Despite being ethnic Kurds, a growing number of young Yezidis in the Caucasus now emphasize a specific Yezidi identity instead of the Kurdish one, reports Allan Kaval in Rûdaw (October 14), an independent online newspaper, based in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Kaval recently traveled to Georgia and Armenia for researching developments within Yezidism, an ancient, syncretic religion found among Kurds, primarily in Iraq, but also with smaller numbers in the Caucasus and in Syria, and more recently showing a growing diaspora in Germany.
Of course, there are Yezidis who continue to identify with Kurdish nationalism. But a segment of the Yezidis from the Caucasus do no longer want to be perceived as Kurds—to the extent of insisting to be referred to as a “Yezidi folk group” and not a Kurdish one, at a recent cultural event in Georgian capital Tbilissi.
A movement called Ezdiki has thus appeared among Yezidis in Armenia and Georgia, as well as among diaspora Yezidis, aspiring to create a Yezidi ethnic identity as a substitute for the Kurdish one. A few advocate for a Yezidi country, Ezidistan, on online social networks, according to Kaval.
(Rûdaw – http://rudaw.net/english)