0504 GMT January 21, 2022
The Tati language is one of the oldest Persian languages surviving from ancient times, said the head of the Anthropology Department of Qazvin Province’s Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization.
In an exclusive interview with Iran Daily, Mojtaba Abbasi said, presently, the northern province of Qazvin is the main area where the Tati language is spoken.
He said that Tati is in the category of Median languages, dating back to 500 BCE, and that Tati has some similarities with many common languages and dialects spoken in various parts of Iran, including Persian, Taleshi, Gilaki, Lori and Kurdish.
He continued that, presently, a large number of people who are living in Qazvin Province, especially in its center, Takestan and Buin Zahra, speak Tati as their first language.
“Various Tati dialects are spoken by people residing in various parts of the province. The structure of their languages can be different from each other,” he said.
Abbasi observed that Tati was once spoken in a large section of northern Iran, but it is now limited to Qazvin Province and some small parts of northwestern Iran.
Stressing on the importance of preserving the ancient language, he said that Tati was registered on Iran’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2011.
He continued that a traditional religious ceremony, marking the third day of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (PBUH) — the third Shia Imam —is held in Qazvin annually, noting that it was registered on Iran’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
He pointed out it is a remembrance of the ceremony held by women of the Bani Assad Tribe, who lived around Karbala in Iraq, where Imam Hussein (PBUH) and his companions were martyred.
“The people of the Bani Assad Tribe attempted to bury the holy bodies of the martyrs, but the men were threatened by the enemies. However, the women buried the martyrs despite all threats,” he said.
He said that the ceremony is held annually on the 12th day of the lunar month of Muharram.
Abbasi said Panjah Bedar, a ritual of the Qazvini people, was also registered on Iran’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List, adding that the tradition, dating back more than 1,000 years, is still observed in the province.
“Qazvin is a province with low rainfall, and the livelihood of the farmers is highly dependent on the amount of annual precipitation. Thus, since ancient times, on the fiftieth day of spring, people go to nature to pray for rain,” he said.
He noted that if the amount of rainfall during a year satisfies the needs of the people, they will pray to thank God.
He said that prayer is usually held in the old mosalla (an open space outside a mosque, mainly used for prayer) of the city of Qazvin.
“People press small pebbles to the wall of an old ab-anbar (water reservoir) situated there. They believe that if the pebbles stick to the wall of the ab-anbar, God will answer their prayers,” he noted.