On 1st September, Mamata Banerjee’s West Bengal government organized a grand rally to thank UNESCO for the heritage label given to Durga Puja in Kolkata. The next Durga Puja in Kolkata will be particularly memorable. UNESCO has recognised the event as an Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of Humanity.
The rally marched from the Jorasanko area in north Kolkata to Red Road in central Kolkata. It is anticipated that participants from more than 1,000 Durga Puja committees from around the State attended the event. Banerjee praised UNESCO for designating the Durga puja celebration as an ICH tag.
What is UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage?
Recent decades have seen a significant change in the meaning of the phrase “cultural heritage,” in part because of the tools created by UNESCO. Cultural heritage extends beyond monuments and artifact collections. It also includes customs or living expressions that have been passed down from our ancestors to our descendants, such as oral traditions, performing arts, social customs, rituals, holiday celebrations, and knowledge and customs related to nature and the cosmos as well as the know-how required to make traditional crafts.
Celebration of Durga Puja in Kolkata Gets Heritage Tag
The largest festival in West Bengal received a heritage designation in December 2021 when the UN UNESCO included “Durga Puja in Kolkata” on the “Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.”
The West Bengal government organised a ceremony on 1st Sept Thursday to thank UNESCO, headed by chief minister Mamata Banerjee and culminated in a grand cultural festival. A two-person UNESCO team took part in the activity.
India’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List
There are currently 14 intangible cultural heritage elements inscribed on the Intangible Cultural Heritage of India list, including Ramlila and Vedic Chants, along with the Kumbh Mela and Durga Puja in Kolkata.
At the committee’s 16th session, held in Paris, India was given the distinction of having Kolkata’s Durga Puja on the prestigious list.
The committee applauded the event for its efforts to incorporate individuals, women, and marginalised groups in their participation in protecting the element.
List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in India-
- Buddhist Chanting
- Chhau Dance
- Kumbh Mela
- Utensil making using traditional brass and copper craft
- Vedic Chanting
- Durga Puja
The Gujarati traditional dance style of Garba has been proposed for inclusion in the list by the Indian government, nearly a year after Durga Puja in Kolkata celebration was given the UNESCO designation under the list of intangible cultural heritage. A nomination, however, will only be considered for the following year’s cycle, according to UNESCO’s Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
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