Who are we?
I usually come across rather interesting information when I just surf on the internet with no purpose. This time I found a couple of sources that explain the etymology of the word Tajik.
I remember when I was at high-school we were often told that Tajik meant crowned; consequently, Tajik nation was a crowned nation. As far as I remember, the books I read and our teachers said the word “Tajik” appeared during Somoni Empire and it was used in the works of Saadi and J.Rumi then. I love this interpretation and never thought of it being true or false before I read a article at Wikipedia about the Central Asian people known as Tajiks:
“Tājik” is a word of Turko-Mongol origin and means (literally) Non-Turk. It has the same root as the word Tat which is used by Turkic-speakers for the Persian-speaking population of the Caucasus.
First mentioned by the Uyghur historian Mahmoud Al-Kāshgharī, Tājik is an old Turkic expression referring to all Persian-speaking peoples of Central Asia. From the 11th century on, it came to be applied principally to all East-Iranians, and later specifically to Persian-speakers. It is hard to establish the use of the word before the Turkic- and Mongol conquest of Central Asia, and since at least the 15th century it has been used by the region’s Iranian population to distinguish themselves from the Turks.
Here the word is said to have Turko-Mongol origin. Even though this interpretation relatively makes sense, it is hard to argue if it is true or not.
Besides that, I ran into one more interpretation of Tajik. This time the origin is claimed to be much older. In the article Who are Tajiks? by Traher Kabuli it is said:
The name Tajik (also spelled Tadjik, Tajek) refers to a group of people who are believed to be one of the pure and close decedents of the ancient Aryans. Their country was called Aryana Vajeh and the name “Taa-jyaan” from which came the word Tajik is mentioned in The Avesta.
Interpretation of history is different from country to country, region to region. Every event in the history is described in different ways by different authors. In any case, wherever the word comes from it is for sure that Tajiks have rich culture and their roots go deep into history.