jkvlondon

why do non-sikhs love Zafarnama so much ?

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Given the latest Zafarnama Cycle Yatra of Veer Pandit Rao, a question arises how comes our people don't love Zafarnama as much as foreigners who are now studying it in Iran?

 

 

Edited by jkvlondon
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27 minutes ago, jkvlondon said:

Given the latest Zafarnama Cycle Yatra of Veer Pandit Rao, a question arises how comes our people don't love Zafarnama as much as foreigners who are now studying it in Iran?

 

 

Because since the 'annexation' Farsi skills amongst Panjabis has dwindled to nothing. Our lot simply don't understand it anymore, besides there are very subtle political allusions in the text that people would miss out on, unless they were familiar with ancient Persian literature. See this attachment (if you haven't already) to get an idea of this:

http://www.bhainandlal.com/website/ebooks/zafarnama.pdf

The last apna I knew who was fluent in Farsi was a Panjabi teacher in the 80s I had at senior school (he didn't stick around for too long). Remember during the Sikh empire many more people were fluent in the language which was the political lingua franca of the ruling classes. For instance Hari Singh Nalwa was fluent. Moghuls used to study and discuss old Persian manuscripts in their darbar.  After goray came, they made English the language of power, and I guess that the motivation for people to learn the language decreased significantly. After partition - there was little patronising of the language which leads us to today's situation that you mention.

I would imagine Zafarnama is of especial interest to nonSikh Farsi speakers because of its exoticism for them. Plus it gives an example of a significant religious and political figure's (dasmesh pita's) employment of the language. Linguists would be interested to analyse his style and references, and indeed ideas. Historians would also find it useful to extract contemporary information from. 

Zafarnama.jpg

 

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I did know about the Shahnama written in Persia and the theory that Guru Pita had read it , makes sense as it is the most highly regarded Farsi poetry example up until Guru ji's time . There was a course run recently by gursikhs wanting to learn farsi to be able to understand Gurbani better from the School of Oriental and Asian studies , but unfortunately they haven't planned to repeat again , maybe if sangat contacted them again they might reconsider and place it online as well ...

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Tbh, when i was younger, i made a mission in my mind, that i wud not only fully read/understand the zafarnama, but id learn farsi/persian to read it, as opposed to a simplified english translation. Trouble is though, the farsi/persian spoken in modern day iran is diluted and is not pure farsi. Infact, they say, that dari (east persian), which is spoken in afganistan, is the purest form of the old farsi left, to the point, afghans mock iranians for ditching it for their modern day rubbish. I remember watchin a documentary on iran presented by rageh omar, n they were using french phrases, like 'merci beaucoup' and 'bonjour', which i thought was ridiculous.

So it looks as though, if there is gonna be sum sort of persian/farsi revival, then it will have to come from our fellow afghan sikh brothers/sisters. 

Edited by StarStriker
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6 hours ago, dallysingh101 said:

Because since the 'annexation' Farsi skills amongst Panjabis has dwindled to nothing. Our lot simply don't understand it anymore, besides there are very subtle political allusions in the text that people would miss out on, unless they were familiar with ancient Persian literature. See this attachment (if you haven't already) to get an idea of this:

http://www.bhainandlal.com/website/ebooks/zafarnama.pdf

The last apna I knew who was fluent in Farsi was a Panjabi teacher in the 80s I had at senior school (he didn't stick around for too long). Remember during the Sikh empire many more people were fluent in the language which was the political lingua franca of the ruling classes. For instance Hari Singh Nalwa was fluent. Moghuls used to study and discuss old Persian manuscripts in their darbar.  After goray came, they made English the language of power, and I guess that the motivation for people to learn the language decreased significantly. After partition - there was little patronising of the language which leads us to today's situation that you mention.

I would imagine Zafarnama is of especial interest to nonSikh Farsi speakers because of its exoticism for them. Plus it gives an example of a significant religious and political figure's (dasmesh pita's) employment of the language. Linguists would be interested to analyse his style and references, and indeed ideas. Historians would also find it useful to extract contemporary information from. 

Zafarnama.jpg

 

Not just that, Dasam Bani in general is a mixture of so many different languages that most people find it too difficult to continue. Zafernama is an extremely accurate insight into the geo-political struggle taking part in India towards the end of Aurangzeb and the mughals as a whole. irrc the Farsi used in this even by the pure linguistic styles, its far above anything churned out in the region. I suppose to them its probably like what Shakespeare is to the english.

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59 minutes ago, Kira said:

Not just that, Dasam Bani in general is a mixture of so many different languages that most people find it too difficult to continue. Zafernama is an extremely accurate insight into the geo-political struggle taking part in India towards the end of Aurangzeb and the mughals as a whole. irrc the Farsi used in this even by the pure linguistic styles, its far above anything churned out in the region. I suppose to them its probably like what Shakespeare is to the english.

How would we know unless it is compared with other contemporary Farsi communications between other regions and the central government? 

But I get your general point and wouldn't disagree with it an iota. Guru ji's work is (when I think about it now) an unparalleled, heartfelt, passionate use of the language that crosses religions and regions and cultures. Like a lot of written Sikh heritage it is unique, unprecedented and creative - in an era when convention was the norm 

Even when we zoom out to wider Sikh literature (which isn't literature to us but it is to outsiders studying it) that very thing has been alluded to by other observers. Even that low life, orientalist motivated scum Trumph (in amidst his sl@gging off of Sikhs and their religious scriptures) admits that Guru Granth Sahib ji maharaj is a treasure trove for linguistics. 

I don't think all of DG is as difficult to decipher (linguistically) as you seem to be suggesting. But what is difficult to ascertain is the hidden, esoteric nature of references within like Chandi, or shasternaam mala. I mean in comparison, the Panjabi Chandi kee vaar would be a LOT more accessible to the interested Panjabi Sikh than something like Zafarnama or other Braj-bhasa works. Remember knowledge of Braj-bhasha itself has dwindled to untold levels, when not long ago (the mid 1800s) , Sikh scholars were producing massive classics in this form (like Suraj Prakash). 

Guru Gobind Singh ji so obviously made being a polyglot a desired objective for Sikhs, it's another sign of our slide downwards that we've not moved forwards in this respect. 

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1 minute ago, dallysingh101 said:

How would we know unless it is compared with other contemporary Farsi communications between other regions and the central government? 

I swear I read about it somewhere, i'll need to do some digging and ill post here if I find it again.

Quote

 don't think all of DG is as difficult to decipher (linguistically) as you seem to be suggesting. But what is difficult to ascertain is the hidden, esoteric nature of references within like Chandi, or shasternaam mala. I mean in comparison, the Panjabi Chandi kee vaar would be a LOT more accessible to the interested Panjabi Sikh than something like Zafarnama or other Braj-bhasa works. Remember knowledge of Braj-bhasha itself has dwindled to untold levels, when not long ago (the mid 1800s) , Sikh scholars were producing massive classics in this form (like Suraj Prakash). 

I'm speaking from a purely bias perspective here, my parents were both raised in Punjab and attended punjabi schools. They told me that although they could read CHandi Di Vaar (they studied it at school) other Dasam Bani was alot harder. 

 

 

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Should the Persian language even be called 'Farsi' because as far as I understand that it is how Arabs call it because they do not have "P" in their alphabet?

However it is natural for Iranians to be interested in the Zafarnama because it is Persian literature.

It would be the equivalent of reading Shakespeare for them.

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1 hour ago, Ranjeet01 said:

Should the Persian language even be called 'Farsi' because as far as I understand that it is how Arabs call it because they do not have "P" in their alphabet?

However it is natural for Iranians to be interested in the Zafarnama because it is Persian literature.

It would be the equivalent of reading Shakespeare for them.

Persians aren't Arabs, in fact Iranians hate Arabs, (that's surprising since they follow an Arab Supremacist religion), 

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Further thoughts:

 

Zafarnama would also represent some sort of zenith of the use of Farsi, it also represents the peak and decline of the use of the language, so it would be interesting to people of Farsi heritage in that respect.

 

Another overlooked issue that has been touched on by some of the later posts above, is how Farsi (I think) represents Shia expression and culture as opposed to the majority Sunni. Shias and Sunnis (as most of us know) have had (and still have!) brutal conflicts with each other over religious doctrine. In that perspective Zafarnama is also symbolic of their culture being used to fearlessly confront and castigate a renown Sunni fundamentalist (Aurenga), so it would be inspiring for them in that sense. Some of them may well get a sense of Guru ji's independent spirit and stoicism in the face of extreme loss and be inspired by it. It would also be a model for leadership in trying times.   

 

Point is, it contains a lot and can be analysed from multiple perspectives that Farsi people would find relevant to their lives today. 

Edited by dallysingh101
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8 hours ago, Jacfsing2 said:

Persians aren't Arabs, in fact Iranians hate Arabs, (that's surprising since they follow an Arab Supremacist religion), 

They are definitely not, which begs the question why the Arab pronunciation is used in the first place.

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39 minutes ago, dallysingh101 said:

Further thoughts:

 

Zafarnama would also represent some sort of zenith of the use of Farsi, it also represents the peak and decline of the use of the language, so it would be interesting to people of Farsi heritage in that respect.

 

Another overlooked issue that has been touched on by some of the later posts above, is how Farsi (I think) represents Shia expression and culture as opposed to the majority Sunni. Shias and Sunnis (as most of us know) have had (and still have!) brutal conflicts with each other over religious doctrine. In that perspective Zafarnama is also symbolic of their culture being used to fearlessly confront and castigate a renown Sunni fundamentalist (Aurenga), so it would be inspiring for them in that sense. Some of them may well get a sense of Guru ji's independent spirit and stoicism in the face of extreme loss and be inspired by it. It would also be a model for leadership in trying times.   

 

Point is, it contains a lot and can be analysed from multiple perspectives that Farsi people would find relevant to their lives today. 

I reckon a lot of Iranians want to unleash the yoke of Islam.

Anything that inspires them especially in their own language will give them more impetus.

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20 hours ago, Kira said:

 

I'm speaking from a purely bias perspective here, my parents were both raised in Punjab and attended punjabi schools. They told me that although they could read CHandi Di Vaar (they studied it at school) other Dasam Bani was alot harder. 

 

 

That makes complete sense because Chandhi di vaar is in Panjabi whilst other banis are mostly in Braj-bhasha which appears to be an archaic form similar to Hindi. When you try and translate a Braj work like Suraj Prakash, you see just how different it is from Panjabi. 

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On 17/02/2017 at 9:37 AM, Jacfsing2 said:

Persians aren't Arabs, in fact Iranians hate Arabs, (that's surprising since they follow an Arab Supremacist religion), 

Iranian had a thriving literary scene , heaps of artists and scholars , highly musical people also but then they had the invasion of the ignorant fanatics who declared their way was the only way and thus the suppression of literary classics .

 

found this site perhaps a stepping off point for learning ancient persian 

 

https://www.fluentin3months.com/persian/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, jkvlondon said:

Iranian had a thriving literary scene , heaps of artists and scholars , highly musical people also but then they had the invasion of the ignorant fanatics who declared their way was the only way and thus the suppression of literary classics .

 

found this site perhaps a stepping off point for learning ancient persian 

 

https://www.fluentin3months.com/persian/

I think they stopped being so great after they brought in a new form of government of Shia Sharia Law. Especially under Ayatollah Khomeini, as it could have been compared to Turkey and went a similar route, (if the west wasn't busy getting oil and all that).

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