Last updated on April 1, 2020
INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE OF INDIA
Context: Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA) is collaborating with Zonal Cultural Centers of Ministry, collating and preparing a list of ICH elements for National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Along with this establishment of an ‘Indian Institute for Culture’ is at conceptual stage and a mission called National Culture Mapping portal is being conceptualized for aggregating art forms and artists.
Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA), an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Culture is the nodal agency for the Scheme for ‘Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage and Diverse Cultural Traditions of India’.
WHAT IS INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE?
An intangible cultural heritage (ICH) is basically a practice, representation, expression, knowledge, or skill considered by UNESCO to be part of a place’s cultural heritage. It comprises “nonphysical intellectual property, such as folklore, customs, beliefs, traditions, knowledge, and language” in contrast to tangible heritage (i.e., “physical objects and artifacts belonging to a culture”).
In 2001, UNESCO made a survey among States and NGOs to try to agree on a definition, and the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage was drafted in 2003 for its protection and promotion.
Therefore, according to the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, “the intangible cultural heritage are the practices, representations, expressions, as well as the knowledge and skills (including instruments, objects, artifacts, cultural spaces), that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognise as part of their cultural heritage”. It is sometimes called living cultural heritage, and is manifested in the following domains:
- Oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage;
- Performing arts;
- Social practices, rituals and festive events;
- Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe;
- Traditional craftsmanship.
WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS ON THE LIST IN INDIA?
- 2008: Tradition of Vedic chanting; Ramlila, the traditional performance of the Ramayana; and Kutiyattam, Sanskrit theatre.
- 2009: Ramman, religious festival and ritual theatre of the Garhwal Himalayas, India.
- 2010: Mudiyettu, ritual theatre and dance drama of Kerala; Kalbelia folk songs and dances of Rajasthan; and Chhau dance.
- 2012: Buddhist chanting of Ladakh: recitation of sacred Buddhist texts in the trans-Himalayan Ladakh region, Jammu and Kashmir, India.
- 2013: Sankirtana, ritual singing, drumming and dancing of Manipur.
- 2014: Traditional brass and copper craft of utensil making among the Thatheras of Jandiala Guru, Punjab, India.
- 2016: Yoga; and Nawrouz, Novruz, Nowrouz, Nowrouz, Nawrouz, Nauryz, Nooruz, Nowruz, Navruz, Nevruz, Nowruz, Navruz.
- 2017: Kumbh Mela
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