Ice and snow still covers streets and houses, but Berlin is celebrating NOVRUZ, the beginning of the New Season. This Sunday morning from 11 o clock until the evening the Ethnological Museum is hosting ten Embassies and very many visitors celebrating the beginning of a new spring together.
People with colorful costumes, kids in best dresses and adults in celebration clothes fill the wide open rooms of the museum, meeting friends, relatives and new acquaintances. What a happy crowd on this special day. They come from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tadzhikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Along the walls people gather at little stands to get an idea of the so far widely unknown countries of Central Asia and its neighbors. Each stand represents one country.
Colorful books, instruments hardly known in Europe, and photos catch the eyes of many. Foods on nicely decorated tables look tempting. Flowers symbolize spring. Spices of the orient sway around, and within one hour most foods seems to be gone. But those who come late are lucky: New specialties come in every hour, country by country.
After some time, tapping feet are everywhere. One by one, each of the ten countries and by alphabetical order, present their best musicians. Some dance, some sing, some carry with them very rhythmic sounds, so far only rarely heard in Europe.
Afghan drums, Iranian singers with a group of typical string instruments, a band from Turkey – all are unique. The audience is excited; some do not even leave their seat for hours, clapping hands, singing or just listening. The last group is from Uzbekistan – a dance ensemble.
The room is filled to the last corner, even the staircase is blocked with spectators. Turning, swinging, swaying four musicians and their dancers inspire people so much that some start dancing, even some of the Ambassadors sitting in the first row. What a great successful Novruz party! New hopes for a new spring, in many ways!
Next year the celebration will be in a new place the center of Berlin, hopefully with even more space for again more people coming to celebrate and get to know more about countries from Turkey to Central Asia.
For more informatíon on Central Asia and EU politics please read: http://www.laender-analysen.de/zentralasien/pdf/ZA-61_Interview.pdf