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Iranian Zurkhaneh Sports to be Studied at British Academy

Iran’s ancient Zurkhaneh Sports will be discussed at the British Academy with the attendance of experts of Iranian studies.

Tehran, 6 April 2006 (CHN) -- The present condition of Zurkhaneh Sports as Iranian ancient sports will be studied in British Academy with the attendance of experts in Iranian studies. According to British Institute of Persian Studies, on Thursday 29 June 2006 at 5.15 pm, Prof. Lloyed Ridgeon will present his lecture on the topic of “The Zurkhaneh between Tradition and Change” at the British Academy in London.

Lloyd Ridgeon is a professor of Islamic studies who teaches classical Islamic studies, Islamic movements of the 19th and 20th centuries, and Sufism in Department of Theology and Religious Studies of the University of Glasgow.

He has several researches about Islamic history, theology and politics; classical and modern Sufism; Iranian history and culture; and Persian literature.

Iranians were one of the first nations in the world who attached great importance to their health, burly figure, and strength; they carried out body building exercises and trained their offspring to practice them as well.

Zurkhaneh (house of strength) is the Iranian traditional gymnasium, in which the national Iranian sport is practiced. It is a covered structure lit by a single opening in the ceiling. The exercise is very formal and the moves are carried out to the rhythm of the drum and a singer reciting traditional verses. The long history of the sport is recorded on the walls of the gymnasium in the form of historic photographs. The available information shows the common grounds between the Iranian ancient sport (Zurkhaneh) and Mithraism rituals.

Zourkhaneh is not only a place for physical exercises but also a place for learning chivalrous behaviors. The Zourkhaneh-sportsman is first expected to be pure, truthful and good tempered and then strong in body. The Zurkhaneh and Varzesh-e Bastani (ancient sport) have their roots in Iranian culture and date back to at least two thousand years ago. These sports were later spread to other Asian and even European countries.

The first International Festival of Zurkhaneh Sports of Urbans of the World was held in the city of Mashhad in Khorasan Razavi province from 11-16 November 2005 with the attendance of 33 countries.

To view pictures of Zurkhaneh and Zurkhaneh Sports, click
Zurkhaneh by Iraj Bashiri
International Zurkhaneh Sports Federation

... Payvand News - 4/7/06 ... --

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