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Rio de Janeiro accorded UNESCO world heritage status  

The UN cultural body UNESCO has accorded world heritage status to Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro (nicknamed as Marvelous City).  It has been registered as “Carioca Landscapes between Mountain and Sea” on the UNESCO world heritage list.

Rio de Janeiro has been accorded this status in recognition of its extraordinary fusion of man-made and natural beauty, soaring granite cliffs, urban rainforest and beaches. It also had hosted 2014 football World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics.

Background

The UNESCO status to Rio de Janeiro was announced in 2012. It became official after the Brazilian authorities were given four years to report on their plans for protecting Sugarloaf Mountain, Flamengo Park,  Corcovado, Copacabana beach, Botanical Garden and Tijuca forest.

About UNESCO World Heritage Sites

The UNESCO World Heritage Sites are sites having special cultural or physical significance. The list is maintained by international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. The committee comprises of 21 UNESCO member states which are elected by the General Assembly. Each World Heritage Site included in the list remains part of the legal territory of the state where it is located. But inclusion of sites in the list by UNESCO is in the interest of the international community to preserve each site. Presently, Italy with 50 sites is home to the greatest number of World Heritage Sites.

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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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November 16: International Day for Tolerance

The International Day for Tolerance is observed globally on 16 November to generate public awareness of the dangers of intolerance

The observance of the day seeks to educate masses about the need for tolerance in society and help them understand the negative effects of intolerance.

Besides, the 2016 UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence was bestowed upon Russia’s Federal Research and Methodological Centre for Tolerance Psychology and Education (Tolerance Centre).

Background

The International Day for Tolerance was instituted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by passing resolution 51/95 in 1996. The day was officially designated in the wake of the United Nations Year for Tolerance 1995 proclaimed by the UNGA in 1993.

UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize

The UNESCO had instituted Madanjeet Singh Prize in 1995 to mark the day and the 125th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi for the promotion of tolerance and non-violence.  The prize rewards persons in the fields of scientific, artistic, cultural or communication aimed at the promotion of a spirit of tolerance and non-violence.

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