Uyghurs are increasingly wearing doppas to preserve their culture and counter China

05 May 2022 22:59 STI

Washington [US]May 5 (ANI): As May 5 marks the Uyghur Doppa cultural festival, commonly referred to as Doppa Day, Uyghurs increasingly wear their doppas as part of cultural preservation and symbolic national resistance against the campaign of colonization, genocide and occupation. carried out in their homeland by the Chinese government.
This statement was made by the Executive Council of the Government of East Turkestan in Exile.
Doppa Day is celebrated primarily by Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples native to East Turkestan as a marker of their unique Uyghur/Turkish culture and East Turkestan national identity.
The statement states that across the world, various ethnic groups and nations have a unique dress (garment) that symbolizes the culture and identity of that nation and ethnic group. Different colors and patterns are also seen in the shared clothing/garments of a specific ethnic group or nation to distinguish certain regions or cities within a geographical area inhabited by that particular nation or ethnic group.
Due to globalization, historical attires of different nations and ethnic groups have mostly disappeared from everyday use. Most often, they are worn only by artists, musicians, actors or on special occasions such as national holidays, weddings, cultural events, etc., the statement said.
The Doppa is a square and sometimes round skullcap originating from Central Asia. For thousands of years, the doppa was mainly worn by the Turkic peoples of Central Asia and the Seljuk Turks who emigrated and settled in Anatolia (modern Turkey).
Today the doppa is mainly worn by Uyghurs, Uzbeks, Tatars [in the Tatarstan Republic in the Russian Federation]and the Tajiks.

“Like the national dress of other nations, the wearing of the doppa has also been affected by globalization, but also by the Chinese government’s attempts to eradicate Uyghur cultural and national identity,” the statement said.
Inside East Turkestan, the doppa is mostly worn on national holidays or special occasions like traditional weddings, funerals, and other social events. At the same time, in the remote villages of East Turkestan, just ten years ago, it still had a significant local presence.
According to the statement, as part of China’s ongoing genocidal campaign against the Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples, the wearing of the doppa has been mostly restricted in various aspects of public life in East Turkestan.
Uyghurs in East Turkestan, especially those in the global diaspora, have pushed back against the Chinese government’s efforts to eradicate their cultural and national identity by bringing the wearing of the doppa back into fashion, especially among young people. He is now widely regarded as a symbol of cultural and national expression of East Turkestan and Uyghurs, according to the statement.
“Uyghurs in the diaspora, young and old, men and women, increasingly wear their doppas as part of cultural preservation and symbolic national resistance against the campaign of colonization, genocide and occupation waged in their homeland by the Chinese government.”
Since the doppa is a symbolic yet simple means of expressing East Turkestan/Uyghur national identity, the East Turkestan government in exile has encouraged Uyghurs and other East Turkistanis to wear their doppa daily.
The doppa has essentially turned into a symbol of resistance to China’s attempts to eradicate the unique culture, national identity and very existence of Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples, according to the statement. (ANI)

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