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UNESCO names Kumbh Mela as Intangible Cultural Heritage of India

UNESCO names Kumbh Mela as Intangible Cultural Heritage of India

In news:

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has inscribed Kumbh Mela on its Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Highlights:

  • The intergovernmental Committee for Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage under UNESCO made the decision regarding Kumbh Mela during its 12th session that was held at Jeju, South Korea.
  • With the inclusion, Kumbh Mela now joins the elements from Botswana, Colombia, Venezuela, Mongolia, Morocco, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates on the list.
  • This inscription is the third in two years following the inscriptions of Yoga and Nouroz on December 1, 2016.

More about Kumbh Mela

  • Kumbh Mela is considered as the world's largest congregation of religious pilgrims, which is held in Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nashik
  • It represents a syncretic set of rituals related to worship in India
  • It is a social ritual and festive event which is closely linked to the community's perception of its own history and memory

Legend around Kumbh Mela

  • According to the legend during the battle between Gods and demons over a pot of Amrit (Nectar of immortality), a few drops of Amrit fell in Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik. Since then KumbhMela has been held in these places.
  • The Committee also took note of the fact that knowledge and skills related to 'Kumbh Mela' are transmitted through the Guru-Shishya parampara (teacher-student relationship) by way of saints and sadhus teaching their disciples about traditional rituals and chants.
  • In 2003, the UNESCO General Conference adopted the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage as an international treaty acknowledging that cultural heritage is more than tangible places, monuments and objects; it also encompasses traditions and living expressions.
  • Intangible cultural heritage means the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills -- as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated with them that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as a part of their cultural heritage.

 

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