UNESCO chief calls Noruz cradle of confidence, belonging for all

March 23, 2017 - 2:14

TEHRAN - The head of the United Nations cultural agency has said that amid global challenges such as violent extremism, Noruz is a source of confidence and belonging for all.

“At a time when violent extremism seeks to destroy diversity and freedoms, Nowruz is a reminder of the power of culture and heritage to build resilient and sustainable societies,” UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova said on March 21 in a message on the occasion of Noruz, the day that celebrates the arrival of the spring season.

“It is a field where traditions and rituals are passed from generation to generation, to share moments of togetherness, tolerance, harmony and joy.”

Noruz, which also marks the renewal of nature, is celebrated by more than 300 million people all around the globe and has been celebrated for over 3,000 years in the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Middle East, amongst some other regions.

“Through dance, poems, songs, meals and other social practices, the celebration of Nowruz is a moment for men and women, boys and girls, to pay their respect to nature and wish for a better future,” UN News Center quoted Bokova as saying on Tuesday.

Quoting Rumi, the famed 13th-century Persian poet, she added: “'Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing, there is a field. I will meet you there.' Nowruz is a field where reconciliation and dialogue can take their roots.”

Noruz has been inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as a common tradition for Iran, Azerbaijan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Iraq.

An undated photo above shows people doing their new year shopping ahead of Noruz in Tehran.

AFM/AFM

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