UNESCO adds Durga Puja to its Intangible Heritage list

Intergovernmental Committee for Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage decided, in its 16th session, to inscribed ‘Durga Puja in Kolkata’ on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Highlights

  • 16th session of UNESCO is being held, starting from December 13, 2021. It will conclude on December 18, 2021.
  • Till now, Durga Puja was celebrated in many parts worldwide. But an official global recognition was pending.
  • Durga Puja is a classic fusion of religion and culture. It is regarded with a lot of pride. This festival is performed and celebrated predominantly by the Bengali community.

About Durga Puja

Durga Puja is an annual Hindu festival. It is also known as Durgotsava or Sharodotsava. The festival originates in the Indian subcontinent which reveres and pays homage to Hindu goddess Durga. It is celebrated to mark goddess Durga’s victory over Mahishasur. This festival is particularly popular and traditionally celebrated in states like West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, Tripura, Assam, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Haryana, Uttarakhand as well as in Bangladesh. Durga Puja is a ten-day festival. Out of this, last five are most significance.

When this festival is observed?

Durga Puja is observed in Indian calendar month of Ashwin. It corresponds to September–October in the Gregorian calendar.

Intangible Cultural Heritage

As per UNESCO, cultural heritage does not end at collections of objects and monuments. It also includes traditions or living expressions which have been inherited from ancestors and passed on to descendants. It is a practice, expression, representation, knowledge, or skill considered by UNESCO. Intangible heritage comprises of nonphysical intellectual wealth like folklore, customs, traditions, beliefs, knowledge, and language. It is considered by member states of UNESCO. Convention for Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage was put forward in 2003 to protect and promote it.

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