Some Folklore Beliefs in Kobane Elderlies' Memories - Part 3

Diyar Hami

Read the second part of this article here

(Reasons and Application)

Beliefs in repelling bad fate

Sleeping and lying while the head is aligned with the north:

When someone sleeps, they should not put their head facing the north because, in the Kobane people's beliefs, it is a sin to face your head aligned with the north. The reason for this is that in Christianity, they bury their dead people putting their heads towards the north. The people also believe that there are two angles on each shoulder of them, one records the good deeds and the other one writes the bad deeds and these angles also protect the person; if a person lies towards the north while sleeping, the angles would fall off their shoulders and they will not be able to protect the person in their sleep.

If the angles do not protect the people, they might experience a disaster or they might die in their sleep. Such people will not be buried according to Islamic rituals because as it was mentioned above, their heads are facing the north like Christian dead bodies. When one digs into this belief, one can see that most of the parents in Kobane still warn their children not to sleep while their head is aligned with the north.

 When a woman is pregnant:

It is said that when a baby is newly born, s/he should not be left alone at all for forty days because there is a bird that will take the baby and kill them. In public opinion, there is a bird that can kill babies, thus, newly born babies would not be left alone for forty days. Like any other belief that society creates, there are several stories about this belief, one of them is that this bird was originally a human. The story begins with a woman who does not have a baby, when she goes to her brother's house, she wants to see her brother's children to feel happy and play with them. But her sister-in-law did not let her see the baby, thus, she prayed to God: "Oh my Lord! Turn me into a bird that can take children and first of all my brother's child." This story is a reason for people to believe that there is a bird that takes their babies.

It is also said that if a person can catch this bird take its throat and tell it: let us alone for seven generations; the bird will not touch their babies for seven generations. It is said that most of the Kobane families have caught this bird, so most of those who would lose their babies would go to these families who had caught the bird to ask them for a piece of their clothes in order to protect their children.

According to a scientific fact, babies must not be left alone for forty days. Babies need constant care and nursing because it is possible for babies to throw up and if they are not held upright their vomit would turn back into their trachea which would end in the babies' choking to death. In addition to vomiting, the parents must be careful when they give the baby milk because it may pour into their trachea, too. Generally, newborn babies need constant care during the first forty days of their lives, but the story of the bird is not supported by science in any way. This belief about the bird does not remain among people, only a few elderly people still believe in this myth.



Meeting the elderlies of Kobane

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