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Let’s dance for Newroz
Reminiscing the happiness of my homeland
Newroz refers to the celebration of the traditional Iranian new year holiday of Newroz in Kurdish society. Before the Islamization of the Iranic peoples in Asia, the Zoroastrian religion was believed in by the ancestors of the modern Kurds. In Zoroastrian doctrine, fire is a symbol of sight, goodness and purification. Every year on the 21st of March, Newroz day is celebrated by Kurds around the world, it is considered the most important festival in Kurdish culture, and is a time for entertainment such as games, dancing, family gathering, preparation of special foods and the reading of poetry. But it’s harder for Kurds in Syria, according Human Rights Watch, Syrian Kurds have had to struggle to celebrate Newroz, and in the past the celebration has led to violent oppression, leading to several deaths and mass arrests. Loring Kasso, Syrian Kurd, talks about his love for Newroz.
People have their numbers, days and histories. They write them in their diaries. But I have other history engraved in my childhood memories. It’s Newroz day 21st of March, we rejoice its arrival and the carrying soft Spring breezes with it. On this day Kurds wear their special clothes and dance to the sky. I remember when I was a little child, how my family and neighbours rejoice to the coming of the Newroz and everyone was preparing for it. They brought and bought endless things for Newroz day. Women were enthusiastic and children were waiting for their father to light the torch in the big place of the village or hills. I remember when I was a child, I lit a torch and I was so happy like as if I was sailing in a fantasy world and flying like a butterfly in Spring.
For me, Newroz is freedom from slavery and injustice. When we light the torch everyone becomes quiet and we feel that we are liberated. This day reminds me of Kawa Haddad, which is considered a national hero.
The ritual of Newroz is to wear bright Kurdish clothes and to go out to a big place or village like Kebz and Julbustan. The men set up the tents in the ground around the place where the Newroz party happens and the women make delicious food like kebab, barbecue, rice, salad, drinks and sweets in the middle of a big, natural place then celebrate.
We dance to Kurdish songs. Although we have problems with the government, we still do Newroz without fear and with joy. Our preparation didn’t stop and all girls and boys prepared for the dance and theatrical performances about the Kurd’s life, history, culture and politics.
I remember another memory of when I was a child, in 2010. When my oldest brother -Azad -did a theatrical performance with his friends about the butchery of Halabja and me and alongside my sister Rojin, read a poem in front of everyone. Although the government watched us to make sure no one took photos and videos of the party, we actually secretly took pictures and videos and hid them at home.
At the moment I’m far away from most of my family and my country. I might not return there. Lots of things changed like family, friends, streets, weather and everything. Newroz day changed. Although I’m far from my homeland I still imagine the nice and good days. I also light candles for Newroz. We do the party here like we used to do in my country.
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