Nowruz as a symbol of the rapprochement of cultures

25 March 2010

The year of 2010 was declared by the UN as the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures (UN resolution 62/90). In connection with it, UNESCO cooperates with the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan to celebrate a variety of cultural events, such as the International Day of Nowruz (21 March) that was recently celebrated in Kazakhstan.

Prior to the holiday, on 19 March 2010, a Round Table Nowruz as the symbol of rapprochement of cultures and civilizations took place in Almaty, Kazakhstan. It was organized by the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan, the University of International Business (UIB), Nur-Otan political party and "Ethnos-forum" Fund.

Among the participants of the Round Table were representatives of UNESCO, the Ministry of Culture, embassies of Egypt, Hungary, Iran, France, Korea, Poland, Russia, Tajikistan and Turkey. They sincerely congratulated the people of Kazakhstan with the International Day of Nowruz and emphasized the special role that Nowruz plays in the rapprochement of cultures in their countries.

Appeal of the Round Table:

  • Welcoming the decision of the UN to announce Nowruz as an international holiday, the participants of the Round Table emphasized that such actions of the international community promotes the development of the dialogue among nations and greatly contributed to international security and stability.

  • Nowruz is one of the ancient traditions of the eastern nations. Embodying the rebirth of nature, it brings the elements of ecological awareness in the culture of the modern world, highlighting the unity of the human society beyond political, ethnic and religious differences.

  • The humanistic philosophy of Nowruz, its bright and unique context enriches the world culture, representing the common value of peoples. The decision of the UN concerning the celebration of Nowruz illustrates to the world the respectful attitude to the centuries-old tradition of the eastern nations, destroying the false stereotypes related to the inevitable conflicts of civilizations.

  • It is also important to note, that actually, when in the process of globalization of information space there is a real threat of assimilation and suppression of cultures of underrepresented nations, careful attitude to the ancient traditions significantly contributes to safeguarding the cultural diversity of the world.

  • The participants of the Round Table appealed to the international community to continue actions to promote progressive folkloric traditions, as through safeguarding cultural backgrounds, we prevent the spread of ideology of violence, hostility and intolerance.

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