Kolkata Durga Puja to get UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage status; Modi govt sends proposal

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New Delhi | Published: April 3, 2019 2:01:06 PM

Detailing the ritual part, Sangeet Natak Akademi stated that Durga Puja marks the ten-day worship of the Hindu mother goddess Durga.

durga puja 2019Durga idol (Express photo)

Durga Puja of Kolkata is an epitome of Bengali pride! Every year, lakhs of Bengali expats and people of every caste, creed, community and nationality throng to the City of Joy and celebrate this once in a year social festival. Now Durga Puja in Kolkata has been nominated by the Narendra Modi government for attaining UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) status for the year 2020. The nomination has been forwarded by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, which operates under the Union Ministry of Culture.

Sangeet Natak Akademi has termed Durga Puja as the most important festival of West Bengal. It has said that apart from Kolkata, the festival is observed in several states and cities across India and even in a number of countries. During the festival, Kolkata becomes the cultural and geographical heart of the national and worldwide celebrations of the Durga Puja, the Sangeet Natak Akademi has said in its website. The ICH Nodal agency said that the history of Durga Puja can be traced in the West Bengal capital. One gets to know the evolution of Durga Puja to the grandeur of community festival from being traditional family festival. It has also stated that Durga Puja vividly manifests the amalgamation of religion and art in the city. One will get a detailed exhibition of the celebration of craftsmanship, cross-community revelry and cross-cultural transactions. These are the reasons why Sangeet Natak Akademi has nominated Durga Puja in Kolkata for UNESCO Heritage status for 2020.

Detailing the ritual part, Sangeet Natak Akademi stated that Durga Puja marks the ten-day worship of the Hindu mother goddess Durga. The worship of the goddess Durga commences with Mahalaya, the day when Bengali males pay homage to their forefathers. The celebration ends on the tenth day of Bijoya Dashami when the idols are immersed in the river. Final days of Durga Puja festivities 2019 will begin on October 4 and is scheduled to end on October 8.

So far Kumbh Mela, Yoga, Punjab’s Jandiala Guru, dance forms of Chhau, Kalbelia and Mudiyettu, Vedic and Buddhist chanting have been India’s entries to the UNESCO heritage.

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