Anything that is ancient and has a long history is called folklore. The most important part of Kurdish folklore is oral literature. Here we explore some of the main aspects of oral literature. The most important part of oral literature is “folk tales”. The most important part of Kurdish folklore is the story. An oral account of an event is called a story. The stories tell of real events, fantasy, war and conflict, love and mythology, and these are told in an exciting way.
In this section, I have interviewed two researchers and experts on Kurdish folklore, Professor Mawlud Ibrahim Hassan, a professor at Salahaddin University in Erbil, and Zainal Abdin Znar, a researcher on Kurdish folklore. I have asked the following questions to these researchers: What period does the history of Kurdish stories go back to? How many types of Kurdish folk tales are there? What is the level of Kurdish folk stories compared to those of other nations? Which classes are the inventors of folklore stories among the Kurdish nation? To what extent do folktales influence nation-building? To what extent have Kurdish folk stories as oral literature influenced written literature? To what extent has the Kurdish nation been able to transfer folklore to cinema and festivals? How many Kurdish folk tales have the invaders stolen and made their own? What is the current situation of storytellers and readers among the Kurdish nation?
In response, Professor Hassan says: “Researchers do research in stories and find history in any text, especially among ancient texts; for example, let us look at the geography of folklore or fairy tales, stories that are in caves, stories that are underground, stories that are in heaven (ie their heroes go back to heaven), stories that are very old; For example, we have a very famous and simple story about “Maroka and Bznoka” which has been told in several ways in Kurdish. Or there is another issue among the Kurds that says; the goat makes room for the night, so what era does this request of the goat for the sheep to build a home date back to? It dates back to the time when people left caves for the first time and built houses and villages for the first time. We can say that the history of folklore goes back to the time when people came out of the cave.”
On the other hand, “The history of Kurdish folklore is very old,” says Zainal Abdin Znar. One cannot say 100 percent when Kurdish folklore began, but according to some doubts and the content of some stories, Kurdish folklore began before the arrival of some prophets. It began with Yazidism. When he was not a prophet and the Kurds thought that there was a secret spiritual force that controlled the universe, they named him God. That is, the one who created me, that is, He is God. In a way, this Yazda became a spiritual religion for the Kurds that we call Yazidi and Yazidism; Folklore also dates back to this period. Secondly, some Kurdish stories have been told about the Prophet Adam and our mother Eve. Prophet Adam is the beginning of the coming of the prophets. According to theologians, Prophet Adam lived between 10,000 and 11,000 years ago. In other words, if Kurdish folklore is about these things, it seems that Kurdish folklore started 10,000 years ago and has continued until now.” There are dozens of different stories in Kurdish folklore, each telling something. It is known that some of the stories are about real life and some are fictional. Thus, there are the following stories in Kurdish folklore: those such as true stories, fiction, animals, history, and romance, mythology, social and mythological. The creator of the folk tales is unknown and they are known to belong to the people. Folktales teach us to draw from past experiences. These stories show the character, customs and attitudes of our ancestors.
I wanted to know the situation of writers and readers of folklore stories among the Kurds. I continued my questions and again asked two researchers, Professor Mawlod Ibrahim Hassan and Zainal Abdin Znar, what the current situation of writers and readers of stories is like among the Kurdish nation?
Initially, Professor Hassan replied: “Now I can happily say that more folk tales are being reprinted, but unfortunately I can also say that they are being read less. I mean, we now have a group of Kurdish writers who may not be experts in folklore, but they understand that folklore is important and they come and find an opportunity somewhere and collect stories or any part of folklore and then publish them. “Unfortunately, not only reading Kurdish folk stories and classical works, but also reading on paper is no longer available today, not only among the Kurds, but also in the world. After that, the modern internet came out and smartphones came along and Facebook, Telegram, WhatsApp and all that stuff appeared, reading on paper suddenly became scarce. So, if one does not read the old works on paper and books and read those on the internet one will not understand anything. Only research people understand it when they go in and do research. Otherwise, mostly people under the age of 40, between 20 and 30, read useless things and send free letters to each other. I conclude by thanking the two researchers for their time on this important topic. In fact, Kurdish folklore is very rich and one should work hard to research it or write a book. As the researchers pointed out, we need to look for the elderly Kurds and take the stories they have in their hearts and make them public property. Nowadays, Kurdish stories can have a great impact on the identity of the Kurdish people and even the Kurdish people can benefit from them in terms of nationalism. Because our history, identity and experience are in these stories and we must collect them to the best of our ability and use them in cinema.