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Czechs participated at celebration of Kurdish New Year - Newroz 2719 - in Erbil

Successful presentation of Moravian folklore in the Region of Iraqi Kurdistan - The Folklore Ensemble Olšava from the Czech Republic got attention in Erbil.


The first public diplomacy event of the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Erbil in the Region of Iraqi Kurdistan in 2019 covered the participation of the Moravian folklore ensemble Olšava from Uherský Brod at the celebration of the 2719th Kurdish New Year - Nawroz (or Newroz or Nowroz.

The activities and program of the Olšava folklore ensemble were prepared in coordination with the Ministry of Culture of Iraqi Kurdistan, the Erbíl Province Governorate, the Foreign Relations Department of the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Erbíl Branch of the Technical University of Ostrava.

On 19 March 2019, 7 musicians and 12 dancers of the folklore ensemble Olšava performed for the public at the 11th Freedom & Newroz Festival - Festival of Hawler at the historic Citadel of Erbil. At the concert, which attracted people not only from Erbil, but also other visitors from Iraqi Kurdistan and the wider Iraq as well as a number of local TV stations and media, the Olšava played wonderful folklore music and showed spectacular folklore dance performances contributing to the great atmosphere of the concert. The concert ended with the spontaneous Kurdish dance of the Olšava dancers with the co-performing Syrian dance ensemble Rojava and a number of enthusiastic spectators who also joined the performers in the general cheerfulness.

On 20 March, the Olšava participated in celebrations of Newroz in Shanidar Park in central Erbil, which culminated with lighting of traditional bonfires and could not go without interviews of Olšava members to the eager media.

In general, the media in Iraqi Kurdistan have given this public diplomacy event a great deal of attention. The most important are undoubtedly the following:
- private TV station NET TV invited Olšava. to currently one of the most popular live shows in Kurdistan, Iraq - Evin Jin at Jiyan / Evin - Woman and Life on 18 March and sequences of the program were further presented in other shows of this station
- Kurdistan24 made a short documentary and music videoclip with Olšava
- Rudaw invited Olšava representative to the morning news broadcast "Nuroz" (New Day) on 19 March
Consul General Mr. Michal Svoboda provided several media interviews.

Kurdish New Year Celebrations on 21 March is one of the largest and most important holidays in Iraqi Kurdistan (and is also celebrated in neighboring countries). Public festivities associated with musical and dance performances by Kurdish ensembles take place traditionally all over Iraqi Kurdistan from 10 till 20 March.

Participation of foreign music ensembles in cultural events in Iraqi Kurdistan is generally rather rare and the participation of the ensemble from the Czech Republic at this occasion was therefore all the more important.

The aim of the event - the promotion of Czech culture and the development of cultural cooperation between the Czech Republic and the Region of Iraq Kurdistan and another significant increase in awareness of the Czech Republic among the public - was fulfilled.


Olšava - Newroz 2019