The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage inscribed ‘Durga Puja in Kolkata’ on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity during its 16th session, taking place virtually from 13 to 18 December this year.
UNESCO New Delhi Director Eric Falt said, “I would like to offer warm congratulations to India, its people and especially all those who worked on the nomination dossier. I am confident that this inscription will offer encouragement to the local communities that celebrate Durga Puja, including all the traditional craftspeople, designers, artists, and organizers of large-scale cultural events, as well as tourists and visitors who partake in the inclusive festivity that is Durga Puja.”
“Durga Puja represents the collective worship of the Hindu Goddess Durga. During this time, masterfully designed clay models of the Goddess are worshipped in “pandals” or pavilions where communities get together and celebrate. Several folk music, culinary, craft, and performing arts traditions add to the dynamism of this celebration,” said UNESCO in a statement.
The Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity currently has 492 elements.
It includes forms of expression that testify to the diversity of intangible heritage and raises awareness of its importance. By enhancing the visibility of communities’ cultural practices and know-how, UNESCO aims to safeguard the intangible cultural heritage of communities globally.