Editorial: Celebrating Nawroz
The first day of the New Year in Afghanistan is called Nawroz, and the first day of our month is “Hamal”. Nawroz is a rite dating back to at least the 6th century BC. This historic rite is observed on 21 March in many countries, including Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, Iran, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The Afghan people already started preparation to welcome the New Year. In real scenes, it is an event to greet the spring and to commemorate it well, the people wear green clothes and do level best to prepare or cook green things. The aim is to give greener in their live and be happy and fresh till end of the year. In Dari language, the word green means “Sabz”. Hence, the people are very much enthusiastic to prepare seven dishes that start with the letter “S”. One of it, which is very difficult to cook as it takes at least 10 to 12 days, is called Samanak. It is cooked by the women, and they are fully enjoying the moment by singing song. Everyone across the country is celebrating the New Year with different style and arrangements. Some goes to Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital city of northern Balk province, visiting Shrine of “Hazrat Ali” and celebrate it in a very unique way, where high-ranking government officials also take part with delivering speech. It must be mentioned that there are many customs around Narwoz, among them one of it is called Haft Mewa (seven fruits), it’s a very special drink. We also cook Sabzi Challaw (Spinach and rice) on the eve of Nawroz and also buy Mahi (fried fish) and Jelabi (fried sugar dessert) mostly eaten at picnics. The core reason behind Nawroz celebration is to kick start new year and forget about the past. In a country like Afghanistan, where turmoil is at highest level, and civilians keep getting killed, Nawroz is a great pretext to forget the bloody past. Lingering on in the past, will disconnect ourselves from present and miss out the exciting and beautiful things that are happening to an around us to this very moment. Security is now a serious challenge not only in districts and sub-districts but also in small and major towns including the capital. Anyways, the Afghan masses are taking the New Year as a glad tiding and a step toward achieving peace, security and prosperity. We have come a long way since 2001 and has made much progress under extremely challenging circumstance—nothing can stop us from going forward. The Afghan people from high-ranking government officials to ordinary one will start the New Year (Nawroz) with more dedication and strong commitment toward better tomorrow and everyone will do best under their capacity to reach durable peace, security, and economic stability.
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