‘Garba of Gujarat’ Recognized as Intangible Cultural Heritage
The vibrant and culturally rich dance form, ‘Garba of Gujarat,’ has earned a prestigious place in the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of Humanity by UNESCO. The recognition was formalized during the 18th meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage held from 5th to 9th December, 2023, in Kasane, Botswana.
A Symbol of Unity and Inclusivity
This inscription marks ‘Garba of Gujarat’ as the 15th ICH element from India to be included in the list. It underscores the dance form’s significant role as a unifying force, promoting social and gender inclusivity. Rooted in ritualistic and devotional traditions, Garba brings together individuals from diverse backgrounds, thriving as a vibrant living tradition that fosters community cohesion.
The Evaluation Body of the 2003 Convention praised India’s dossier for Garba, commending the outstanding supporting material and the nomination of an element that champions unity in diversity and social equality. The UNESCO recognition is expected to significantly elevate the global visibility and authentic essence of Garba.
UNESCO Listing Mechanism
The UNESCO 2003 Convention’s Listing mechanism aims to enhance the visibility of intangible cultural heritage, raise awareness of its significance, and promote dialogue that respects cultural diversity. India, as part of the 24 Member Inter-governmental Committee (IGC) of the ICH 2003 Convention, will play a crucial role in safeguarding and promoting cultural heritage over the next four years.