Green MP Golriz Ghahraman 'could not be more excited' about new tattoo embracing her Kurdish roots

Green MP Golriz Ghahraman is looking forward to getting traditional Kurdish deq tattoos.
Green MP Golriz Ghahraman is looking forward to getting traditional Kurdish deq tattoos. Photo credit: Newshub / Getty

Green MP Golriz Ghahraman says she's "not quite ready for facial tattoos" but is looking forward to embracing her Kurdish roots by getting traditional deq markings. 

"This Friday I'm finally getting my traditional Kurdish deq tattoos," the Green MP wrote on social media, referring to the ancient tradition pre-dating Islamic times. 

Kurdish people are an Iranian ethnic group native to a mountainous region of Western Asia known as Kurdistan, which spans south-eastern Turkey, north-western Iran, northern Iraq, and northern Syria.

Ghahraman was born in Iran and came to New Zealand as a refugee in 1990. 

"I could not be more excited to help revive this beautiful indigenous tradition and connect with the incredible proud elders I remember wearing theirs back home. They represent a pre-Islamic culture of strength, nature and the night sky."

Ghahraman said she now feels ready to get the tattoos after contemplating it for some time. 

"It's more being comfortable finally with claiming that part of my identity after lots of conversations with my mum and sharing both our memories of our Kurdish culture," she wrote.

"It's hard for indigenous communities who were more urban (like me) feeling disconnected from the language (although we definitely all got the traditional costumes and did the dance and song stuff whenever we could). But I feel ready now."

While Kurdish deq tattoos are often adorned on the face, Ghahraman said she wasn't ready for that. 

"I'm not quite ready for the facial tattoos but I love the shapes and meaning behind the symbols," she said in response to a comment. 

Ghahraman said she will share images of the tattoos "once it stops being all red and blotchy". 

The Green MP joins others in Parliament with traditional tattoos, like Labour's Nanaia Mahuta, who has a moko kauae, a chin tattoo considered a physical manifestation of identity for Māori women. 

Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi has a facial tā moko.