Cultural heritage celebration called off over respect for martyr Soleimani

January 4, 2020 - 19:1

TEHRAN – Iran’s tourism ministry has canceled a ceremony to celebrate the registration of dotar, a traditional stringed instrument, on the UNESCO Cultural Heritage list over the martyrdom of Major General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

Deputy tourism minister Mohammad-Hassan Talebian announced the cancelation on Friday after the government announced three days of mourning over the martyrdom of Soleimani which happened in a U.S. airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport on Friday morning.

“Celebration for the UNESCO recognition of traditional skills of crafting and playing the dotar, which was scheduled for tomorrow (January 4) at the Niavaran palace, is canceled following the martyrdom of Sardar Haj Qassem Soleimani and the announcement of three days of public mourning in the country,” Talebian said on Friday.

“The ceremony is postponed to another time, which will be announced later.”

Iran’s traditional skills of crafting and playing the dotar won world heritage status in December 2019, joining UNESCO’s culture list as one of the most prominent social and cultural components of the folkloric music of the nation. Dotar (meaning “two strings” in Persian) is a folkloric plucked musical instrument with a pear-shaped bow crafted with dried wood or mulberry tree, a neck made of apricot or walnut wood, and two strings.


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