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‘Garba of Gujarat’ Declared as Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO

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New Delhi. ‘Garba of Gujarat’ has been inscribed in the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of Humanity by UNESCO, under the provisions of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage during the 18th meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage from 5th to 9th December, 2023 in Kasane, Botswana.

Garba of Gujarat is the 15th ICH element from Bharat to join this list. This inscription underscores Garba’s pivotal role as a unifying force that fosters social and gender inclusivity. Garba as a dance form is entrenched deeply in ritualistic and devotional roots, involving people from all walks of life and it continues to thrive as a vibrant living tradition bringing communities together.

Union Minister of Culture, Tourism & Development of North Eastern Region G. Kishan Reddy in a X post said that this listing is testimony to the tireless efforts of the government under the leadership of Prime Minister to showcase our rich culture, traditions & heritage to the world.

The Evaluation Body of the 2003 Convention in its report this year, lauded Bharat for its dossier with outstanding supporting material and for nominating an element that champions unity in diversity and cultivates social equality among varied communities. This acknowledgement of UNESCO inscribing an intangible cultural heritage element from Gujarat, Garba will significantly elevate its global visibility and authentic essence.

The Listing mechanism under the UNESCO 2003 Convention aims to enhance the visibility of intangible cultural heritage, fostering awareness of its significance and promoting dialogue that respects cultural diversity. Bharat was elected to be part of the 24 Member Inter-governmental Committee (IGC) of the ICH 2003 Convention in 2022 for a tenure of 4 years.

Alongside Bharat, this year’s Intergovernmental Committee (IGC) comprised of Angola, Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Czechia, Ethiopia, Germany, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

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