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UNESCO includes Yoga in Intangible Cultural Heritage list

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has formally inscribed Yoga in its representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Decision in this regard was taken by the Inter-governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage meeting held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The declaration describes Yoga, an ancient Indian practice as a Human Treasure. It was unanimously supported by all the 24 members of inter-governmental Committee.

Other new inscriptions added in the list are Rumba dance (Cuba), Belgian beer (Belgium), Almezmar (Saudi Arabia), Kuresi  (Kazakhstan) and Khidr Elias feast (Iraq), Yama, Hoko, Yatai, float festivals (Japan), Momoeria, New Year’s celebration (Greece), practice of organizing shared interests in cooperatives (Germany),Making and sharing flatbread (Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan), Culture of Jeju Haenyeo (South Korea), Gada system (Ethiopia),Tahteeb, stick game (Egypt), Music and dance of the merengue (Dominican Republic), Valencia Fallas festivity (Spain), Solar Term(China), Mangal Shobhajatra on Pahela Baishakh(Bangladesh).

Background

The proposal for inclusion of Yoga in this list was forwarded by the Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) immediately after the first International Yoga Day was on 21st June 2016. The dossier in this regard was forwarded by MEA through the Sangeet Natak Akademi. India’s proposal for nominating Yoga had stressed upon its pan-Indian and global expanse, health benefits and practised by people from all communities.

About UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage

  • The UNESCO’s coveted list is made up of those intangible heritage elements that help demonstrate diversity of cultural heritage and raise awareness about its importance.
  • It was established in 2008 after Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, 2003 came into effect.
  • It compiles two lists viz. Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding.
  • Now, the list includes 814 cultural sites, 203 natural and 35 with both cultural and natural qualities.
List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity from India
  • Koodiyattam: Sanskrit Theatre of Kerala.
  • Mudiyett: theatre ritual of Kerala.
  • Tradition of Vedic Chanting.
  • Kalbelia: folk songs and dances of Rajasthan.
  • Ramlila: Traditional Performance of the Ramayana.
  • Sankirtana: singing, drumming and dancing ritual of Manipur.
  • Ramman: religious festival and ritual theatre of Garhwal Himalayas.
  • Traditional brass and copper craft of utensil of Thatheras: Punjab.
  • Chhau dance: classical Indian dance originated in the eastern Indian states.
  • Buddhist chanting of Ladakh: recitation of sacred Buddhist texts in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir.

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UNGA elect Ethiopia, Bolivia, Sweden and Kazakhstan as non-permanent UNSC members

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has elected Ethiopia, Bolivia, Sweden and Kazakhstan as the non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

These newly-elected countries will have two-year term starting from 1 January 2017 till 31 December 2018. They will replace Spain, Malaysia, New Zealand, Angola and Venezuela.

The voting for these countries in the UNGA was conducted by secret ballot in which members of the UNGA had voted.

Key Facts

  • Bolivia (183 votes) and Ethiopia (185 votes) were chosen from Group of Latin America and the Caribbean and Africa region respectively.
  • Sweden (134 votes) won from the Group of Western Europe.
  • Kazakhstan won from the Group of Asia Pacific against Thailand.

About United Nations Security Council (UNSC)

  • UNSC is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations (UN).
  • It is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security as well as accepting new members to the UN and approving any changes to its UN Charter.
  • Powers: (i) establishment of peacekeeping operations, (ii) establishment of international sanctions, (iii) authorization of military action through UNSC resolution.
  • It is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states.
  • Members: It consists of five permanent, veto-wielding members – China, Russia, France, UK and US along with 10 non-permanent members.
  • The non-permanent seats are allocated according to a rotation pattern set by the UNGA in 1963, to ensure a proportionate representation over time from different parts of the world.
  • Of the 10 members, 5 are from African and Asian states, 1 from Eastern European states, 2 from Latin American states and 2 from Western European and Other states.

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Ethiopian Birhanu Legese, Kenyan Cynthia Limo win 2015 Delhi Half Marathon

Birhanu Legese from Ethiopia and Cynthia Limo from Kenya have won the 2015 Delhi Half Marathon in men’s and women’s categories respectively.

In this eighth edition of marathon around 34,000 athletes and amateur runners from different parts of the world had participated.

Men’s category winners

Birhanu Legese claimed the first spot by finishing race in 59:20 minutes and was followed Mosinet Geremew (Ethopia) and Zersenay Tadese (Eritrea) at second and third spots respectively.

Women’s category winners

Cynthia Limo claimed the first spot by finishing race in 1:08:35 hour and was followed by Helah Kiprop (Kenya) and Gladys Chesir (Kenya) at second and third spots respectively.

Among the Indian runners

  • Nitendra Singh Rawat and Lalita Babar topped in the men’s and women’s category.
  • In men’s category, Nitendra Singh Rawat finished the race in 1:04:41 and was followed by Gopi T and Mohd Yunus at second and third spots respectively.
  • In women’s category, Lalita Babar finished the race in 1:10:52 and was followed by O P Jaisha and Sudha Singh at second and third spots respectively.

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