Rustam and Rakhsh

Main Piece:“There is a story that my dad always use to tell me about a man called Rostam. So, the King of Iran used to be a man called Rostam way back in ancient times. When Rostam (the king of Iran) was older, he knew he would be a great warrior and he wanted to be the best. So because of this, his dad Zal promised to find a horse that was good enough for him so he could fight properly. In particular, his dad wanted to find one that would be courageous and obedient whenever Rostam was fighting. Because Rostam was king, he could basically do whatever he wanted and choose from any of the horses.. He ended up picking one that was famous for its speed and spirit. This horse was almost impossible to catch  since almost three years warriors had attempted get it but had failed. Rostam was impressed: He caught the hourse named it Rakhsh, the Persian word for lightening. After that they became best friends and they went on the have many adventures together.”

Background information: For the informat, this story has significant cultural significance. Her father would tell her stories about Rostam ever since she was a young child. In the Persian culture, this is the most influential epic poem which is written by Ferdossi; this is also the longest. A lot of stories within the epic tales have lessons of family and themes of evil vs good,  but also working out things within yourself. This particular story about Rostam and his horse is an example of Rostam being humbled through his journey. To the informat and her family, being humble was something that was highly regarded, especially in the Perisian community. This is because those who flaunt their wealth are looked down upon. For the informat the idea of remembering where you came from and your roots is something she constantly thinks about.

Context of performance: At the informant’s house in San Diego 

Thoughts: The significance of this story seems to correlate with Persian culture. The story of Rostam and his horse signify that being humble is one of the most important values, and that it is important to think of others and not just yourself. The horse also seems to carry significance as a symbol of a companion and power which has a parallel to American society where dogs are thought to be companions for men.