Nowruz International Day celebrated in the OPCW building

H.E. Mr Alireza Jahangiri, Ambassador of Iran welcomed the assembly in the name of his co-hosts the Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives to the OPCW of Kazakhstan: H.E. Mr Magzhan Ilyassov; of India: H.E. Mr Venu Rajamony and of Afghanistan: H.E. Mr Mohammad Homayroon and thanked Director General of the OPCW Mr. Ahmet Üzümcü, wishing everyone a Happy Nowruz.

Nowruz celebrates the arrival of Spring, a new beginning, and has been part of Iranian global cultural heritage for over 3000 years. In 2010, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 21st March as International Nowruz Day.
Millions of people around the world, to quote His Excellency: “share this rite as an ancestral festivity marking the first day of spring and the renewal of nature”.

In our chaotic world we cannot but be inspired by a celebration which, in the Ambassador’s words: “promotes values of peace and solidarity between generations and within families as well as reconciliation and neighborliness, thus contributing to cultural diversity and friendship among peoples and different communities.”

His Excellency was kind enough to elaborate on the rituals involved such as setting a Haft Seen,” (a tabletop) decorated with at least seven or “Haft” symbolic objects, nutrients or plants beginning with the Persian letter “s” or “Seen”, often representing rebirth, abundance, love, health, light, patience.
It is a day of meeting with family and friends, feasting and exchanging gifts.

Ambassador Jahangiri ended his speech with words which resonated with us all:
“Nowruz is an ancient celebration that predates today’s borders and divisions. It is a reminder that national boundaries and other superficial differences are not as important as our common humanity. Nowruz is a perfect example of unity in diversity.
Let us take inspiration from this meaningful holiday to make a fresh start on our journey to a more just, sustainable and peaceful world.”

Photos Courtesy Embassy of Iran

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