), at the National Cultures Center of the USSR (NCC USSR). It was terribly boring in a foreign land, far from home, because we were compatriots. I decided to see the Azerbaijan exhibition and concert. I was surprised that the concert program was mainly composed of Kurdish melodies. I invited a representative of Azerbaijan to the USSR Embassy and said that your artists perform Kurdish melodies and offered them the following: “When performing Kurdish music, you must declare that it is Kurdish, or we will not allow such concerts in the future.” This fellow chose the first. This decision was right and honest.

The list of “The World Nations Dances” as an Azerbaijani folk dance includes the Kurdish folk dance under the distorted name “Desmoly”. The correct Kurdish name of the dance is “Dastmale”, consisting of two words: dast – hand, male, malina, bmalina – massage, – for hands, cloth for hands, massage – hand cleaning, (malandn, damalandn, dastmal, navmale, barmale) .

It is very interesting, why are our neighbors – Azerbaijanis and Armenians are always “confused” or maybe very “like” Kurds, that “their songs and melodies” are called with Kurdish names. The Kurds have never asked the missionaries to deal with their music, and there is no need for that. We have our own music and dances, and we are not interested in creating “joint suites” with others. Moreover, such an interest in “joint cooperation” translates into explicit theft of Kurdish music, as we see in the case of the Armenians. Soon from this “Armenian-Kurdish suite”, as planned, there will remain an “Armenian suite”…

Why do Armenians have no suites, joint with Persians, Russians, Arabs, Turks, Georgians? Following the Armenian history, the Armenians from Somkheti (Georgia) coexisted and lived together and even had “joint kings in the person of the Bagratids”, but why do Armenians with Georgians not have such a “musical neighborhood”? It is even impossible to compare the Armenian and Georgian music, so radically differ they one from another…

I was suing one Turkish singer, a certain Burkhan Chachan, because he stole our songs and sang them in Turkish. This romp lasted for three years, but the truth triumphed, I won the process against the Turks. Our Armenian friends should know that every nation has its own drum rhythm. Even two twin brothers differ in both appearance and internal organs. And in this matter with the Armenian friends let our national pride and honor be the judge.

Among the Kurds, the people themselves compose songs and melodies. H. Abovyan, under the charm of Kurdish songs and dances, wrote with admiration: “Every Kurd, even every Kurdish woman, is an innate poets in their soul…” This is the main secret of Kurdish music.

The honor and morality of each nation is estimated by the actions of its intellectuals. Unfortunately, we see the opposite among Armenians: honest, hardworking, with golden hands the Armenian people became hostage to their so-called intellectuals, the source of all their troubles and misfortunes.

The Kurds have a saying: “When you spit in the frog eye, it thinks it is raindrops.” You have to have national pride, dignity and cherish it. What is national honor and dignity? I remember it was in the mid-seventies, when the Armenian State Ensemble on tour in Paris performed Kurdish music and dance, presenting it as Armenian. When the Kurdish intellectuals requested and provided evidence, the French authorities learned that they were performing Kurdish dances. They were forbidden to further performance. The French authorities offered the group, if they agree to declare that the music and dancing are Kurdish, then they will be allowed to continue their tour. Armenian artists shamefully left France. It was proved that the late Kurdish composer of Armenian origin Komitas in France defended his dissertation on the basis of Kurdish songs and melodies.

How Armenians  are trying to steal Kurdish songs, melodies and dances? They choose several rhythmic Kurdish melodies, artificially, with intermediate transitions combine these melodies in one composition, the result is the so-called “multi-layered Armenian dance with a Kurdish character” under a different name, for example: “Ashnakian” or “Sassunian” dances, but only not Armenian folk dances. In terms of their structure, these dances most resemble “Hamburger”, or as Armenians say,

as the dish “Ajamsandal”, the first layer is tomatoes, the second is eggplants, the third layer is potatoes, and at the end a burning melody in the form of hot, hot peppers, to “jump high”.

Why don’t the Armenians call these “Gorissian” or “Lorian” dances? What? Can’t they dance? The casket opens simply: “Ashnakian” or “Sasunian” because they closely contacted with the Kurds, and the Sassuns, if not belonging to the Christian religion, did not differ at all from the Kurdish environment. In the early eighties, I and my best friend, Aramais Tonoyan, worked as editors of the information department of the Main Editors of Information “Lraber”. Aramais Tonoyan, born in Tala district, from the famous Tonoents family. As a sign of respect for a close friend, an honest and beautiful person, I called him Armo in a friendly way, as H. Abovian testifies to this (“Kurds add an ending -o to their names and cut them in half”). As Armo said to me: if you want, we will go to us in Talin, you will see with your own eyes how Kurdish funeral traditions still remain with us. I said, what to do with the “Kurds”?. He was silent with sadness in his eyes, but I did not insist. And I, in order not to offend him inadvertently, did not want to go deep into the heart of the matter. Indeed, to my surprise, when I saw all this, I was in shock. No! I was stunned… Everything in a stack, Kurdish customs. What I was most impressed with is the mourning chants in Kurdish, absolutely everything Kurdish and in Kurdish. At one point, I felt like I am in my own village among my loved ones. I was surprised and could not understand why so far these Sassuns even mourn “in Kurdish” and this despite the fact that Armenians blame Kurds as direct executors of the genocide? The aged people knew the Kurdish language well and respectfully recalled their Kurdish friends and neighbors who remained on the other side of the border. But the young people almost did not understand the Kurdish language, despite the fact that they still used many Kurdish words in everyday life. A singer of Kurdish songs, the late Manuk Snojian lived in the village Ashnaka in the Talin district. At first I thought he was Kurd by nationality, because his surname was Kurdish (from the word Snzh-jita. There is also s.m.e. Snjo), although in Armenian Jita – pshat and accordingly the surname should be like Pshatyan) he was Armenian and perfectly performed Kurdish songs. The Kurds knew him as “dengbej Manuk” (“singer Manuk”). Once I asked the late Manuk Snjoyan: “Do you sing in Armenian too?”, and he replied: “No, we don’t have such songs, we are used to sing Kurdish. Kurdish songs are very lyrical and melodic” and added: “our grandfathers and great-grandfathers also sang Kurdish. Your language is the language of songs.” Karapet Khacho, Davite Hlo, Hovsep and Gevorg, Arame Tigran were Armenians by nationality, but could not speak Armenian properly. They not only spoke excellent Kurdish, but also sang for Kurdish audiences at Kurdish weddings and in Kurdish departments of radio programs. Armenians not only laughed at them, but also treated them with hostility. Armenians did not recognize them as singers, because not only they could not sing in Armenian, they could not even speak purely Armenian, and considered themselves Kurdish singers. In the radio committee, the Armenians hated these people just because they were singing in Kurdish and for Kurds. These people were fluent in Kurdish. They talked in Armenian like that, like an illiterate Kurd speaks Armenian. By the way, the speech of these singers in the semi-literate Armenian language in our archive has been preserved. It is not by chance that many Kurdish scholars recognized Sasunians as the Christian Kurds [52].

I will certainly not be mistaken if I say that almost 90% of Armenians today cannot dance these Kurdish dances, which Armenians call their own. In a twist of fate, I attended Armenian weddings several times, where, as a rule, Caucasian rabiz, (Georgian and Azeri) shalakho, kinturi, dim-dom-dam, rampitaur-dimitaur, etc. usually play.

Kurdish dances that improvise Armenian dance groups or “schools” are not folk. Dances and melodies are created by the people themselves in accordance with their mentality, spiritual needs. If the masses cannot and do not want to dance, it means that this people did not create this dance. These artificially created dances by Armenians, which do not go beyond the Kurdish melodies, are in fact similar to Madame Tussaud’s wax figures or museum exhibits, as they remain alien to a wide section of the Armenian people who don’t want to perceive a foreign culture forcibly imposed to them for political or other reasons.

Among the Armenians, of course, there are true patriots who truly consider all this to be piracy and a national disgrace for the pride and dignity of their own people. But there’s only a handful of such people, otherwise we would have heard their voices. Recently, on Armenian television under the heading “Armenian customs” was showed “Armenian Wedding”. One-to-one, all the Kurdish wedding, its rituals and customs were copied. Wow, what a cynicism. Until now, the Armenians did not play their weddings according to Kurdish customs, but most likely according to Azerbaijani and Georgian, and why they suddenly remembered that these were not Kurdish, but Armenian national customs, and “accidentally confirming evidence of this Armenian custom was found during the excavation of a cemetery “Kirakos” or “Khachik.” Even the word “daughter-in-law” (aars – hars) is not Armenian, it is purely Kurdish in the Sorani dialect and Persian – arus, arusyak (see Manuk Abeghyan, “Explanatory Dictionary of the Armenian Language”).

The famous Armenian singer, the late Hovhannes Badalyan, sang several Kurdish songs. In the studio after recording Honored Artist of the Armenian SSR, the speaker of the highest category, Vera Hakobyan (who was also a friend of our people) asked Hovhannes Badalyan: “Do you know Kurdish language and sing in it?” And he replied: “I don’t know the language, but I understand its soul and adore this magnificent people”. And today, Armenian thieves the song “Oy Naze” in the collection of “The Armenian musical village, The Best Folk Songs” are presented as “Armenian folk”. If the late H. Badalyan were alive, no doubt he would have spat in their faces. He would never allow such dishonor and humiliation. He, as a great singer, knew that each song has its own history, “birth certificate” and “parents”. Every nation has its own handwriting and rhythm of songs, dances and music. Kurdish songs are lyrical, patriotic, martial – heroic, mourning and satirical in their content, and ceremonial, domestic, religious in their social functions. In terms of performance, they are solo and choral, with and without instrumental accompaniment. The specificity of Kurdish dances is that they are all circular – group, and are called govand, (gov-band, that is, circular). For example, go dance, we mean govand – (weren em govende bıgrın). Govand, in turn, is divided into two categories – a) “KOCARI”, b) “GOVAND KLICHK” – (Koceri – Qlick). When we say, let’s dance Kochari, we mean to hold both hands to the side to hold the shoulder, create a military line, when holding the palms – it means they go to attack, when they hold hands through the back, it means they build a fortress in front of the enemy. They respectively have three speeds: fast, medium and slow. Kochari shows the way of life of our people. That is why the more complex, rhythmic Kochari dances are mostly men dancing. When we say govand, we mean (Qıliçk), that is, hold on to the little finger. The main musical instruments of Kurdish dancing are daol and surnay (today it sounds like zurnay). Zurnay or Surnay comes from the word sur (blow), wind, and the word nay (ney) melody. When someone wants to be rude, the Kurds tell him zurnay- in the sense of – cry, pain on you. In addition to the surna (zurna), there is a Kurdish musical instrument Nay or May (gentle, slow). When someone speaks slowly, indistinctly, indefinitely, the Kurds say: – “Ch naynym-naynma taya”, do you stutter? Dakhol (Dıhol) comes from the word pelt (from the word dıhol-dıhel- pelt, leather cord), heydehol = hey – dadе – dıhol (before, when enemies attacked, the guards beat the drums, warned about the danger, or asked for help hewar-heydade).

What does the word Kochari mean? This is a purely Kurdish word, which literally means nomadic dance. Yes, every nation creates its own customs, rituals, dances, music in accordance with its occupations, lifestyle. The Kochari dance itself shows movement, the process, as nomads pass through trails, gorges, climb mountains, helping each other, holding hands, by the shoulders, by the belts, by the little fingers. In the female govand, they hold on to their little fingers, this is not only a sign of tenderness, but also a Kurdish national custom (it is not decent to touch a woman). Among the peoples of the Middle East, Kurdish women were more free. During the govand (dance), she had the right to dance with a man, not necessarily a relative, but with guests at the wedding as a sign of respect and trust as a brother, protector of the tribe, clan. To do this, it was enough to hold on to the little fingers while dancing. On the other hand, it was the only way to “contact” the girl and the boy who liked each other, and to touch and gently squeeze the little finger to let the girl know about his feelings and find out her “intention” – a reciprocal feeling … Kochari in turn divide into three groups: a) fast – easy — young, b) dense — combat — labor, c) slow — aristocratic.

What does govand mean? The original Kurdish word for “center”, “in the middle”, “circle”, “circle dance”, “circular defense” (govend, govek, govde, govbend). By profession I am a teacher of the Armenian language, and there are no words of sargovand, byngovand in the Armenian language, I have not met and do not know. In Kurdish, Sar Govandi, where Sar is the head,  at the head of circle, the beginning, and the govand is the circle, in this case, the beginning of the dance, the circle, at the head of the circle, in the vanguard. That is, for the first dancer, the word sargovand would mean “Leading”. The words Byngovand = bn are under, bottom, end, ending, end of a circle, end of a govand, orpochke – on the tail. In this case, the ending, at the end of the circle of the dance, that is, in relation to the closing dance, Bngovand will mean “Follower”.

Govand, in turn, is divided into three categories – fast tempo — youth, average tempo — mixed dance, and the last — slow rhythm — aristocratic; the bride dances to this rhythm. Our Armenian friends from our Kurdish music create “a beautiful bouquet of artificial flowers, scentless and odorless”, in a word – shilav-plav, as they say, borsch with many products, no horseradish and flavored seasonings and basically steal dances and melodies with light rhythms.

We, Kurds, are socially united people. Each Kurd feels completely safe in his environment (clan, tribe, religious community) and dances, where you feel the elbow, shoulder, hand of a neighboring dancer – an expression of this tribal, national unity, and therefore we are so attached to our dances, and through them to our customs and traditions. And here is the opinion of the professional dancer of Kurdish folk dances: “I know  at first hand that the dances have survived only among the Kurds in a unique and varied repertoire. I dance more than 50 variations of govand dances and each dance is completely different from the other. All over the world there are no analogues to Kurdish round dance. Worldwide, Kurds are associated with dancing. Last summer, with my group, I was invited to the presentation of the book “The Kurds” by Kevin McKiernan in Los Angeles. The most interesting thing was that all 200 invited people were waiting for our performance with great impatience. The Americans, the British and the Germans are very enthusiastic about Kurdish dancing. Govand is the meaning of Kurdish unity. Only to all the Kurds who have joined hands, united into a single whole and moving in one direction, you can convey all delight and beauty of this dance…” [53]

Kurdish dance is a “bouquet” of various dances: light, medium and slow. Each dance has its own specifics and is designed for a certain age. Studying and improvising Kurdish national dances and melodies in the “ANI” choreographic school, they overlook an important detail: these dances are not only for boys and girls, as they used to dance on the catwalk, but this is folk, national creativity, if it were possible, all the Kurdish people would hold on to their little fingers, and they would dance in the same rhythm of a govand. The difference between Kurds and Armenians is that every Kurd from childhood to old age, without difficulty, as a master dances both in sargovand and in bngovand. In Kurdish weddings everyone dances, absolutely everyone, even children.

Folk dances that’s what folk are for, they are danced by everyone, thereby they are considered folk. And as if the Armenians did not try to pass the Kurdish dances for their own, anyway they will remain strangers for its mentality and never overstep theatrical stages or scenes of concert halls in the Armenian environment. In the Kurdish govand, the daola rhythm is enough and not thousands, even tens of thousands of people can dance at the same time without mistake and slip. This is the national folk dance school and the Kurds are dancing, having fun.

Kurdish children still in the womb before their birth receive information of a kind of musical code that accompanies them from birth to death.

Of course, Armenians culturally lose to the Kurds. Therefore, they try to appropriate the culture of the Kurds in any way. Otherwise, without high culture, how to assimilate or awaken the “Armenian consciousness” in “crypto-Armenians”?

 

 

Armenian friends!

It’s not like the old days, the whole world has changed and continues to change. Shouldn’t you to wake up from the illusions and myths of the past and it is not too late to learn to build good relations with your neighbors, and to restore good and peaceful relations with the Kurds, respecting their original culture, customs and traditions? Friendship, mutual respect and good neighborliness is not a one-way road. Respect to be respected. As the prophet Zoroaster teaches: “Life, is  a wheel, there are ups and downs.”

 

TO READ WHOLE ARTICLE OR DOWNLOAD CLICK HERE:  CULTURAL ASPECT OF ARMENIAN-KURDISH RELATIONS: PLAGIARISM – AT THE LEVEL OF STATE POLICY OF ARMENIA

 

 

 

References:

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  11. Quoted by: AVPR, f. “Embassy in Constantinople”, 1910, d. 1599, l. 67.
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  18. “State policy should be based on scientific knowledge.” Round Table “Social Sciences and National Security”, held by the editors of “GA” http://www.golos.am/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1885
  19. Nikitin V.P. Kurds. P. 216. M., 1964.
  20. Nikitin V.P. Kurds,  acc. cit., p. 138.
  21. Orbeli I. A. Introduction to the collection of monuments of the Rustaveli era. P. 5. L., 1938.
  22. “Caucasus”. 1848. No. 47. p. 189.
  23. According to the Kurdish Zoroastrian religion in the world there are 72 nations.
  24. Karam Ankosi. Description of the Kurdish materials of the National Center of Manuscripts of Georgia. Tbilisi, 2009. http://www.kurdist.ru/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=311&Itemid=1
  25. www.idance.ru/show.php?id_a=684
  26. www.idance.ru/show.php?id_a=684
  27. Artak Vartanyan. Yerkir with my eyes. http://www.golos.am/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=45163&Itemid=53
  28. Karam Ankosi. Description of the Kurdish materials of the National Center of Manuscripts of Georgia. Tbilisi, 2009. http://www.kurdist.ru/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=311&Itemid=1
  29. Here is the source from where O. Tumanyan composed his eponymous poem “Akhtamar”.
  30. Lalayan E. Aysor of Van Vilayet. P. 7. Tiflis, 1914.
  31. LAVO Rosa Suleimanovna. ETHNOMUSIC IN THE CONTEXT OF MODERN MEDIA TECHNOLOGIES AS A FACTOR OF THE ETHNO-CULTURAL IDENTITY OF ASSIRI DIASPORA. http://www.rostcons.ru/intconf_2008/mat_lavo.htm
  32. Ahpar – in translation from Kurdish language means “Migrant” (from Kurdish ax – earth, par – fate, share, that is, literally “Cut off from the earth”) – www.kurdist.ru
  33. Charkaz Rush told about this case in his interview (Let’s turn Armenia into the center of spiritual development of Kurdish culture. Magazine “Friendship” (Dostani). Moscow. 2003. No. 22. P.70-71). http://ezid.ru/articles/old_article/09-04-2005_11-18-33.html
  34. Magazine “Friendship” (Dostani). Moscow. 2003. №22. P. 71.
  35. http://javakhk.livejournal.com/21228.html
  36. he killing of the Yezidi family in Armenia has no political background or racial intolerance. News – ArmeniaToday. http: //www.armtoday.info/default.asp Lang = _Ru & NewsID = 12460 & SectionID = 0 & RegionID = 0 & Date = 06/22/2009 & PagePosition = 1http://www.ezdi.info/obshestvo-politika/4804-v-erevane-armenii-otrezany-golovy-chetyreh-kurdov.html
  37. Armen Davtyan. History. Festival of  culture formation http://svlourie.narod.ru/civilization/history.htm
  38. The Armenian became a member of the Kurdistan Parliament in Iraq. http://www.kurdistan.ru/index.php?m=read&a=971
  39. According to the results of the last census in the Russian Federation from among the Kurds 32 thousand, most of them came from Armenia, who identified themselves as “Yezidis” (19 thousand).
  40. By the name of the Kurdish feudal Hamza Aga once ruled here.
  41. GAZ-69.
  42. http://forum.openarmenia.com/index.php?showtopic=21958&st=20
  43. http://forum.openarmenia.com/index.php?showtopic=21958&st=20
  44. Khachatur Abovyan. Complete Works, Vol. 8, p. 360. Publishing house of the Academy of Sciences of the Armenian SSR, Yerevan, 1958.
  45. H. Abovyan, acc. cit., p.357.
  46. H. Abovyan, acc. cit., p.357.
  47. “Dawn of the East.” No. 1223, July 10, 1926
  48. Armen Davtyan. History. Festival of  culture formation http://svlourie.narod.ru/civilization/history.htm
  49. Armenian dances. http://www.idance.ru/show.php?id_a=684
  50. Armenian dances. http://www.idance.ru/show.php?id_a=684
  51. Cemila u Naza Celil. Stran u dilanen kurdi. Dilo, yeman. №56, S. 73. Instituta kurdzaniye, Wien. Erevan, 2001.
  52. See Latif Mamad. “The novel by Khachik Dashtents “The Call of the Plowmen” and the Kurds.” http://www.kurdist.ru/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=159&Itemid=1
  53. Mystery of the dance “Govand.” http://www.ezdi.info/obshii/3168-misteriia-tantsa-govand.html

Co-authors:

Ankosi Ishkhan Aslanovich, Member of the National Congress of Kurdistan, Chairman of the Krasnodar Regional Kurdish National-Cultural Autonomy “MIDIA”, Member of the Russian Authors’ Society

Bruki Latif Mammad, member of the Union of Journalists of the Russian Federation and the International Federation of Journalists, editor-in-chief of the Internet site www.kurdist.ru



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