A village in Rojava: Labor, natural life and barter system

DÊRIK – The women living in the Koçerate village of Rojava produce by using traditional methods to not destroy their natural life and do shopping by using barter system. “We can only protect our culture in this way,” say the women.

In Koçerata village of Dérîk located in the Cizîre Canton of Rojava, the women continue their centuries-old tradition in reliance on labor and natural production. The women, who base on natural production and consumption, say, “We stay away from capitalist production relations against cultural assimilation.”

The most important characteristic of Koçerata is the rare use of money. The women in the village meet their needs by using barter system. Continuing to create an alternative model for their future and tradition, believe that their lives are more beautiful in this way.

‘Nature gives us whatever we need’

Nazê Mihemed, one of the villagers engaged in agriculture, stockbreeding and rug weaving, states that they provide all their needs from the nature. Nazê, who calls ‘returning to old times’ to what they are doing, says, “We sewed dresses from sheep’s wool. First we washed the wools and put the wools on somewhere to be dried. When we needed, we knitted wool socks, washclots and pillow cases. In this way, we met our needs.”

‘Culture can be kept alive by women’s labor’

Emphasizing that the culture can be kept alive until these days by the women’s labor, Nazê says, “We should protect our culture if we want to take the right steps. The products I create are not for sale. They are for the protection of the culture. On the one hand I am knitting socks and washclots and weaving the rugs, on the other hand I teach my children. The women can hand down our culture to the next generations with their power and their will.”

‘Culture is our reason to live’

Rebîa Şawîşê believes that the tools that invented by women should be used today. Rebîa says, “We grind wheat by using hand mill. We grind barley for our animals. We provide all our needs from nature. For example, we still take our water from water well. The well water is healthier. We should protect our culture against capitalism. Because, the culture is our reason to live.”