Kurdistan Folklore Dance Festival starts in Esslingen

This year's Kurdistan Folklore Dance Festival is being held in the German city of Esslingen. Many groups are taking part in the dance competition, and the dancers kicked off the festival with a colourful procession through the city.


The 35th Festival of Folklore Dances of Kurdistan (Mîhrîcana Govendên Kurdistanê) is taking place in Esslingen this weekend. This year, groups from Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands are taking part in the dance competition organised by Govend Europa.

The participating groups met today at the station square in Esslingen to kick off the event. The first group to arrive was Govendê Bêrîvan from Wesel. The folklore group consists of 14 women, most of whom are Yazidis. They named themselves after the Yazidi revolutionary Binevş Agal, who joined the PKK in Germany in 1984 under the fighting name Bêrîvan.

Traditional dances from various regions of Kurdistan were performed on the station square. The approximately 400 participants wore Kurdish clothing and presented a colourful sight. After the dance performances, they marched through Esslingen with shawm-and-drum to the city library, where the dancing continued.

The festival will be taking place today and tomorrow at the Neckar Forum. At the end, the best performances will be honoured with prizes in four categories.

The following groups are taking part in this year's competition:

Govenda Berîvan Wesel
Govenda Arya-Mara Köln
Govenda Baran Köln
Govenda Baran 2 Köln
Govenda Romanî Köln
Govenda Ar Wuppertal
Govenda Aşe Îve Leverkusen
Koma Azadî Dortmund
Koma Dilçem Hagen
Koma Kûlîlkên Welat Duisburg
Koma Feraşîn Berlin
Koma Kanîya Sipî Celle
Koma Şîyar Jin Salzgitter
Koma Şîyar Salzgitter
Govenda Sîpan Amara Hamburg
Govenda Esterîya Limburg
Govenda Mezopotamya Saarbrücken
Koma Hebûn Verden
Koma Şehîd Zülküf Nürnberg
Koma Jiyan Stuttgart
Evîna Welat Bi Hevra Basel
Govenda Gelawej Basel
Koma Agirê Welat Solothurn
Koma Demhat Zürich
Govenda Rojbîn Paris
Govenda Nergîzên Çiya Den Haag