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National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of India

Topics Covered: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of India

What to study?

For Prelims: About UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, Indian entries in the list, about Reggae, overview of the National ICH List.

For Mains: Significance of the list and the need for conservation.

ContextMinistry of Culture has launched the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of India.

  • The National ICH List is an attempt to recognize the diversity of Indian culture embedded in its intangible heritage.
  • This initiative is also a part of the Vision 2024 of the Ministry of Culture.

Elements in the list:

As of now the list has more than 100 elements. It also includes the 13 elements of India that have already been inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Overview of the National ICH List:

Following UNESCO’s 2003 Convention for Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, this list has been classified into five broad domains in which intangible cultural heritage is manifested:

  1. Oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage;
  2. Performing arts;
  3. Social practices, rituals and festive events;
  4. Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe;
  5. Traditional craftsmanship.

About UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage:

The list is made up of those intangible heritage elements that help demonstrate diversity of cultural heritage and raise awareness about its importance. The list was established in 2008 when Convention for Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage came into effect. UNESCO maintains three lists under its “Intangible Cultural Heritage” banner: the list of intangible cultural heritage in need of urgent safeguarding, the list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity and the register of good safeguarding practices. Some of the criteria for inclusion in the representative list are if the inscription of the element will ensure visibility and awareness of it and if the element has been nominated after having “the widest possible participation” of the community, group or individuals concerned and with their free, prior and informed consent.

From India the Intangible Cultural Heritages added into this list include:

  1. Tradition of Vedic chanting
  2. Ramlila, the traditional performance of the Ramayana
  3. Kutiyattam, Sanskrit theatre
  4. Ramman, religious festival and ritual theatre of the Garhwal Himalayas.
  5. Mudiyettu, ritual theatre and dance drama of Kerala
  6. Kalbelia folk songs and dances of Rajasthan
  7. Chhau dance
  8. Buddhist chanting of Ladakh: recitation of sacred Buddhist texts in the trans-Himalayan Ladakh region, Jammu and Kashmir.
  9. Sankirtana, ritual singing, drumming and dancing of Manipur
  10. Traditional brass and copper craft of utensil making among the Thatheras of Jandiala Guru, Punjab
  11. Yoga
  12. Nawrouz
  13. Kumbh Mela

Insta Links:

Prelims Link:

  1. Which are the elements of India that have already been inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity?
  2. What is UNESCO?
  3. Difference between tangible and intangible heritages?
  4. Eligibility criteria?
  5. Lists under UNESCO “Intangible Cultural Heritage” banner?

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Sources: pib.