Understanding UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage

  Dec 06, 2023

Understanding UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage

What is UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List?

UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List is designed to recognize and protect various traditions, practices, and arts that are considered cultural staples within different societies around the world. These elements are not physical objects but include performing arts, social practices, rituals, and methods of craftsmanship that are passed down through generations.

Why is the Intangible Heritage List important for India?

For India, a country rich in cultural diversity, the list serves to highlight and preserve the country’s vast intangible heritage. It provides an international platform to showcase and safeguard cultural expressions such as classical dances, traditional music, and festivals.

What are some examples of intangible heritage from India?

Examples from India that have been inscribed include the traditional Kumbh Mela festival, the art of miniature painting, and classical Indian dance forms like Bharatanatyam and Kathak.

How does a tradition get included on the list?

Inclusion on the list requires nations to nominate their cultural practices to UNESCO, which then assesses the significance, ensures protective measures are in place, and that the traditions are transferred to future generations.

What are the symbols associated with India’s intangible heritage?

Symbols often associated with India’s intangible heritage include the classical dance form mudras (hand gestures), the tabla and sitar for music, and the lotus flower representing spiritual purity and cultural festivals.



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