TIL: The Power of Poetry

imagesI’ve often wondered how Iran held on to its language and culture after the Arab invasion in 633 AD. Arabic is the dominant language throughout the Middle East, yet somehow Iran still speaks Farsi and held fast to its culture.

Well, I learned how this was possible last night. I was on Cambly talking to a student from Iran and he told me the story. He said that while Iran did adopt the Arabic writing system they kept Farsi shahnameh 1as their primary language because of a poem called the Shahnameh.

 

 

The Shahnameh, which took Persian poet Ferdowsi 30 years to write, is the longest epic poem written by a single author in the world. It details the history of the great Iranian kings. It is written entirely in Farsi and is held with such national pride, that after the Arab invasion, the Persian people clung to this poem as a pshanameh for kidsart of their national identity and some say it is the sole reason that the Farsi language is still in existence today. While they did adopt the Arabic writing system, they were not letting go of Farsi because of the Shahnameh.

Children are taught to read and write using the Shahnameh. Older students memorize passages from it.

Power to the poets y’all. Power to the poets!

Eryka

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s