International Day of Nowruz, Springtime Festival
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United Nation Office in Geneva,
On the 27th of March 2013, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, the Permanent Missions of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Republic of Azerbaijan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Rebublic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Republic of Uzbekistan collaborated to celebrate Nowruz which translates into "New day".
The event took place in the "Salle des Pas Perdu" where each mission proudly prepared their national stand with a lunch consisting of their culinary specialties, celebrating both diversity and union. This format illustrated Nowruz core, which is the affirmation of life in harmony.
Nowruz has been recognized by the United Nations General Assembly (A/Res/64/253) and included on the UNESCO Representative list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
On this day we invited many members of the Afghan expatriate community of Switzerland that gathered to celebrate together with us.
The turnout was a testament to the spirit of this day, as we saw many intrigued faces from various nationalities joining us in high numbers for this display of mutual respect, ideal of peace and good neighboring.
Director General of the UNOG and the Deputy Minister of Culture of Azerbaijan both intervened with inspiring words reminding everyone the reason we were all gathered and the reason why Nowruz is today celebrated by more than 300 million people around the world.
The event was a heartwarming success and an inspiration, underlining our cultural commonalities rather than our differences. We are looking forward to next year celebration for a new beautiful day of friendship, culture and respect. We are looking forward to a "Nowruz".