6 Dec 2023

Garba Of Gujarat Declared as Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO


'Garba of Gujarat' has been inscribed in the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of Humanity by UNESCO, under the provisions of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage during the 18th meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage from 5th -9th  December, 2023 in Kasane, Botswana.


Garba of Gujarat is the 15th ICH element from India to join this list. This inscription underscores Garba’s pivotal role as a unifying force that fosters social and gender inclusivity. Garba as a dance form is entrenched deeply in ritualistic and devotional roots, involving people from all walks of life and it continues to thrive as a vibrant living tradition bringing communities together. 


The inscription further highlights the commitment and efforts of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India towards the safeguarding, promotion and preservation of our intangible cultural heritage.


Garba is performed during Navratri, the longest and largest dance festival in the world. Navratri, literally meaning "nine nights," is dedicated to Durga. This festival is observed in many ways, each unique to the region of India in which it is celebrated. In Gujarat, it is observed with nine nights of dancing as a form of veneration and worship. And while garba is central to Navratri observances in Gujarat, it is not exclusively performed only during Navratri. Garba also is performed during social events such as weddings and parties.


As garba is part of a religious practice, as with other Hindu rituals and worship, it is done barefoot (and on all kinds of surfaces). Going barefoot signifies respect for the earth upon which people walk. The foot is the body part that touches the earth – the sacred mother of all.  


Union Minister of Culture, Tourism & Development of North Eastern Region Shri G. Kishan Reddy in a X post said that this listing is testimony to the tireless efforts of the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to showcase our rich culture, traditions & heritage to the world.

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