New Delhi, March 20, 2017.

Ambassador of Afghanistan Dr. Shaida Mohammad Abdali attended Nowruz Celebration and inaugural session of national seminar on “Pashto, Dari and Urdu: A Common Linguistic and Cultural Heritage” and spoke about historic background of Nawruz and its celebration in Afghanistan. The event was organized by Centre for Persian & Central Asian Studies, School of Language Literature and Cultural Studies of Jawaharlal Nehru University in collaboration with Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

In his congratulatory remarks on the occasion, Ambassador Abdali said that Nowruz which marks the start of spring and the rebirth of the nature is one of the ancient festivals of Aryans and it is regarded as the best festival of the year in Afghanistan, Iran, Central Asia and part of Middle East, adding that from Jalalludin Akbar up to Shah Jahan Nowruz was celebrated in a spectacular way in India.

Ambassador Abdali said that Nowrooz is inseparable part of our culture which our forefathers celebrated throughout the millenniums and is a much anticipated festival in Afghanistan. “on the occasion of Nowruz families get to gather enjoy Heft Mewa and cook their favorite dishes, families also go to picnic and spent their times with joy and happiness, Mazar -e-Sharif city in Afghanistan is host to hundreds of thousands of people from across Afghanistan and neighboring countries on the occasion of Nowruz every year,” added Dr. Abdali.

The Afghan envoy, expressed his appreciation to the head of Centre for Persian and Central Asian Studies and professor of Persian and Pashto Languages for organizing the seminar. He thanked the vice chancellor of JNU, Dr. M. Jagadesh Kumar for his support to advance Pashto teaching at the university which is offered at Bachelor’s degree level. Ambassador Abdali requested the Vice-Chancellor to upgrade the Bachelor’s degree in Pashto Language to MA degree.

Referring to the Afghan Studies Resource Center which was opened last year at the JNU by the Embassy of Afghanistan with the support of Afghanistan-India Foundation, Ambassador Abdali hoped to further enhance the center in terms of resources. He also expressed his readiness to fully support establishing connection between JNU and other universities across Afghanistan which will pave the ways for more academic exchange and collaboration between the two countries. It is worth mentioning that JNU currently has academic collaboration with Kabul and Kandahar universities.

Dr. M. J. Kumar, Vice-Chancellor of JNU, thanked the Afghan Embassy for its support to start Pashto teaching at JNU. He agreed to forge JNU collaboration with more universities in Afghanistan as well as to upgrade the Pashto Bachelor’s degree to MA level.


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