Dancing is an integral part of the culture of the Kurds. Small groups or large groups can break into spontaneous movement- in the forest, in a meadow, on the street or even sometimes on the bus. At the big Spring/New Year celebration, Naw Roz, family groups picnicking throughout the countryside bring loudspeakers and electronic players.These provide the beat and music. Then the generations of friends and family join hands in a semi circle, which can extend to a full circle if there are enough people. The feet move sideways around the circle while the arms and shoulders move vigorously to the beat. Occasionally, one has the privilege of having a live group playing drums and cuzela (a nasally oboe type of wind instrument).
Weddings are not complete without huge speaker systems that blast singers such as Aziz Waysi, a very popular singer, and the circles of moving shoulders and feet. Below is a great video that shows village life along with an example of his music.
This is a bit of footage that I took with my little Nikon. It is a little rustic but shows the beautiful "jili Kurdi" and the long sleeves tied behind the back of the women.
My Kurdish dancing experience mirrors the welcome that I have experienced in all my interactions with Kurdish people. They seem excited and a little amused that we desire to join into their cultural traditions, whether that is eating Kurdish food, sleeping on mats on their floors or joining their family in dance. But they say beker bate..welcome, welcome. ["You may be a little strange looking and you don't know how to dance very well,"] But welcome, please come and join us..
I don't have any video footage of me joining the dance, but here are a couple of still photos.(Rosemary Milazzo)