Saeed Hashemi stated that ; “in the Balkans, Nowruz is celebrated mostly as a religious ritual, and beside the celebration of Sultan Nowruz, the birthday anniversary of Imam Ali (Alayhi Salam) is believed to be on this day.”
Radio Goftogoo’s "In the Shadow of Nowruz" had a phone call interview about “Nowruz in the Balkans” with Saeed Hashemi, the Iranian cultural expert in Bosnia and Herzegovina (the Balkan peninsula).
Saeed Hashemi pointed to Nowruz role in cultural convergence and unity of nations; “UNESCO recognized the tradition of Nowruz in 2009 for seven countries, and again in 2016 for 12 countries as a spiritual heritage. These cultural commonalities and connections foster many of the beautiful traditions that connect nations and ethnicities around the world.”
He called the tradition of Nowruz a "diplomacy" and said; “Nowruz diplomacy is an informal diplomacy and in many countries we can see that this beautiful diplomacy can be an important factor in building a strong relationship between us and the world. The tradition of Nowruz and other common traditions is so deep-rooted and has such enormous capacities and potentials that time can’t affect them; not only they don’t suffer from oblivion and decline, but also grow better than before with a new power and form.”
Hashemi also pointed out the geopolitics and political geography of the Balkans and said; “The Balkan peninsula is a region in southeast Europe and includes 12 countries, namely Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro and Romania, and of course the European part of Turkey. In fact, the Balkans are a wide area of a strategic region (728,000 km2 ) and the population is estimated to be more than 60 million people. The Balkans include countries with high cultural history.”
“Every year on March 22, which is actually the day after Nowruz, this ancient tradition is celebrated as "Sultan Nowruz" in the Balkans, and in countries such as Albania and Bosnia, people celebrate it in places like the Tekiyeh of Masoudiyah and Tekyeh of Naqshbandieh”, said Hashemi regarding the tradition of Nowruz.
"Nowruz is so important in Albania that it is an official holiday and people celebrate this day. There is also another very important event in Albania called "Spring Day" which is on the 14th of March”, added Hashemi.
He noted that in the Balkans, Nowruz is celebrated in two ways; “in the Balkans, Nowruz is often celebrated as a religious ritual, and beside the celebration of Sultan Nowruz, the birthday anniversary of Imam Ali (Alayhi Salam) is believed to be on this day.”