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Every year, countries from around the world submit their nominations for the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. These are a list of cultural institutions, social practices, rituals, events, arts, and knowledge and skills from around the world that are ‘in need of urgent safeguarding’.
From India, it is the Sangeet Natak Akademi, under the Union Ministry of Culture that is responsible for drawing up the representative list for submission. And 2020’s entry submission from India is the Durga Puja. During the 10-day long festival, the streets of Kolkata come absolutely alive. Bonedi baris, pandals, immersions, street food, pujos—there is culture and festivity to be celebrated in every corner.
As per the Akademi’s website “Durga Puja is the best instance of the public performance of religion and art in the city. It witnesses a celebration of craftsmanship, cross-cultural transactions and cross-community revelry.”
In the past, some other nominations from india have included yoga, kumbh mela, chhau dance, and Kuttiyattam, among others.
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