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West Bengal: Durga puja in UNESCO’s Intangible Heritage list; PM Modi, CM hail move as proud movement

UNESCO has added Durga Puja to the representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The 16th Committee of UNESCO for safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in its meeting held yesterday in Paris has inscribed DURGA PUJA in KOLKATA on the representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

This is the 1st festival in Asia to achieve recognition as UNESCO ICH of Humanity. 48 nominations had been submitted for inscription on the Representative List of ICH of humanity. The nominations were reviewed by an Evaluation Body who made recommendations to the Committee for its decision.

The Committee approved the decision of the inscription of Durga Puja in Kolkata. UNESCO also commended the concerned organizations in Kolkata for their initiatives to involve marginalized groups and individuals as well as women in their participation in safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet that it is a matter of great pride and joy for every Indian. He said, Durga Puja highlights the best of Indian traditions and ethos and Kolkata’s Durga Puja is an experience everyone must-have.

Culture Minister G Kishen Reddy said that this is a recognition of the confluence of India’s rich heritage, culture, rituals, and practices and a celebration of feminine divinity and the spirit of womanhood.

Welcoming the move, the government of West Bengal stated that this recognition by UNESCO symbolizes victory of the cultural richness of Bengal. In a tweet, Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee said that it is a proud moment for Bengal. To every Bengali across the world, Durga puja is much more than a festival, it is an emotion that unites everyone.

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