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Rudaw

Kurds in Kirkuk defiantly celebrate Traditional Clothing Day

By Rudaw 11/3/2019

Dressed in colorful and traditional Kurdish garments, people in Kirkuk celebrated the Traditional Clothing Day on Sunday. 

“I am thrilled to have worn this traditional colorful clothing," said a student at Kwestan School for Girls in Kirkuk.

Kirkuk University reportedly banned the activities in the disputed or Kurdistani city that is claimed by both Erbil and Baghdad.

Many schools are using the day to pay tribute to Kurdistan’s fighting force, the Peshmerga.

The men’s outfit consists of baggy pants with a fitted top, usually in muted browns and blues. A tight sash – the pishtend (cummerbund) – is wrapped around the waist. Some men also wear the checked jamana (Kurdish turban) that is traditionally white and black or white and red.

Women’s outfits tend to be very colourful, but vary geographically across Kurdistan. Long multi-hued dresses are often embellished with embroidery or beads, sometimes paired with a short jacket or flowing sleeves. Women and girls usually wear gold jewelry. Headpieces known as klaw – made from cloth or jewelry – are also popular.

Honoring the traditional dress day in Kirkuk this year comes as Kurds are not militarily nor administratively in control of the disputed province. 

The tradition was first introduced by the Ministry of Education in 2010 to preserve Kurdish traditions and the local culture during an era of growing international influence locally. The aim of the government was to promote the cultural symbol, especially among the youth. 

Some Kurds view the ethnically mixed city of Kirkuk as their “Jerusalem” because of its geographic and historical significance. Peshmerga forces took control of the city in 2014 to protect it from the ISIS group’s lightening advance.

Iraqi forces supported by Iran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitias and militias seized the city in October 2017 following the Kurdistan Region’s independence referendum. 

Photos by Hardi Mohammed | Rudaw


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