International Day of Nowruz at the Charity Centre for Refugees in the Republic of Moldova in 2014

     One of the oldest Persian traditions that reached us from time immemorial is celebration of Nowruz-Persian New Year. In harmony with the rebirth of nature, Nowruz begins on the spring equinox, i.e. on 20th or 21st of March, when day and night are nearly equal. During this spring day, millions of people from Central Asia is preparing for the most important and most colourful event – the New Year celebration.


       To maintain the annual tradition of Nowruz celebration, the Charity Centre for Refugees (CCR), an implementing partner of the UNHCR Moldova, organised a memorable and enjoyable event for its guests, refugees and asylum seekers. The participants were able to admire the traditional Nowruz table of seven S’s – Haft Sîn, to be a part of the entertainment programme and taste traditional Nowruz food.

       The celebration of Persian New Year took place on 21st of March at the Charity Centre for Refugees. On this occasion, in the entrance hall of the office, the CCR staff laid a table with seven elements – Haft Sîn and exhibited flags of the countries where Nowruz is widely celebrated. The New Year table included crushed spice of berries (sumac) – symbol of the sunrise, sweet dry fruits (senjed) which represent love and affection, vinegar (serkeh) – patience and age, apples (seeb) – health and beauty, garlic (sir) – good health. Furthermore, it was placed a mirror on the table to symbolise reflection of the past year, coins for prosperity in the New Year, flowers to symbolise spring and candles for light and happiness. 
        Taking into consideration that Nowruz is a holiday of ancient customs, traditions, songs, dances and music, CCR with the support of the refugees and asylum seekers from Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and other prepared a great entertainment programme. At the beginning, the CCR Director, Mr. Djavid Paknehad greeted and thanked the representatives from the UNHCR Moldova and the Bureau for Migration and Asylum, partners from NGOs, guests from the State Universities ULIM and Ion Creanga, and also the Galata gymnasium, refugees and asylum seekers for accepting CCR’s invitation and participating in the event. The possibility to congratulate beneficiaries with the New Year was given to the Director of the Asylum and Integration Directorate, Mrs. Ecaterina Silvestru and the Programme Officer at the UNHCR Moldova, Mr. Dinu Lipcanu. 
     The evening proceeded with an introduction to Persian New Year. Mr. Gulam Ali, a professor and psychologist, with the help of the CCR staff and a local volunteer described cultural roots, history, traditions and special food of Nowruz. After that, all participants were invited to travel through some of the countries which celebrate Persian New Year and see how this holiday is enjoyed by different people. This little journey was performed through diverse videos of Nowruz celebration in Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Syria and etc.
       The entertainment programme included Indian folk dances performed by young talented Miss Alvina Khan. Joy and pleasant festive atmosphere was created by a band of musicians, the members of which were refugees from Uzbekistan and a refugee from Syria. They performed traditional music and songs for the celebration of Nowruz. At the end of the music programme, the CCR staff with the help of Mrs. Ecaterina Silvestru made a lottery and the luckiest received symbolical gifts.

       According to Persian Nowruz traditions, on the night of the last Wednesday of the old year Chahar Shanbe Suri – the fire jumping tradition is celebrated. During that night people gather and light small bonfires and jump over the flames shouting: “Zardie man az to, sorkhie to az man” in Persian, which means, “May my sickly pallor be yours and your red glow be mine.” It is believed that flames symbolically take away all of the unpleasant things that happened in the past year. Adhering to Nowruz traditions, CCR lit a fire in the courtyard and the most courageous jumped over it. At the end of the celebration, everybody had a possibility to taste traditional Nowruz dishes: Uzbek rice pilaf with beef and Afghan rice pilaf with spinach, which was specially prepared for those, who are having Lent for the coming Easter celebration.

     The Charity Centre for Refugees would like to thank the UNHCR Moldova for support and help, the Bureau for Migration and Asylum, partners from NGOs, representatives from the State Universities ULIM and Ion Creanga, also guests from the Galata gymnasium for accepting the invitation and participating in the event. And finally, CCR expresses gratitude to refugees and asylum seekers, who helped to organise this memorable event.    

    On the occasion of Nowruz celebration, the Charity Centre for Refugees created booklets with detailed information about Persian New Year for partners, guests and beneficiaries. 

Международный день Новруз в Центре 
Милосердия для Беженцев в Республике
Молдова 2014 год
      Одна из старейших персидских традиций, дошедших до наших дней с незапамятных времен, является празднования Новруза-Персидского Нового Года. Новруз отмечается в день весеннего равноденствия, то есть 20-ого или 21-ого марта, когда день и ночь почти равны. В этот весенний день, миллионы людей из Центральной Азии готовится к самому важному и красочному мероприятию Новому году.
      

     Чтобы поддержать ежегодную традицию празднования Новруза, Центр Милосердия для Беженцев (ЦМБ), исполнительный партнер УВКБ ООН в Молдове, организовал незабываемое мероприятие для своих гостей, беженцев и искателей убежища. Участники смогли полюбоваться традиционному столу «Хафт син», участвовать в развлекательную программу и попробовать традиционные блюда на Новруз.

      В Республике Молдова беженцы и  искатели убежища отметели
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