India submits to UNESCO 20 heritage specimen for recognition

Last Updated 13 September 2009, 06:57 IST

These include the Kolam ritual of Tamil Nadu, where designs are drawn on the porches of houses, Nacha folk dance of Chattisgharh, Chatriyam music of Assam, Sankirtan dance of Manipur and the Veena tradition, Secretary (Culture) Jawhar Sircar said.

"In the last two years, there were no nominations. This year, the Ministry of Culture and the state governments have put forward 20 nominations to UNESCO," Sircar said. Jawhar expressed hope that all nominations will be given due recognition.

According to the 2003 UNESCO's Convention for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage, intangible or living heritage is the mainspring of any country's cultural diversity and its maintenance, a guarantee for continuing creativity.

He said at present there are only three recognised heritage specimen-- Kutiyattam (Sanskrit Theatre of Kerala), the tradition of Vedic Chanting and Ramlila- the traditional performance of Ramayana, which have been included from India.

Pointing out that UNESCO started encouraging preservation of different heritage sites in the last few years, Jawhar said the Ministry of Culture is leading a movement under which works of art, sculpture, song, dance and painting among others, which are intangible in nature, receive international attention through the nominations.

The functional spectrum of his Ministry, Jawhar said, ranges from generating cultural awareness at the grassroot level to promoting cultural exchanges globally. Along with programmes to preserve India's ancient heritage, the activities of the Ministry encourage and disseminate a variety of contemporary creative arts as well, he said.

"The ministry's aim is to develop ways and means through which the basic cultural and aesthetic sensibilities of the people remain active and dynamic," he added.

(Published 13 September 2009, 06:57 IST)

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