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UNESCO names Kumbh Mela in list of Intangible Cultural Heritage

The Intergovernmental Committee for Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage under UNESCO has inscribed ´KumbhMela´ on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The inscription of Kumbh Mela in list was undertaken following recommendation by expert body which examines nominations submitted by member countries of UNESCO during its 12th session of Committee held at Jeju, South Korea. KumbhMela is the 14th intangible cultural heritage from India to be listed in UNESCO’s list.

KumbhMela

KumbhMela is held every four times every 12 years at four different locations across central and northern India. It  is the largest religious congregation and largest peaceful gathering on planet. This vast celebration attracts tens of millions of Hindu pilgrims, including mendicant nagas.

The first written evidence of the Kumbha Mela is mentioned in Bhagvat Purana. Another written evidence of Kumbha Mela is in works of Huen Tsang, who visited India in 629–645 AD, during reign of Harsha. The Samudra manthan episode also has mentioned in Bhagavata Purana, Vishnu Purana, Mahabharata, and Ramayana.

Kumbh Mela is held every third year at one of four places by rotation: Haridwar, Allahabad, Nashik and Ujjain. Thus, it is held at each of these four places every twelfth year. Ardha Kumbha Mela, which is next in sanctity, is held only at Haridwar and Allahabad.

The rivers at these four places are Ganga at Haridwar, Prayag Sangam at Allahabad, Godawari at Nashik, and Shipra at Ujjain. The largest crowd is held on Mauni Amavasya.

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. The list was established in 2008 when Convention for Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage came into effect. It includes important intangible cultural heritages worldwide. It has two parts viz. Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of urgent Safeguarding.

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.
  • Yoga

Month: Categories: Art & Culture Current Affairs 2018

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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.

Month: Categories: Art & Culture Current Affairs 2018India Current Affairs 2018

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