New Delhi, March 20, 2017.
‘Nowruz’, Celebration of New Year of Central Asia could be new trend but the term is not new in India now. It is third joint programme in a row on the occasion of Nowruz at New Delhi. This year eight countries of South and Central Asian region celebrated the World Day of Nowruz. It is jointly organized by the Embassies of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey. Stalls of Pakistan and Uzbekistan were not seen this year of celebration, although their flags were shown on the common programme.
The event was attended by more than 2000 residents and guests of the Indian capital. As the main guest from the Indian side, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs Preeti Saran took part as the chief guest held here at Hotel Umrao at Samalkha, Delhi. Recognized by UNESCO as the International Day of Nowruz, this day is celebrated by many nations across the world. Embassies of the Nowruz region countries jointly celebrate this day every year in Delhi.
Excellency Ambassador of Kazakhstan Bulat Sarsenbayev, Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan Samargiul Adamkulova, Ambassador of Azerbaijan Ibrahim Hajiyev, Ambassador of Turkmenistan Parakhat Durdyev, Ambassador of Tajikistan Mirzosharif Jalolov and Ambassador of Afghanistan Shaida Mohammad Abdali were present on the occasion. Many of the gathered audience noted that Nowruz is becoming more and more understandable and loved by the Indian public.
Nowruz celebration was held in the form of the traditional fair, which included performances by singers, dance and music groups, as well as tasting national cuisine of the host countries. In India, World Day of Nowruz was held already for the third time. This year,because of resonance in society and the well organization of the event, more residents and guests of the capital joined to celebrate the spring holiday of the revival of life. Among the guests attended the event was well-known Indian politicians and public figures, representatives of business circles, mass media, as well as heads of the diplomatic missions.
Kazakhstan Performance enthralls
As part of the cultural program of the event, Kazakhstan was represented by a music and dance group whose visit was specially organized by the Embassy with the support of the Kazakh travel company “Global Air”. The Delhi public enthusiastically received the national music, songs and dances of the Kazakh people, in particular, throat singing and playing on the shankobyz performed by Anar Kasymova, beautiful music of the ancient kobyz performed by Dariga Kadyrova, as well as performance of the beautiful participants of the dance collective “A ‘DIVA’ from Almaty city.
Besides, the guests of the event had an opportunity to enjoy such dishes of Kazakh national cuisine, such as kuyrdak, Nowruzkozhe, bauyrsak, irimshik, zhent, kurt prepared by embassy staff with love, as well as see the beauty of national clothes, souvenirs and paintings created by Kazakh masters.
Afghanistan ‘Haft Mewa’ is big hit
Countries of the Nowruz region had food stalls serving their traditional delicacies and beverages. The Afghan food stall was also catered for and served delicacies to all the invitees and participants of the event. The stall was also decorated with Afghan handicrafts and products as well as Haft Seen (Haft Mewa) tabletop to further showcase the Afghan culture and the way Afghans celebrate Nowruz.
Vocalists, musicians and dancers from 7 participating countries performed on the stage throughout the evening. Atan and Qarsak were performed by two groups of Afghan students.
Earlier Ambassador 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 Nawrooz 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.
‘Dungan’ dishes dominates Kyrgyz stall
Dungan dishes were most prominent in the function of Nowruz at Kyrgyzstan stall. Lagman or laghman is very popular noodle dish of Kyrgyz Republic. It consists of thick noodles created by stretching a very simple flour dough, then covered in chopped peppers and other vegetables and served in a spicy vinegary sauce with it. Lagman is served everywhere in Kyrgyzstan, but is considered a Dungan or Uyghur dish. Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan Samargiul Adamkulova welcome the guests on the stall along with IAS officer Preeti Saran and briefed her about Kyrgyz cuisine. A Kyrgyz group also presented cultural programmes during the occasion.
‘Dolma’ is most liked at Azerbaijan Stall
The food stall of Azerbaijan was a big hit on the occasion. The ‘Dolma’ The traditional recipe calls for minced lamb mixed with rice and flavoured with mint, fennel, and cinnamon, and wrapped in vine leaves (yarpaq dolması) or cabbage leaves (kələm dolması). There are also sour sweet cabbage dolma (turş şirin kələm dolması) and fish dolma (balıq dolması). Azerbaijan food stall was praised by Indian Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs Preeti Saran while Ambassador of Azerbaijan Ibrahim Hajiyev was briefing her about the cuisine of the region.
Most hit dishes ‘Dushbara’, ‘Qutab’ and ‘Qovurma’ were also served in the function.
Turkmen ‘Plov’ relish on Nowruz
Turkmenistan stall offered a most relish dish of ‘Plov’ on the occasion. Plov is the cuisine of Turkmenistan, is similar to that of the rest of Central Asia. Plov (pilaf) is the staple, everyday food, which is also served at celebrations like Nowruz. It consists of chunks of mutton, carrots and rice fried in a large cast-iron cauldron. Manti are dumplings filled with ground meat, onions or pumpkin. Shurpa is like India ‘Shorba’ is a meat and vegetable soup. Ambassador of Turkmenistan Parakhat Durdyev welcome guests on the stall and offered them Turkmen dishes.
Sports Team of Turkmenistan of The 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games were also present on the function. The 5th Asian Indoor Games will be held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan in 2017 starting on September 17. Ashgabat, Capital of Turkmenistan won the right to host the Asian Indoor Games. The host city was chosen in Kuwait in 2010 and the flag of the Olympic Council of Asia was officially handed over to the mayor of the city of Ashgabat.
Photo Credit: DiplomacyToday.in, Embassy of Kazakhstan, Embassy of Kyrgyzstan, Embassy of Azerbaijan, Embassy of Turkmenistan, Embassy of Afghanistan and Embassy of Tajikistan