The UNESCO Courier

Of all the journals published by the United Nations and its specialised institutions, the UNESCO Courier has always occupied first place for the number of its readers and the range of its audience, said the American journalist Sandy Koffler, the Courier’s founder and first editor-in-chief, in 1988. The magazine has changed a great deal over the years, both in content and in form. But it pursues its original mission: promote UNESCO’s ideals, maintain a platform for the dialogue between cultures and provide a forum for international debate. Available online since March 2006, the UNESCO Courier serves readers around the world in the six official languages of the Organization (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish), and also in Esperanto, Korean and Portuguese. A limited number of issues are also produced in print.

English Chinese, Arabic, Spanish, Russian, French

Nowruz: The seeds of a new day

From the cult of the vegetation god Osiris in ancient Egypt to the summer solstice celebrations in Sardinia, Italy, to the Maronite feast of Eid el Burbara in Lebanon and the ceremonies of the Piramalai Kallar in Tamil Nadu, India, the symbol of the sprouted seed plays a central role in many rituals. Wheat, barley, or lentil sprouts are also at the heart of Nowruz – the New Year of the peoples who were once part of the Persian Empire – celebrated each spring by around 300 million people worldwide. But why are the shoots thrown into the water?

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