Kurdish Gypsy festival begins in Duhok
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A Kurdish Gypsy festival began Sunday morning in Duhok, with the participation of hundreds of Doms, as the ethnic minority is referred to in Kurdish, both from the Kurdistan Region and around the world.
The festival, which lasts two days, will discuss the history of the Doms and exhibit their handicrafts and music.
During the festival, the governor of Duhok, Ali Tatar, said that the Doms have given many martyrs for the sake of the Kurdistan Region.
"We have always respected the Doms. In the fight against ISIS and the defense of the holy land of Kurdistan, I remember a number of martyred Peshmergas who belonged to the Dom community. They sacrificed themselves for the sake of the Kurdish people," the governor said, and then noted, “I witnessed dozens of heroic Peshmergas from this ethnic group with us in both the May and September Revolutions.”
Tatar called on the province’s cultural ministry to mark the event as an annual festivity and to try and expand it in the coming years.
"The Doms have beautiful crafts and unique craftsmen among them. Therefore, I think it is necessary to take advantage of their beautiful work," he added.
On the first day of festivities, a number of panels were presented, discussing the history of the Doms, and on Monday, a number of art pieces and handicrafts will be presented for display.
One of the most important goals of the festival, according to its organizers, is to change the name of the Kurdistan Region's Qaraj to Dom, because of the derogatory connotations of the former.
"There are more than 20 types of Doms in the Kurdistan Region, and through this festival, we want to change the name of the Qaraj in the Kurdistan Region to Dom," said Younis Zahir, another KRG official.
There are an estimated 46,000 Dom citizens in the Kurdistan Region. In Duhok province, the ethnic group heavily populates the Adar neighborhood, many of whom are engaged in crafting methods such as textiles, carpentry, pottery, and sculpting.