Context: Recently, Union Minister for Culture launched the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of India.
India houses a repository of unique Intangible Cultural Heritage(ICH) traditions, 13 of which have also been recognized by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
About the National ICH List:
- The National ICH List is an attempt to recognize the diversity of Indian culture embedded in its intangible heritage.
- It aims to raise awareness about the various intangible cultural heritage elements from different states of India at national and international level and ensure their protection.
- This initiative is also a part of the Vision 2024 of the Ministry of Culture.
- 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:
- Oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage;
- Performing arts;
- Social practices, rituals and festive events;
- Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe;
- Traditional craftsmanship.
- The present items in the list have been collated from the projects sanctioned under the scheme for ‘Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage and Diverse Cultural Traditions of India’ formulated by the Ministry of Culture in 2013.
- As of now the list has more than 100elements.
- 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.
The list includes:
- Assam: The traditional folk festival of Pachoti, where the birth of a baby, particularly a male infant as the tradition relates to the birth of Krishna is celebrated with relatives and neighbours.
- Delhi: The oral traditions of the transgender community called Kinnar Kanthgeet and compositions of Ameer Khusro.
- Gujarat: Patola silk textiles from Patan with its geometric and figurative patterns also made it to the list.
- Rajasthan: The practice of tying a turban or safa across Rajasthan was a part of the list.
- Jammu and Kashmir: The Kalam Bhat or Qalambaft gharana of Sufiana music in Budgam district and from Ladakh. The Buddhist chanting across both Leh and Kargil districts were on the list of intangible cultural heritage.
- Manipur: The making of khor, a rice beer, by the Tangkhul community in Manipur as well as other crafts associated with it, like making gourd vessels and wicker baskets, were also on the list.
- Kerala: Martial art form, Kalaripayuttu, and the practice of making designs at the entrance of homes and temples called kolam in Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh were also included in the list.
- Different forms of shadow puppet theatre:
- Chamadyacha Bahulya in Maharashtra,
- Tolu Bommalatta in Andhra Pradesh,
- Togalu Gombeyatta in Karnataka,
- Tolu Bommalattam in Tamil Nadu,
- Tolpava Kuthu in Kerala and Ravanchhaya in Orissa — have also been included.
Through consultation from experts and other stakeholders like UNESCO, this list could also help strengthen the ICH inventory of India, which functions as a ‘tentative list’ for any potential inscriptions on the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.