Multinational Nowruz

Multinational NowruzMultinational Nowruz

Hotel Laleh in Tehran is host to the final review session for inscribing Nowruz to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list .  

Nowruz is the start of the Iranian new year marking the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere on March 21st, and is celebrated by Iran and other Persian speaking nations.

The Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) defines intangible or living heritage as including oral traditions and expressions, performing arts, social practices and festive events, knowledge and practices about nature and the universe and traditional craftsmanship.

The final meeting for submission of the case for registration of the Multinational Nowruz started on March 3, and will be held till March 7, Mehr News reported.

Plenipotentiaries of Iran, Turkey, Republic of Azerbaijan, India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kirgizstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, and Iraq participated in the meeting to review and finalize the case material.

The case will be submitted to the UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage department after all members signed the document at the end of the meeting.

The Multinational Nowruz case initially started with seven members. Last year, three countries submitted their requests and joined the case, director general of the office for registration, protection and restoration of intangible and natural heritage Farhad nazari said. In international cases, all previous members should consent to joining of new members, and update their information.

Nazari appreciated the supports from UNESCO’s representative office in Iran, saying, the case should undergo a revision by inclusion of the two countries of Turkmenistan and Iraq, announcing their willingness to join this year.

Earlier Multinational Nowruz  submissions were turned down by UNESCO.  

The incompleteness of the file was cited as the main reason for the file not being registered; however, no official figure has given any further explanation and the deputy of Iran’s ambassador to UNESCO, Mohammad Ali Vahdat, believes that despite the reason provided, Nowruz file was one of the most comprehensive files presented in the session.

His reasoning at the time was that “UNESCO registers intangible heritage which is on the verge of distinction, and believes that Nowruz is not fading away.”