Güzel H.

Milli Folklor, vol.136, pp.94-108, 2022 (AHCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 136
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.58242/millifolklor.1038429
  • Journal Name: Milli Folklor
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.94-108
  • Keywords: Turks in Iran, Khalaj, folk poetry, cultural memory, electronic culture environment
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022, Milli Folklor Dergisi. All rights reserved.Living largely isolated for centuries in central Iran, the Khalaj Turks have, in the last century, seen great changes in the person-to-nature and person-to-person relations which form the basis of their social order. Because of a deterioration of the social conditions of their villages, and attracted by city life, many Khalaj have left the lands of their ancestors and migrated to the big cities. This has made it difficult for the Khalaj to pass on their cultural traits to new generations, as their culture is largely oral. Negative attitudes towards the Khalaj language and culture have led to changes in Khalaj culture and particularly language. In the face of this, some Khalaj intellectuals have taken action. These people, who have a good knowledge of the language and culture, have created Telegram and Instagram pages sharing items on Khalaj language and culture. On these pages, about-to-be-forgotten traditions, rituals and games are described, and examples of folk literature like lullabies, sayings or poems are shared. Among the most important contributions in terms of digitalized culture are examples of new folk poetry which are appearing on Telegram and Instagram pages. Towards the end of the 20th century, the Khalaj had no literary texts apart from a few poems, but by the efforts of Ali Asghar Jamrasi and Abdullah Vasheqani in particular, they got to know folk poetry. Especially group admins such as Amir Moham-madbaygi, Hasan Talkhabi and Mahdi Hadigol, who have made good use of the new features provided by social networks such as Telegram and Instagram, have written poems in the Khalaj language which include many elements of Khalaj folk culture. As well as reflecting the internal world of an individual, the aim of the new poetry of Hadigol and Hossein Talkhabi is to present the Khalaj identity and to introduce Khalaj culture to new generations. For this, topics such as language, identity, traditions and patriotism are often dealt with in the poems. This study is concerned with the positive effects of digitalization in introducing Khalaj folk culture and traditions and transmitting them to new generations and different areas, and focuses on Khalaj folk poetry in the context of the sustainability of identity, cultural memory and cultural items. The Khalaj language is on the UNESCO list of endangered languages and is of great importance for Altaistic studies. This study contains examples of poetry written in the Khalaj language and mostly previously unpublished, and provides data to different areas such as literature, folklore and linguistics. It is supported with observations and interviews.