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
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.
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
To view pictures of Zurkhaneh and Zurkhaneh Sports, click
hereZurkhaneh by Iraj BashiriInternational Zurkhaneh
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