THE YARSAN, A SYNCRetic RELIGION
“The music is sacred in our religion. Thanks to music, God insuflated soul in human’s body made of clay (likewise in Quran). Music is universal, it is a symbol of human progress. It represents our souls and creative minds. »
— Pouria playing tanbur in his shop in Kermanshah, Iran
THE YARSANS ARE KURDS
Kurdish population is more complex and diversified that we think. From a village to another in Iranian Kurdistan, they do not speak the same dialect. They do not share a common religion. Most of them are Muslims (Sunni in Turkey, Shia in Iraq and Iran), Alevis, Yezidis and Yarsans.
The Yarsan are discriminated in Iran and in Iraq as their religion is not recognized in the Quran.
ISIS wants to exterminate them like they did to their kin, the Yezidis.
« Part of our music and songs are coming from Shah Nameh of Ferdowsi. During our rituals we also pray for Soltan Sahak.«
« Soltan Sahak is the fourth incarnation of God. This is the most important figure in our religion because he structured its dogma. »
« Unlike the Yezidis, the peacock is the symbol of bad fortune, the devil. Some people think that we are worshiping Satan but this is completely wrong. »
1001 good sorts
« Our religion is peaceful, human is at the center of everything. God is in everyone. That is why every one must comply with the four elements that were given to us: air, water, fire and Earth. If you do respect your environment and folks, you will have a beautiful life. We are close to Hindouism, Shintoism and Zoroastrianism thoughts.
« We believe in reincarnation. Each soul may be reincarnated 1,000 times over a period of 50,000 years. The 1001st is the day of reckoning. Reincarnation may either happen during your life or at your death. »
Fourth Commandment : Honor thy father and thy mother.
If women are separated from men during religious gatherings. At home everyone is joining in preparing lunch.
« Fortunately our women are protecting us. We are very proud of their courage and what they inflict to ISIS. »
A WORLD OF CLANS
« There are four roles within Yarsan community: the pir, the spiritual leader and chief, the kaki, the deputy pir, the khalifat, who is managing the logistics and the avam, the servant.
The caste system is less visible and is reducing over time. A marriage between different classes is now permitted. Our grand-parents would have never tolerated it. »
« Kermanshah is the largest city in Kurdistan but also one of the poorest in Iran. During the Iran-Iraq war, our parents and brothers were the first lines of defense.
Our government is afraid of Kurds. To control us, they have created mass unemployment in Kurdistan. They have not built any industry in the region and all public functions are monopolized by Persians. »