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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lyuli children in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

Lyuli (Russian: Люли) are a subgroup of the Dom people living in Central Asia, primarily Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. Lyuli speak a Lyuli dialect of the Domari language.[1]

The Lyuli practice Islam. They have a clan organization (the Lyuli word for clan is tupar, the Jughi word - avlod). Division into sub-clans is also practiced. The Lyuli community is extremely closed towards non-Lyuli.[2].

Traditional occupations: crafts, including jewelry, cattle trading, mendicancy and music.



There are many names for the Lyuli: Jughi, Multani or Luli. However, they refer to themselves as Mugat or Mughat (Arabic: موغات, derives from Old Persian magi‎), which means "fire-worshipper", as well as Ghurbat (Arabic: غربات), which means "lonely". The term Multani signifies a person who originates from the city of Multan (in modern-day Pakistan), because some of the Lyuli emigrated from Multan around 1380 CE. According to Professor Khol Nazarov, the ancestors of the Lyuli belonged to a caste of singers, musicians and dancers. Faced with hardship in their homeland, they were forced to leave, and dispersed worldwide.

Lyuli in Kyrgyzstan

The Lyuli live in the south of Kyrgyzstan, in Osh Province. Their living standard is extremely low due to discrimination. Many children are devoid of education in their mother tongue and many Lyuli have no documents. Lyuli society is working towards improvement of their living standards and preservation of their culture.[3]

Lyuli in Russia

Lyuli woman with child at the Bolaq embankment, Kazan, Russia.

In the beginning of the 1990s, Lyuli started migrating into Russian cities, placing especially near railway stations and markets. At first, Russians mistakenly identified them as Tajik refugees, ethnically Tajiks and Uzbeks, due to their dress in traditional Oriental robes. Russian Roma emphasize that the Lyuli are a population distinct from them. However, Russians consider the Lyuli to be Gypsies, because of the resemblance with the Roma.[2] They are a frequent target of Russian far right skinheads.[4][5]

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