UNITED NATIONS: The integration of the Parsi culture in the Indian tapestry sends a relevant message in the current "troubled times", India said in its message on the occasion of Nowruz.
Underscoring the valuable contribution made by Parsis in India across diverse fields such as business, government, academia and culture, India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin said "their experience remains relevant in contemporary troubled times as the world continues to struggle to formulate responses to those seeking refuge in distant lands."
He said the Parsi community arrived in India more than a thousand years ago and brought Nowruz to the country.
"Since then the Parsi culture, their traditions and Nowruz itself have become an important thread in the Indian tapestry."
Akbaruddin was addressing a special ceremony marking the International Day of Nowruz here yesterday.
The International Day of Nowruz was proclaimed in 2010 by the General Assembly and India has been co-sponsoring the commemoration at the world body along with Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Addressing the event, attended by UN envoys, senior diplomats and officials, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said Nowruz is a "time to learn about each other and our world. It is a chance to renew our pledge for peace, friendship, human rights and human dignity."
"Nowruz is a reminder of all that we have in common — and the richness of our diversity," he said.
Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation Irina Bokova urged everyone to embrace the day's values and be inspired by its universal message of peace and solidarity, in her message on the occasion of Nowruz.
"At a time when violent extremism seeks to destroy diversity and freedoms, Nowruz is a reminder of the power of culture and heritage to build resilient and sustainable societies," she said.
Highlighting that in the midst of global challenges such as violent extremism, Nowruz is a source of confidence and belonging for all, Ms Bokova noted that the message it conveys is all the more important given the efforts around the globe to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Nowruz, which marks the first day of spring and the renewal of nature, is celebrated by more than 300 million people all around the world and has been celebrated for over 3,000 years in the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East and other regions.