Celebrating Navruz in the Ybl Villa

In line with the traditions, on April 17 the Representation Office of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) welcomed Navruz, the ancient spring holiday that is marked in the Turkic world each year. The almost one hundred guests, the Ambassadors of the Turkic states accredited to Budapest, the members of the diplomatic corps, the outstanding representatives of scientific life, businessmen, teachers and students studying in Hungary were greeted by Ambassador Dr. István Vásáry, the Executive Head of the Representation Office.

The meaning of the Persian expression Navruz is a new day that refers to the spring equinox, the renewal of life in spring, the beginning of a new year. It is traditionally celebrated by the Representation Office in the Ybl Villa and its garden. “Before we start the event we must remember that this year it is for the first time that we celebrate Navruz without Dr. János Hóvári, the first Head of the Representation Office,” pointed out former Ambassador István Vásáry who entered into office at the beginning of April. “Everyone who knew János Hóvári kept him deep in his heart. The memory of the energetic Turkologist and diplomat will be preserved by the Turkic world forever. It is a great honor for me that I can continue the work of my friend and excellent colleague as the Head of the Representation Office of the OTS.”

In his opening remarks the new Executive Head spoke briefly about his own life and work. As he said, he too had arrived from the world of Academia, since he is also a Turkologist, historian, the Professor of Eötvös Loránd University, the full member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. During his career he had been doing diplomatic work as well, having been the Ambassador of Hungary first in Turkiye and then in Iran. He underlined that the invitation to head the Representation Office had been a surprise to him, since he was recalled to the diplomatic service from retirement. However, he was most pleased to oblige. “I can promise you that I will do my very best and use all my experience so that the cooperation of the Turkic states – both with one another and with Hungary – should be as efficient as possible.”

In connection with Navruz, István Vásáry emphasized that it is an unbreakable bond among the generations that reflects the traditions and culture of the Turkic peoples. Its celebration has survived despite the shifts in various historical ages, since the folk traditions have consistently preserved their shared holiday. In 2016 Navruz was added to the list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Mankind by UNESCO. March 21 was proclaimed the International Day of Navruz, since this holiday is the common cultural treasure of not only of a geo-cultural region but that of the whole mankind. The beginning of the astronomical spring is marked everywhere in the Western hemisphere, and it not an accident that the outstanding events of the family of Christian holidays can also be observed at this time of the year. “This day is the catalyst of positive changes and inspires us to continue our cooperation, to protect our achievements and share our successes,” stressed István Vásáry.

During the holiday of the spring the weather too offered its nicer face. The Turkic Youth Ensemble that was established in Budapest two years ago was able to perform their Turkic and Hungarian songs in a little bit cool but sunny moments. The performance of the Uzbek Vokhidjon Isoqov, the Hungarian Tilla Török and the Kazakh Aibar Tangatov recalled the spirit of the Turkic world with their traditional musical instruments and folk songs. Roza Estebesova from Uzbekistan, as well as dancers Nazim Musabayli and Leman Alizade from Azerbaijan have all contributed to the colorful program.

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