Almost a year after Kolkata’s Durga Puja festival was awarded the UNESCO tag under the intangible cultural heritage list, the Indian government has nominated the traditional dance form of Garba of Gujarat for inclusion in the list.
“The latest nomination will be considered for the next year cycle. The nomination files will be examined by the evaluation body mid-2023 and the inscription will be decided at the 2023 session of the committee by the end of next year,” Curtis, UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Secretary, said.
While the presentation was made at an event held at the National Museum to mark the UNESCO tag awarded to Kolkata’s Durga Puja festival last December, Curtis showed a slide of Garba that mentioned the “file was currently undergoing technical treatment by the Secretariat”.
Currently, India has 14 Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) elements which are inscribed on this list, including Ramlila, Vedic Chants, Kumbh Mela, and the latest being Kolkata’s Durga Puja.
India had received the honour of Kolkata’s Durga Puja being inscribed on the coveted list at the committee’s 16th session held in Paris. The festival was commended by the committee for its initiatives to involve marginalized groups, and individuals as well as women in their participation in safeguarding the element.
Director and UNESCO Representative for the UNESCO New Delhi Office, Eric Falt, had said the inclusion of Durga Puja in the list represents how all stakeholders came together.
“India perhaps offers more intangible cultural heritage practices than any other country in the world. And, many of them are in need of safeguarding. We at UNESCO work closely with the government of India in the preservation of monuments and the intangible cultural heritage, which many times tourists miss or are not much aware of,” he said.