Munzur Xenekiyene by Kardes Türküler

Munzur Xenekiyene

Munzur Xenekiyene is a song released by Kardes Türküler, a contemporary ethnic/folkloric band that was formed in Turkey in 1993. This song, sung in the Zazaki Kurdish dialect, is about the sacred Munzur River. The Munzur River flows in Dersim, a historic region in Northern-Kurdistan (Eastern-Turkey) that is home to Alevi Kurds. These Kurds are an especially patriotic people who have, since recorded history, resisted all invasions and injustices committed against them. The Zaza Kurds of Dersim are Alevi; their religion is similar to the Ahl-e Haqq faith. In these ancient Kurdish faiths, music and nature stand central in daily rituals. The Munzur Valley is extremely well preserved because the Alevi Kurds respect nature as part of their religious beliefs.

The people who live in the Munzur Valley are also something of a rare breed: ethnic Kurds in a majority-Turkish country, and Alevis surrounded by a majority Sunni Muslim population. The Alevi Kurds are only a majority in Dersim, where they form over 90% of the population. One of the most notable rebellions of the Alevi Kurds was the 1937-1938 uprising lead by Seyid Riza, a political and religious leader of the Zaza Kurds.

You can read more about the unique religion and history of this Kurdish community by visiting the websites linked below:

A website dedicated to the Munzur Valley and Alevi Kurds
The Alevis of the Munzur Valley

NYT article on the Munzur Valley and its Alevi Kurds
Finding Paradise in Turkey’s Munzur Valley: Deep in the rugged heart of eastern Anatolia, the resilient Alevi Kurds open their hearts and homes to a visitor.

Lyrics of and Translation for "Munzur Xenekiyene"

(Zazaki) Kurdish Lyrics for “Munzur Xenekiyene”

Hêwnê xode resta, demê munzurî
Çerx danê dêwreşî
Kotê sama sonê, pîr u talibî
Şi cemê xizirî

Ez resta ci ke, çi bivenî
Çem xenekîno, kerdo pê bêndî

Phêl bide, wiy, phêl bide
Raê bice munzur, phêl bide
Di so khal feratî rese
Dest bide wiy, dest bide
Miradê xo rese

Munzur dî ardî, jîyar û dîyarî
Omedê xêrî
Mayinê qîmetî, fîtî çar nalî
Şi dormê bêndî
Ca vetî dare, qulê bêxêrî
Camatê êlî
Dêndar kotî, zêwt do pîro
Na herdê dêwreşî

Ma kerdî vila, mîyaz û qirbanî
Persê ma be pers bo, çike ma sondî werdî

English Translation of “Munzur Xenekiyene” (Munzur River)

In my dream I saw Munzur
Whirlings of the Dervishes
The Semah rotates, pirs and suitors
Everyone got together in the Khidr Jem

Was I there, what did I see?
Drowned in the river, caught in the water

Years, years
White munzur, years
Come on go, grow wise like the Euphrates
Give your hand, give you hand
There’s joy

Munzur invited, holy places
Loyal friends
Gallop ride, grey mares
I have been surrounded
There they questioned the suspected servants
People’s diwani

They took from the holy earth, poor
Surely they paid their fine

We are commited to our sacrifices
Our promise is a promise, we swore

Translated by Kurdê Dîn

The 21-rayed Kurdish Sun.

The Munzur Valley. Photo by Michael Benanav ©.


Song TitleMunzur Xenekiyene
Group / Ensemble / Orchestra Kardes Türküler
LanguageZazaki Kurdish


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