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Cultural Norms

Chonee? You will hear this often. It is a favorite greeting which means “how are you?” in Kurdish. Kurdistan is rich with the resonance of its glorious history and is host to many different ethnicities living peacefully together. Kurds love music, poetry and dancing. Many Kurdish villages have their own dances. Romance and heroism are usually the theme of dances or folk legends. Kurdish musicians play a type of flute (zornah) and drum (dohol). The Kurdish culture has survived even though they have never had a country to call their own. Traditional Kurdish dance is a form of round dancing. Kurds sing and dance in all of their festivals, birthdays and marriage ceremonies. Kurdistan is famous for their rugs. The rugs are stout and solid in structure and the traditional Kurdish Rugs uses Kurdish symbols. It is possible to read the dreams, wishes and hopes of the Kurdish rug maker from the sequence of symbols they use.

The Kurdish People

The Kurds are a distinct, non-Arab, non-Persian, non-Turkic ethnic group, mostly Sunni Muslims, with their own language, customs, dress, and ways of life. The people living in the Kurdistan Region are Kurds as well as Assyrians, Chaldeans, Turkmen, Armenians and Arabs. Traditionally, the majority of people in the Kurdistan Region lived in villages and survived on farming and animal husbandry of mainly sheep and goats thanks to the land’s fertile soil. The Region was known as the breadbasket of Iraq.

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