Luke 18:1

Then He spoke a parable to them that men always ought to pray and not lose heart

Family Structure and Relationship

  Kurdish social organization is centered on the clan, or group a families descendent for a common ancestor. Membership in a clan is based on male descent. Villages are often identified along extended family lines. Intra-village marriage is preferred, and first cousin marriage is common. Until recently most marriages were arranged by the families, and after marriage the woman would live with the groom’s family. Gender roles are distinct in Kurdish households.  Men are the head of the family, making all the decisions in the family. The women are responsible for the children and household management. Despite the predominance of Islam, Kurdish women are less restricted than in some Islamic cultures. Kurdish women do not wear veils, are more free to associate with men, and may even occupy political offices. Children are cherished and large families are considered a blessing. Elders are well respected and their advice is sought in decision-making.  In Islam, one is directed to afford the same care to one’s aging parents as they gave you in childhood. Family problems are considered private matters. It is expected that the head of the household will resolve problems, and that outsiders will not be involved. Education is considered very important in Kurdish families, and valued and respected within the community.  Thus, parents strive to ensure that their children achieve as much education as possible.


Communicating respect and courtesy are very important for Kurdish people. For example, the greeting "SALAM" indicates respect.  The tone of your voice must be clear and appropriate. It is usually considered inappropriate for women to shake hands with the men. It is also not appropriate to pat someone in the shoulder or back while greeting them. Women and men usually have separate conversations in private and public places. It is appropriate to make eye contact when speaking with Kurds.

C.H. Spurgeon

Nothing brings such leanness into a man's soul as lack of prayer.

Health Beliefs and Practices

  Cleanliness is very important in the house.  Kurds believe that the most important way to maintain good health is through household and personal cleanliness. It is believed that those who pray are clean and pure inside and outside, and that praying and washing five times a day will prevent sickness. It is believed that evil behaviour and thoughts can cause illness. Kurds who lived in towns or cities may have had some access to Western medical services, however, the political conflicts of the past decade has caused chronic shortages of medicines, supplies, and services. In the rural areas, healthcare services are very rudimentary, for example, children in these areas rarely receive childhood immunizations. It is the duty of the family and friends to care for those who are ill. Doctors are highly regarded by the Kurds.  They are respected and obeyed. An extensive system of traditional remedies are practiced by Kurds. Herbal treatments are used for intestinal conditions, healing wounds, and pain control. Prayers and blessings from the Imam, the ranking Islamic figure in the community, can protect children from the “evil eye”, fear, and evil spirits. Amulets with verses from the Koran worn around the neck can also protect people from harm. While birth control was considered a violation of Islamic law in Kurdistan, this view is changing among younger women both in Kurdistan and Canada. Abortion is considered an extreme violation of Islamic law and Kurdish culture.

Diet and Nutrition

Kurds love to eat their traditional food. Excess weight is not a major concern for  Kurds. “The bigger the better” is a traditional Kurdish perspective. Since majority of Kurds are Muslims,  they do not eat pork Kurds also have a concept of cold and hot foods, that refers to the nature of the food, not its temperature. For example, raw  vegetables such as lettuce, cucumber and carrot are considered cold foods. Hot or cold foods are prescribed depending on the health condition in an effort to restore balance in the body.