Posted: Mon 8th Jul 2024

Kurdish Folk Dancers continue family tradition at Llangollen Eisteddfod for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area

A group of competitors were playing the generation game at this year’s Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod.

The London-based Kurdish Folk Dancers have been coming to the world-famous north Wales festival, which aims to promote peace through music and dance, to showcase their traditional skills and take part in its competitions, since 1990.

Their leader is 65-year Huseyin Cicek who accompanies the group’s 16 male and female dancers on a highly-decorated drum.

In the past he has brought with him to perform his two older sons but this year it was the turn of his youngest son, 21-year-old Burak, to join the line-up as a dancer.

Dad Huseyin, who had the distinction of heading up the group in the Eisteddfod’s famous Parade of Nations which traditionally kicks off the week-long festival, said: “With a couple of years’ exception during the pandemic, we have been coming to the Llangollen Eisteddfod every year since 1990.

“The reason we keep coming back is that, as Kurds, we are not recognised as a national group anywhere else in the country apart from Llangollen and that is a very good feeling.

“We also love to come to the Eisteddfod because of the fantastic location and international atmosphere.”

He added: “I’ve been living in the UK since 1985 and brought my two eldest boys to Llangollen as part of our group.

“This year I am delighted that I’ve been able to bring my youngest son so he can see for himself why we all love the Eisteddfod so much and keep on coming back.”

Burak, who along with the rest of the group all have day jobs and only dance for the sheer fun of it, said: “I’ve really enjoyed myself at Llangollen and it was something special for me to be part of the group at last.

“The people you meet in the town and on the Eisteddfod field are lovely and friendly and it’s amazing to be in a place surrounded by such beautiful countryside.

“I’m definitely hoping to come back again next year because I’ve enjoyed myself so much and it’s been fantastic to keep up the family tradition of performing in Llangollen.”

The Eisteddfod’s Artistic Director Dave Danford said: “We were delighted to have the Kurdish group with us once again this year.

“I think it’s marvellous to see that their long association with our festival has now continued into another generation, with Burak joining his dad Huseyin, who is such a familiar face to us, and the other dancers in one of our competitions and the Parade of Nations.

“The fostering of friendship between so many international groups has always been a key part of the ethos of the festival since it began in 1947.”

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