4 Jan 2021
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23 Apr 2022
Views 9

Topic: Korean family structure changes from 1950

Writers: Iman Ghasemi Deligani, zahra Rezvani, Ghazaleh Bagheri 

Short explanation: a brief explanation about changes that happened in different parts of families in Korea from 1950


The ideological Aspect 

The small family 

Historical Change Of Household Size

Family structure, rules 


The Ideological Aspect

The family was significantly influenced and transformed by Confucian moral teachings and ethics during Joseon society because the family was the alpha and omega of Korean Confucianism. In other words, among the virtues of Confucianism, the hyo (filial piety to parents) which symbolises patriarchal family structure, was regarded as the most sacred items in the Joseon belief system. Only Joseon society has ever made hyo the core of its social symbolic system. In Confucianism society was seen as woven with samgang i.e. three cardinal relationships; between the monarch and retainer, between parents and children, and between husbands and wives. In (benevolence) was regarded as the highest idea which stabilises and smoothes the society, and ye (courtesy, ritual) the social realisation and objective manifestation of in. To achieve ye, required the practice of o-ryun (five ethical norms). These were the norms of justice and righteousness between the ruler and his vassals: cordiality and closeness between parents and children: distinction between husbands and wives: order between elders and juniors: and trust between friends. Among them, Joseon literati interpreted hyo as the most absolute value which following the original idea of Neo-Confucianism emphasised moral and ethical principles in human relationships. To conclude, the ruling class made hyo the ethics of familial solidarity, stressing cordial devotion among consanguine relations, and made them the principles of harmonious cohesion for society and politics as a whole.

Hyo, largely speaking, had three characteristics in Joseon context; formality, absoluteness, and closedness. The uniqueness of hyo lay in its demand for formalised patterns of behaviour. It was not enough to feel respect only. Children were asked to show their thoughts and feelings in their behaviour and attitude. For example, they were expected neither to comb their hair nor to play a musical instrument when their parents are sick, but to wear only a worried look on their faces. They were asked to hang down their heads when they sat at the same table with their parents. Again they were not expected to turn their backs when they came out of their parents' room etc. In a word, there was a formalised pattern of behaviour from which the degree of hyo could be judged, and which was diffused everywhere deep into family life. Thus the hyo to parents was as seriously formal as the ceremony in relation to a foreign sovereign. The formality of Confucian morals was accelerated from 17th century and was most fully set out in The Handbook of Family Ritual (Sa-ryae-pyeonram) of Yi Jae in 1844. Korean family structure particularly affected by the Handbook, in marriage, inheritance, kinship, and rituals etc. Next, the hyo was, unlike the Eros or Philanthropy, regarded as an unconditional, one-way, and absolute obedience to parents, like Philos in the Bible. The essence of hyo was to make parents feel comfortable mentally and physically. There were two extreme cases during Joseon period, which showed the absoluteness of hyo to parents. A poor farmer was deeply devoted to his parents but was too poor to serve every member of his family. As a result he used to give the first priority to parents. One day, his beloved only son who were aged three was going to eat the food served to the peasant's parents. The peasant, however, thought that he could have as many children as he wanted after he got rich but his parents were the parents he would ever have and moreover would not live till he became rich. At length he decided secretly to bury his infant son alive, so as to support his parents more effectively. Going a step further, the absoluteness of hyo was extended even to the dead parents. For example, a son whose parents passed away, was expected to keep mourning for three years to show his hyo to the dead. In practice he ate crude gruel and water only with no sweet or savoury food like vegetables, meat, liquor, or fruit. He slept, without taking off his mourning dress, under a piece of straw mat instead of a bedquilt and laid his head on a lump of earth instead of a pillow. Furthermore he was expected to leave public life at least for three years and to ill-treat himself as a sinner. He was regarded as a sinner by himself and by his neighbours.

Lastly, hyo, in spite of its humanistic voice, was closed against some groups of people. In other word, the more the hyo idea was deepened and formalised, the mare some were severely alienated and dehumanised by Confucian familism. First of all it was closed against children and juniors. As mentioned above, the essence of hyo was not simply to take care of parents but to respect and follow their opinions unquestioningly. This was widely applied to juniors or subordinates. Hence any creative thoughts or any deviant behaviour from those prescribed in the formal Confucian doctrines were firmly suppressed and sometimes regarded even as a crime. They were asked only to follow ideas of their parents and seniors. This was one of the reasons why Confucianism was fossilised in the later half of Joseon dynasty.

Lastly it was closed against other families, other clans, and the wider society. As mentioned above, hyo to parents was not a rational love but a blind subordination. As a result, Hyo required a man to avenge his parents against their enemies and to welcome persons with whom his parents were pleased, in any case regardless of his father's rightness and wrongness. And it was defined as amoral to respect or love others instead of his own parents. Every kind of behaviour in life, even a success in life was not aimed for himself but to please his parents. It is quite natural that unconditional inclination to hyo shaped a family egoism exclusively against other families, other clans.

In conclusion, Korean familism can be described as a pattern of social organisation to which every kind of values is connected and formulated for the maintenance, continuance, and function of the family group composed of blood relations. Individuals can not be independent from the family, and primary importance is given to the family as a whole rather than each members themselves. 

Furthermore, it is the familial pattern of behaviour, social relation, and value system that was applied to every social area beyond the boundary of the family.


There are various factors that influenced the size of the Korean family. These can be summarised as socio-economic variables, cultural tradition, environmental variables, demographic conditions, etc.

Each of them has a significant influence in its own way on the size of the family. Among them, change in demographic elements has been the most direct and prompt one that influenced the size of the family. This has certainly been the case in Korea for the past more than half a century.

 the demographic transition of Korean families is divided into three stages: the early transitional period, the transitional period, and the post-transitional stage.

 The first stage is distinguished by high rates of both infertility and mortality, which are shown in underdeveloped countries.

 The second stage is marked by a decrease in both rates and the final stage is reached when the low level of both rates results in instability.

the early transitional stage was from the early 1910s to the early 1960s. this period is consist of many historical events like Japanese colonization, the second World War, Independence, the partition of the peninsula, and Civil War, etc. Each of them made a significant impact on demographic change in Korea. For example, the introduction of modern hygiene and medicine, the many deaths during the war, and the huge migration during the colonization were all these factors mingled to influence the demographic condition of the period. During this period the crude death rate (CDR) dropped from 35-40 per 1,000 persons to 25 from 1910-to 1930. 

the transitional stage(from the early 1960s to the early 1980s) was the most rapid decline in the fertility rate in the world and the total fertility rate(TFR) decreased from 6.0 to 2.7 persons.

The most critical reason for the rapid decline in the fertility rate was the success of the Family Planning Programme on the other hand. It was delivered as a part of the Economic Development Five-Year Plan. The second reason for the decline was the marriage age rising.

the post-transitional stage which commenced in 1983 has been characterized by an accelerated decline in the fertility level and the total fertility rate (TFR) decreased to 1.7. As a result, the population growth rate has decreased to below 1 percent.

Historical Change Of Household Size

The reason for the trend of a small families can be traced back to two facts. The first element was an increase in the average age at marriage. Together with an extension of education duration and an increase in women's participation rate in the labor market, both women and men felt no need to hurry up marriage. Self-development was preferred to the reproduction of the next generation. The second reason was the successful execution of the Family Planning program. This had more to do with a strong consensus on the small family norm. The population policies in Korea began to appear as a part of economic development planning. by having new political leadership in 1961, development planners realized that a high rate of population growth interfered with the most important national goal which was to raise income and eliminate poverty in the country. 

Therefore, family planning policies were very decisive, which included improving the social status of women and expanding contraceptive measures nationwide.

to a small family norm and fertility rates as surveyed by KIPH (Korea Institute for Population and Health Affairs) during the last three decades, women like to have no more than two children and no longer have the son-preference idea. The norm of 'three boys and two girls in the early 60s shifted to 'two boys and a girl during the 1970s, and again to a boy and a girl by the middle of the 80s. Responding to the value change, the fertility rate which is a crucial indicator of family size has drastically decreased to even below two children. To sum up, it is not difficult to conclude that present-day Korea has achieved a small family by casting off the son-preference idea.

Family structure, rules 

In attention to korean society in past it can be find very traditional, so we can consider that there are many differences within the family structure, and these differences in the role of individuals in playing their role in the family structure due to age and gender of individuals more or less intense. One of these differences occurs in housekeeping, which is ironically a very important and vital issue for any girl who is going to get married, because cooking and preparing some important foods that were used throughout the year was an important task. It is to the extent that the mother-in-law first tested the girl's cooking to seal the approval of the marriage. Another issue in housekeeping was that the mother-in-law had all the authority for herself and the bride and the other women were not allowed to interfere or comment on household matters and had to be completely obedient to the mother-in-law. Even the elders of the family could not put an end to this tyrannical behavior, and only with the death of the mother-in-law, the bride could have an opinion on the affairs of the house. However, modernity has changed this pattern and made even small differences. Of course, regarding the family structure in housekeeping, it should be noted that rural men were more involved in household chores due to more difficult conditions and manual labor, while urban men were more involved in working in government institutions and offices. Having enough time to join the family to participate in household chores has been a bit difficult. Due to the employment of men and women in urban areas, there has been a need for someone to do the housework for them. In the past, this was the responsibility of slaves, and now it is the responsibility of daily or annual servants, but there is a difference. There is, and that is, the percentage of servants has been very low since time immemorial.

Leaving aside homework, we come to the duties of parents towards their children. Parents have had responsibilities such as academic guidance, out-of-pocket money, home education, and so on. In the Republic of Korea today, due to the introduction of modernity in the country, each parent has his own role, but in the past it was the father who played over 70% of the educational role and the mother in the role of comforter. Traditionally, in the past, it was the boys who were allowed to study and the girls who were not allowed to study, were only allowed to learn housekeeping techniques and delicate female works.

Nowadays, in Korea, fathers have lost their maximum role and have a much smaller role than in the past, to the extent that fathers are providing more for themselves and even have very little contact with family members. The reason is that Korean fathers work hard to build a better life for their families.

Leaving aside the duties of a father, and let check the duties outside the home, which has been a symbol of the important duties of fathers. The fathers (men) covered all external activities and the wife or any other woman was not allowed to interfere or comment even after the death of the husband of the first son who continued the path of the father. Samjong's principle about women was highly praised and became one of the most important principles that introduced the man as the main leader of the family. But with the advent of modernity, the mechanism of society changed, now girls and women were allowed to cooperate in external and internal activities of the family, and their job status had also improved, but the relationship between the two sexes is still a bit abnormal and not constructive. In rural areas, work can also be seen being divided by gender.

Iman Ghasemi
25 Feb 2022
Views 16

Topic : Similarity between first full moon in korea and new year's bonfire night in Iran

Writers : Iman Ghasemi Deligani, Zahra Rezvani, Ghazaleh Bagheri

Brief explanation: our article is about two customs that really similar together in different parts and in soul!


Daeboreum 대보름

Bridge Crossing 다리밟기

Daljip taeugi _달집태우기 

Game Jwibul-nori (Fire Rat)

Sell Your Heat (Deowi-palgi_더위팔기)

Iran new year's Bonfire night

Belief in the derivation of the bonfire night from the Sadeh festival  

Costumes that happen in bonfire night 

Similarities between first full moon and bonfire night 

Jeongwol Daeboreum 정월대보름 

Daeboreum(대보름); is the fifteenth day of the first lunar month.  For Koreans, the moon symbolizes femininity and affluence. In the past, when the lunar calendar was used more widely, every fifteen days with a full moon was meaningful.  Of these "fifteenth" days, the fifteenth day of the first month after the new year begins has been seen as an important holiday no less important than soalnal(설날) itself, and everyone gives throughout the day various foods and customs. 

The celebration of the daeboreum(대보름) festival is commemorated as gratitude to the creator for having been given a good harvest and also given a long life.  The activities carried out during the cultural festival of Daeboreum(대보름) have a lot of meaning. 

In the past at the night of Daeboreum(대보름), especially women and children will light torches and head to the top of a hill or other high place to await the appearance of the moon. It is said that the first person to see the moon rising above the horizon will be awarded more of their place in the coming year than any other.  the moon rises higher in the sky, everyone will invoke the moon for good health, good luck and other personal wishes in the coming year. 

On the morning of Daeboreum(대보름), a few hard nut shells are thrown into the yard. People believe that this habit of consuming so-called Bureom(부럼) makes their teeth stronger. For breakfast, they eat nine kinds of old herbs, so-called mug-eun namul(묵은 나물). They also eat rice made of 5 different grains, which symbolizes a pile of grains, which symbolizes the progress of their prosperity.    

In ancient times, people made ogokbap (오곡밥) rice with five grains, a meal they rarely enjoyed in those times and which included rice, millet, sorghum, red beans and beans. They were hoping for a good harvest and for their well-being over the year ahead. The rice is usually served with an assortment of fried seasoned vegetables, known as jinchae (진채) or mug-eun namul(묵은 나물), which were gathered and dried after the harvest. People believed that eating this food would help them suffer less from the heat in the summer.

Farmers also play their musical instruments, to offer prayers to the gods who protect the village, step on the spirit of the earth, and go from house-to-house begging for grain. A traveling troupe of entertainers enters the villager's house, they are given rice or money, the people hope to be spared from disaster or disease.

The other hand, people protect their health by breaking and eating bureom (부럼), special seasonal beans, and drinking a cup of cold wine in the daeboreum (정월 대보름) morning.  People believe that they can boil any time if they want to eat bureom (부럼).  Cold wine is called kibalkisul (귀밝이술) , "The wine that quickens the ear, People in times past believed that if they drunk this alcohol, it would bring sharp and healthy ears and give the blessing of hearing a lot of good news all year around.

They also ate yaksik (약식) made by boiling glutinous rice with dates, chestnuts and ginkgo nuts, mixing them with honey and soy sauce. Meaning “food that is medicinal,” the dish can make up for any nutrients that they were lacking.

Apart from food seasonal, at daebroeum (정월 대보름) people have enjoyed many activities; from morning, walking back and forth on the bridge, burning the fields, etc. 

Besides Boreom (보름) there is also something called jwibultori.  Jwibullori refers to burning grass and weeds on the edge of dry field on the 14th day of the first lunar month. On that day, boys prepare firewood first.  They started with twos and threes to burn wood along the riverbank at night when the moon was rising in the sky.  

Bridge Crossing 다리밟기(Dari-bapgi)

On the way to welcome the moon, it is common to cross at least one bridge to get across the river, which causes the custom of dari-bapgi_다리밟기 (bridge crossing). It is believed that if you cross  12 bridges on the night of the Deaboreum (정월 대보름), you will be able to avoid misfortune for 12 months of the year Over the centuries, bridge crossings have become popular with young and old, men and women, as well as commoners and royalty.  

Daljip taeugi _달집태우기 

Burning of (Moon Shelter or house)

While waiting to "welcome the moon," youths will build a cone in the shape of a branch of green pine or bamboo with an opening facing East, the direction from which the moon rises.  A moon-shaped figure was hung inside and when the moon appeared, the moon shelter was set on fire.  Groups of peasant folk were often there to play live music and dance around the fire.

Koreans traditionally burned "daljip (달집)," or a pile of sheaves and wood chunks, to drive away bad luck and to wish good fortune.

 Game Jwibul-nori (Fire Rat)

 On these days, the edges of fields and paddy fields are burned to clear rats and pests in an effort to reduce crop losses. Similarly, children play related fire games such as burning the "moon shelter" and going around burning branches or torches in a circle. On the night the boys threaded wires into food cans with holes punched in them.  filled with smoldering coals of fiery embers. They then twirled these cans to produce large circles in the darkness. The boy who could determine the biggest fiery circle, round.  and most frankly he was the winner.  This tradition is still going on around Daeboreum (대보름).

Sell Your Heat (Deowi-palgi_더위팔기)

This entertainment practice takes place in the morning of Daeboreum(대보름).  People would walk around the area and call out names of friends and neighbors they would meet.  If they recognize the caller normally, the caller can say: "Sell your heat." In this way, the caller can "sell" or pass on to someone else the heat that callers usually have to endure in the summer.  On the other hand, if the person on call responds with "selling your heat," the caller must take the heat from this individual and then find someone else to pass it on today, the children may appear to be involved in this 

Iran new year's Bonfire night( چهارشنبه سوری)

A special celebration before the Iranian new year called Nowruz, the last Wednesday of the year that all Iranian all over the country celebrate it with some additional customs. There are many stories behind of this old cultural event and Some historians believe that this ancient and evolved festival is a celebration with an older history called the century (Sadeh, سده ); This festival is celebrated by 5 countries and several regions in the world and its original customs are still observed.

Belief in the derivation of the bonfire night from the Sadeh festival

Ibrahim Pourdawood believes that the celebration that is being held today is a modified form of the celebration of the Sadeh; Sedeh means dawn in Avesta and also means 50 nights and 50 days until spring equinox. One of the stories about this celebration is that when Fereydoun, with the help of Kaveh Ahangar, defeats the wicked Zahak and imprisons him on Damavand Mountain, he orders the people to set fire to the roofs of their houses and the Iranians liked the event and continued it.

In other words, it is said that the people gathered in the middle of Bahman and made a big fire, and rejoiced with joy and enthusiasm, as well as dialogue and consensus, so that this bitter cold of Bahman and Esfand would be safe. (According to the ancient Iranians, in February and March, the demonic forces gained a lot of power and they tried to confront them with prayer and celebration.)

The celebration of Sadeh lasted until the time of the Arab caliphs and the Khwarezmshahs, but was forgotten during the Mongol invasion and then its name was mentioned twice, one during the reign of king Mardavij in Isfahan and the other during the reign of king Amir Mahmud Ghaznavi.

Costoms that happen in bonfire night 

- Jumping over the fire

- Spoon-banging

- Smashing the pot

- Fortune telling (fal)

- Burning rue (Esfand)

- eating nuts 

Perhaps the most important part of this celebration is the tradition of jumping over the fire and reciting a poem that says, "My hardships and pains for you and your redness (the heat of the fire) for me."

This is the most attractive and popular part of bonfire night, along with gathering and spending the night with loved ones and eating different nuts and sweets and New Year fruits that bring happiness to our homes before the New Year; In fact, on this day, Iranians wish each other goodness, happiness and a happy future.

The tradition of spoon-feeding can be said to be the same as the ritual in which boys and girls go to neighbors' houses during Halloween and receive chocolates, nuts and snacks from them, with the difference that in the Iranian religion, they seek fortune and happiness. 

Breaking the Earthenware pots has many stories behind it, one of them was that the ancient Iranians thought that evils and iodine were concentrated in the pots and by breaking the pots, they would destroy the evils and in Another story that was common among Iranians in terms of medicine and health was that old and used pots were destroyed due to health issues to prevent possible illness and the spread of diseases, and this was cleaning action.

Similarities between first full moon and bonfire night 

Although bonfire night occurs before the Iranian New Year and Daeboreum occurs after the Lunar New Year, they both have one theme, and that is to wish happiness, health and good luck. The first cultural commonalities between the two festivals are the lighting of fire, which is seen in both festivals and is a testament to warmth and cheerfulness; Another common denominator is eating nuts and various foods, which is one of the enduring customs in two festivals.

In general, although there are different ceremonies in both that do not exist in the other, they have unique themes and similarities that show that the people of Asia have a similar thoughts that is celebrated every year with a celebration separate from the New Year and seek happiness and good fortune.


National Folk Museum of Korea

Korean Education Center in Washington D.C.(KECDC) Heritage Administration-,00030000,11&pageNo__=5_1_1_0&pageNo=1_1_2_0

Purdawood, Ibrahim (2007).  "Fireworks Wednesday".  Anahita: Purdavood's Iranian Studies Articles.  By the efforts of Morteza Gorji.  Tehran: Book World

Nafisi, Saeed (April 1313).  "Chaharshanbe Suri (Part 1)".

Iman Ghasemi
22 Oct 2021
Views 20

Topic : Iranian and Korean rites 

Writer : Iman Ghasemi 

Short Explanation: it's a brief comparison between Iranian and Korean rites and also similarities that could be found. 





Iranians are more sensitive compare to Koreans 

Korea kept the ancestors rites but it's fade in Iran

Iran has also Arabic culture and ancestors rites 

Gut (ritual), mysterious one

Similar to Gut but it is very different inside 

Charye, the one that exist in another way in Iran 




To compare Korean and Iranian rites together we can find some elements that are similar to each other but there are so many differences between the two cultures that are going to be  addressed.

Iranians are more sensitive compare to Koreans 

     Since it takes much time for a Persian to conceal their pain of losing a person, Persians usually have wide and long progress of funerals. As mentioned above, funerals are more important than rites.


    There are lots of grief  and sadness at the funeral and this progress is so long and there are many costumes in one month after losing a person. It means that Persians have day one, day two and seventh day and at last 1 month after the person's death that they mourn in those days for they lost and people who knows that man they came to the funeral to show their respect and Grief of losing that dear man or woman.

     In the funeral, The Iranian people mourn for that person, and in nights, after the lamentation, they serve dinner for mourners. Iran has annual lamentation just like Korea. The point is, however, that the length of grieving periods of the Iranian funerals are way longer than the mourning periods of the Korean rites.  

     In Iran's society, when a member of family dies, they don't usually work for seven days or even  two weeks but the Korean people have less than Iranian. This is why Persians are more sensible than Koreans.

Korea kept the ancestors rites but it's fade in Iran

     Annual ceremonies for ancestors in Korea are in various forms like kije, charye, sije but in Iran, they just got some annual rites for the people who was killed in war or soldiers who died while they defending from the borders.

     So Korean really respect their ancestors. These valuable ceremonies and activities provide younger generations in Korea with the chance to learn how to respect people who lived before us. 

Iran has also Arabic culture and ancestors rites 

    As mentioned above, Iranians these days don’t have special ceremonies. However, in the Islamic side of iran, they have Ashura Tasua that belongs to Arabic culture. Tasua and Ashura occur on the ninth and tenth days of Muharram, the first month of the Muslim year. The word 'Tasua' means ninth, and 'Ashura' means tenth in Arabic. 

     Tasua and Ashura commemorate the murder of Imam Husayn and certain members of his family in the year 680AD in Karbala. It has been so popular in Iran for 450 years among Iranians became Shia that many people every year also attend an event related to Ashura Tasua called Arbaʽeen.

     Arbaʽein, Chehellom is a Shiite religious observance that occurs forty days after the Day of Ashura. It commemorates the martyrdom of Al-Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad, who was martyred on the 10th day of the month of Muharram.

Gut (ritual), mysterious one 

     Gut is a shamanic ritual in Korea that is associated with spirits, music, and dance. The Korean shamans wear big and colourful clothes when they go into the trance to get help from God and wish one’s welfare. There are several types of Gut below:

1. Naerim-gut (내림굿)

2. Dodang-gut (도당굿)

3. Ssitgim-gut (씻김굿)

4. Jaesu-gut (재수굿)

5. Cheondoje'ui (천도제의)

Similar to Gut but it is very different inside 

     In Iran, there are some people who called Sufiy ( صُوفِيّ‎, ṣūfīy) contrary to Gut this one is individual and it's not for money or fortune. In other words, Sufism is a method of esoteric behavior. 

     In the definition of Sufism, different views are expressed; But its principles are based on the way in which knowing the Creator of the universe, discovering the truths of creation and the connection between man and truth is possible through mystical and esoteric path and not through rational reasoning. Its subject is the negation of self-centeredness and self-annihilation and joining the Creator of the universe. 

     Sufiy usually do Sama and it's like shaman do but they are different in the context mentioned above. a is a type of Sufi dance that involves rotating the body in a trance for spiritual purposes. Sama has an ancient historical background and after Islam, it has found supporters and opponents in this religion, or in other words, Sama is influenced by the movement of the group of lovers under the sounds of daf, reed, tambourine, and melodic poems.

Charye, the one that exist in another way in Iran 

     Charye is an ancestral rite that it involves peoples to prepare traditional foods to generations of ancestors at a family shrine. Like all jesa rituals, charye is customarily only performed by the eldest male heir of a family at the altar of the oldest living male. 

     The food is set on a table before an altar to the family’s ancestors. Each item on the table has a specific place determined by family, city, and tradition. The setting of the table is carefully cared for by the family. The specific food a family may serve during charye varies from one region to another. 

     But in Iran, there are many shrines but they are belonged to religious and important people. They are big and designed by gold everywhere and in special days they have some ceremonies and they give the poor people food, drink and maybe money or clothes; the people that buried in the shrines usually they are sacred or they are a big General or emperor.




1.    Hoseini-e Jalali, Mohammad-Reza (1382). Jehad al-Imam al-Sajjad (in Persian). Translated by Musa Danesh. Iran, Mashhad: Razavi, Printing & Publishing Institute. pp. 214–17.

2.    The Naqshbandi Sufi Tradition Guidebook of Daily Practices and Devotions, p. 83, Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, 2004

3.    Ghazzālī, and Claud Field. The Alchemy of Happiness. Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1991.

4.    The intellectual and political life of the Shiite Imams (as). (Rasoul Jafarian, 2008)

5.    Park, Chang-Won (10 June 2010). Cultural Blending in Korean Death Rites


7.    Lee, Jung Young (1981). Korean Shamanistic Rituals. Mouton De Gruyter. 

Iman Ghasemi
23 Aug 2021
Views 17

Topic : General Surena and General Kim Yu-sin 

Writer : Iman Ghasemi 

Short Explanation: a brief history about tow Big Generals in history of world




Both are the biggest generals in the world but I think not many people know them but for sure they know Genghis Khan and Cyrus the great or even Caesar. Those generals mentioned above are big enough for the works and actions which they did for their country.

Kim,Yu-sin’s action and life

Statue of Kim Yushin inside1.jpg

General Kim yu-shin (김유신).[1] was born in 595 A.D. in Silla kingdom. When he got 14, he became Flowering Knights, it was a place who a group of youth males gathers together to study culture and religion like Korean Buddhism. Then at the age of 34, he became a total commander of Silla. He did such big things in the Korean peninsula. The biggest feature is the unification of Korea. Even though lots of previous kings such as King Dongmyeong[2] and his sons of the Goguryeo dynasty[3] tried to unite Korea as one nation, they failed to do. King Dongmyeong and his sons are defeated by General Kim yu-shin. The unification of Korea was the ultimate dream that every king in the Korean peninsula had. The kings were in a fight for numerous years, but their dreams were not able to become true. Korea was united, however, by Kim, Yu-sin, a strong and intelligent general years after King Dongmyeong of the Goguryeo dynasty. The voyage to the unification had started: Silla broke the alliance with Baekje and attacked Baekje. Afterward, Baekje and Goguryeo became an allay and Kim Yu-shin knew that Silla needs a new alliance. Silla asked for help from Tang. General Kim yu-shin helped Tang take Baekje, and Silla and Tang attacked Goguryeo in north and south. Silla and Tang finally took all over Korea. Unfortunately, however, Tang did not want to leave Korea. To beat Tang, therefore, Kim yu-shin had several wars against Tang and finally won.[4]

Kim,Yu-sin’s legacy 

General Kim[5], Yu-sin died in bed at age of 79. Much of his life is mentioned in Volumes 1 to 3 of Samguk Sagi's book and the first volume of Samguk Yosa's book. His greatest legacy for Korea was the unification of the country, as he was able to defeat the senior generals of Baekje (Gibaek) and Goguryeo (Yeongaesomun), conquer Baekje and Goguryeo, and oust the Chinese rule of the Tang from the Korean Peninsula. He did a big and important work for Korea to be unified at last and to end wars between people who were one and suffering so many years from starving and killing and losing their beloved for noting. The features that Kim, Yu-sin made was big progress that Korea had in the 7th century and helped Korea to become bigger and more stable and also independent.

General Surena

On the other side, Iran has a big general, Surena[6], who fought against Roman Empire. General Surena did things that show his intelligence and his military power. The name of the general is Surena or Rustaham Suren, and he was born in 82 B.C. Although he died very soon, he was very famous among Iranian because of what he did. He was from the Suren family, one of the seven famous Iranian families (during the Parthians and Sassanids). Soren in Pahlavi Persian means strong. Another letter of this family is Windeferen, who was the governor of Sistan in the first century A.D.; His territory stretched from India and Punjab to Sistan. Surena was ranked first in terms of race, wealth, and fame after the king, and due to family decency on the day of the king's coronation, he had the right to wear the royal belt. Surena put Orodes to the throne and captured the city of Seleucia, and was the first to climb the wall of the city and subdue those who resisted with his own hands.

The Battle of Carrhae

The battle of Carrhae.jpg

Julius Caesar, Pompée, and Crassus were the three great Roman generals and rulers (known as Triumvirate I) who jointly ruled the vast lands occupied by the Roman government. They decided to attack Iran at a meeting of Luca on October 3, 56 B.C[7]. Crassus, the ruler of the eastern part of Rome at that time; That is, it was Syria, and to expand the Roman government in Asia, it intended to attack Iran and India. Finally, Iran and Rome fought somewhere in Current Turkey, and the battle between the two nations has been named the Battle of Carrhae[8]. Roman officers reported their defeat of Iran to the Roman Senate: Surena, the commander of the Iranian army, used new tactics and weapons in the war. Every Iranian cavalryman carried a small musk of water with him and did not feel thirsty like us. Water and ammunition were delivered to the infantry with muskets loaded on the camels. The Iranian soldiers took turns leaving the square specially and resting. Iranian riders have the ability to shoot from behind. The Iranians invented new bows with which they were able to strike the feet of our infantrymen, who had built a defensive wall against them with large shields to protect our riders. The Iranians had double-barreled rifles that were fired continuously with a new machine up to long distances. Their swords were not fragile. Each unit used only one type of weapon and did not weigh itself as much as we did[9]. The Iranian soldiers did not give up and fought to the last. It was that we were defeated, lost seven legions completely, and suffered heavy casualties in the other four legions. The Battle of Carrhae, the first war between Iran and Rome, has great importance in history because the Romans suffered a major defeat between the two sects after successive victories for the first time in a battle near Carrhae. This war ended for Rome at the cost of twenty thousand killed and ten thousand captives.

Surena's predestination

Surena and his wife Vishka two times saved the life of Farhad IV, King of Iran, from Roman assassination; who died a second time and were killed by Roman mercenaries. He had 31 and he died when he was young contrary to Kim, Yu-sin who died in 79[10]

General Surena and General Kim, Yu-sin

Surena and Kim, Yu-sin cannot be compared because it was about big empires and the Korean peninsula but both were so smart and they did impossible things that make them the best generals both countries had in history. They both had a big knowledge of fighting with the least warriors but with great tactics that their enemies did not experience before. Also, both generals did things that the kings could not do for many years. Their bravery, intelligence, decency, and their efforts to defend and develop their country deserve praise and respect, although the two are very different in what they did and also in how much they lived. The talent and originality of the family, both generals had the same features, and the actions that the generals did as if they were clever and wonderful made these two generals the best on the planet and immortalized their names.


  1. 1 ^
  2. 2 ^
  3. 3 ^
  4. 4 ^ McBride, Richard D., II. “Hidden Agendas in the Life Writings of Kim Yusin.” Acta Koreana volume 1 & 2
  5. 5 ^
  6. 6 ^ Dr. Mohammad Moein, Moein Culture Volume 5, Amirkabir Publications
  7. 7 ^ History of Iranians on this day, Dr. Noshirvan Kayhanizadeh
  8. 8 ^ Irannameh, Volume 3, Written by Abbas Mehrin Shoushtari, Bank Melli Iran Publications
  9. 9 ^ Yershman, The Parthians, Iran from the Beginning to Islam, translated by Mohammad Moin
  10. 10 ^ Yershman, The Parthians, Iran from the Beginning to Islam, translated by Mohammad Moin


1. Dr. Mohammad Moein, Moein Culture Volume 5, Amirkabir Publications

2. Yershman, The Parthians, Iran from the Beginning to Islam, translated by Mohammad Moin

3. History of Iranians on this day, Dr. Noshirvan Kayhanizadeh

4. Irannameh, Volume 3, Written by Abbas Mehrin Shoushtari, Bank Melli Iran Publications

5. History of Iran before Islam, Pirnia, Abbas Iqbal, Negah Publications, Tehran, 2007

6. McBride, Richard D., II. “Hidden Agendas in the Life Writings of Kim Yusin.” Acta Koreana volume 1 & 2



9. Category:History Category:Iran Category:Korea

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