Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India Pakistan and The World

Heads of UNESCO National Commissions to Finalize Norouz File

Heads of UNESCO’s national commissions in ten countries sharing the Norouz tradition will get together in Tehran in April 2007 for a final review of Norouz file to be sent to UNESCO for inscription in World Intangible Heritage list.

Tehran, 13 December 2006 (CHN Foreign Desk) — With the completion of Norouz dossier for world registration in UNESCO’s list of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, directors of UNESCO national commissions in Caspian Sea regional countries and Iran’s southeastern neighbors will come to Tehran next year in April for a final review of the file.

Announcing this news during a meeting with Kazakhstan’s ambassador in Iran, director of the Research Center of Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO), Dr. Taha Hashemi stressed the importance of an all inclusive effort on the part of the countries sharing the tradition of Norouz celebration in registration of this old tradition.

Norouz, or the traditional Persian New Year ceremony, is celebrated each year on the vernal equinox, March 21st, by countries of the Persian origin. The tradition has its roots in Zoroastrian Persia.

Norouz dossier had previously been turned down by UNESCO due to its incomprehensiveness and the international organization demanded Iran, as the country in charge of Norouz registration on behalf of the other nine countries which share this tradition, to present more documents and resubmit the file.

According to Hashemi, the meeting will be held next year with the attendance of heads of UNESCO national commissions and experts in charge of compiling Norouz dossier from Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan to finalize the dossier before sending it to UNESCO for a second time.

During his meeting with Kyrgyz ambassador, director of ICHTO Research center also proposed expansion of cultural ties and cooperation between the two countries especially in the areas of archeology, anthropology, restoration of historic objects, handicrafts, and tourism affairs. He also announced Iran’s readiness to launch joint initiatives with Kyrgyz anthropologists to conduct research in this area.

Avaz Bek Atahanov, Kyrgyz ambassador in Tehran, also announced his country’s willingness to cooperate with Iran in the areas of cultural heritage and tourism.

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