International Day of the World’s Indigenous People 2023

March 9th marks the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, a day to honor and celebrate the thousands of indigenous women and men who remain devoted to their customs, traditions, and ways of life in various countries. According to the United Nations, approximately 476 million indigenous people, constituting 6.2% of the global population, currently reside in 90 different countries. These indigenous populations represent over five thousand distinct cultures and are the primary custodians of most of the world’s approximately 7,000 living languages. This day is commemorated in various countries, including Iran.

Throughout its history, the land of Iran has been home to diverse ethnic groups coexisting within a shared geographical boundary. One example is the province of Khuzestan in Iran, which hosts various ethnic communities such as Lurs, Arabs, Kurds, Turks (Qashqai), and Persians. Another instance involves the Kermani ethnic groups, who have enriched the culture of Khorasan after migrating from Kordistan. One distinguishing characteristic that sets Indigenous people apart from other societal groups is their possession of unique cultural elements. Music, cuisine, clothing, handicrafts, architectural techniques, agriculture, animal husbandry, language, literature, medicine, and more are all deeply rooted in their indigenous cultures and often differ from the culture of the capital or central regions of Iran. This day provides an excellent opportunity to engage children in discussions about their homeland and heritage. It’s a chance to pique their curiosity about the indigenous people’s way of life during travels and to inspire an appreciation for their traditional and historical background.