may 15, 2022
On Kurdish Language Day: Fighting for One´s Language Means Fighting for One’s own Identity and Existence
Mother tongue education is an absolutely legitimate right. In the same way, it is an indispensable right and necessity to organize and take action for the enforcement of this right in all spheres of life. On the occasion of today’s Kurdish Language Day, we first of all congratulate Rêber Apo [Abdullah Öcalan], who turned the hope for freedom of a people whose identity, language and existence had been banned and whose existence was denied, into an active struggle and did not let anything stop him. At the same time, on the occasion of today, we congratulate all Şehits [fallen] who did not consider their death for the existence, language, values and freedom of their people as an end and have thus become immortal. Likewise, we congratulate all the peoples of the world and our resistant people who, despite all the bans, oppression, intimidation, torture and killings, have always insisted on singing in their own language, shouting Zılgıt, telling heroic stories and singing songs of mourning – and have accordingly never surrendered.
Language is not just a means of communication. It is the most important tool of a people to keep their identity and culture alive and to give them a future. Every language carries the history, culture, literature, art and philosophy of life of a people. This is precisely why our people have never ceased to defend, at the greatest sacrifice, their language, culture and existence against the destruction of their language and culture, which has been going on for centuries, and against physical genocide.
Beloved people, dear public,
as a people and as its freedom movement, we in the Middle East insist on two vital practices and play a leading role in relation to both: on the one hand, we reject the politics of denial as a historical lie, while on the other hand, we do not accept the denial of any identities, species, existences, languages, sounds and ideas. Accordingly, we strive to live up to our own way of being. We want to live as God created us and as our mothers gave birth to us. We want to live with the language through which we became human beings. We want to live in accordance with our own truth. We desire freedom for all languages, tones and colors. We must not forget that we are in the most promising era in terms of democracy, and at the same time in the most colorful geographical context. In this region, countless identities, communities, languages, religions and ethnicities meet. Their common coexistence and the expression of each one of these different identities is the most meaningful day of celebration for all of us. The Rojava Revolution is just that. We feel very fortunate that the Rojava Revolution, as a true cultural revolution, is showing the way for the aspiration of all languages and sounds to live freely.
Our Önderlik [Abdullah Öcalan] has the following position on the importance of the mother tongue: “The level of development of language is an expression of the level of development of life. The more a society develops its language, the more developed is its level of life as a whole. However, the more a society loses its own language and comes under the hegemony of other languages, the more extensively it is exposed to colonization, assimilation and genocide. Any society that ends up in such a situation cannot have a mentality, morality and aesthetic-meaningful life. It will always be exposed to an extremely tragic life as a sick society until its final annihilation.”
Therefore, it becomes clear that language represents a common identity, dignity and the collective memory of a society. The defense and promotion of social memory is directly linked to the defense and protection of the mother tongue. When denial and genocide are practiced together, language prohibition occurs in practice. Calling the Kurdish language forbidden, problematic, separatist, backward and primitive is basically an expression of a policy aimed at the annihilation of Kurdish existence. This makes it more necessary than ever for us to speak, write and think even more in Kurdish against this genocide, in order to organize, resist and fight for our language. Therefore, for every Kurd who believes in a free future, it is an indispensable task to fight against assimilation every day.
Kurdish Language Day is a day to raise our awareness against the assimilation policy, to resist against the annihilation policy and to intensify the collective remembrance against the loss of memory. The premise `There is no truth, there is only language` highlights the indispensable importance of language for the existence of a people. In this sense, the Kurdish language is the condition for the Kurdish people to be themselves. With the help of massive violence and all means of special warfare, attempts are being made to destroy our language and make it forgotten. Taking a stand against this continues to be an urgent necessity that arises from our political existence, the tradition of our struggle and our responsibility towards our history and our people.
We must never forget that language is kept alive by the young generation and is thus passed on from generation to generation. Language develops through education and gains beauty through literature, art and culture. From everyday routine activities to the most diverse social production activities, we must use our language and build our connection with life through it. We must make the life within the Democratic Nation our first choice, which grants all languages their own means of expression. In this way, we become ‘not those who make revolution, but the revolution itself’. Our people must see it as their most important task, both in Kurdistan itself and abroad, to speak and write Kurdish in order to make their mother tongue immortal. They must secure their right to mother-tongue education everywhere and fight resolutely to remove obstacles to the use of their mother tongue in all areas of public life. They must never give in to assimilation policies that enforce linguistic homogenization.
This year’s May 15 – Kurdish Language Day – also marks the 90th anniversary of the founding of Hawar magazine. On this occasion, we salute the Kurdish people who have never bowed to the policy of assimilation and denial. At the same time, we salute in the person of Celadet Ali Bedirxan and his comrades all the people who have kept alive and promoted the Kurdish language with great sacrifices and immense efforts. We once again congratulate our people and all the peoples of the world on this year’s Kurdish Language Day.
KCK Education Committee