The Durga Puja event in Kolkata was granted heritage status by UNESCO on Wednesday, bringing glory to the country and praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
“Kolkata’s Durga puja has recently been included in the list of intangible cultural heritage. “Congratulations India,” the organization tweeted, along with a portrait of the goddess and the hashtag “living heritage.”
The decision by UNESCO has been lauded by Prime Minister Modi as a “subject of immense pride and excitement for every Indian.”
“Durga Puja exemplifies the best of our ethos and customs.” And the Durga Puja in Kolkata is an event that everyone should enjoy,” remarked the Prime Minister.
Durga Puja, according to the Chief Minister, is more than a celebration; it is a feeling.
“This is a proud time for Bengal!” Durga Puja is much more than a festival to every #Bengali around the world; it is a feeling that binds everyone. #DurgaPuja has officially been added to the Representative List of Humanity’s Intangible Cultural Heritage. “We’re all overjoyed!” she wrote on Twitter.
The Ministry of Culture, too, used the microblogging platform to express its congratulations to the city’s citizens.
“I am overjoyed that ‘Durga Puja in Kolkata’ has been added to the @UNESCO Representative List of Humanity’s Intangible Cultural Heritage. Herzlichen Glückwunsch! It’s a mash-up of the county’s rich past and culture, including art, crafts, rituals, and traditions. The ministry wrote, “Jai Maa Durga!”
Bengal’s department of state information and cultural affairs issued a statement congratulating the state’s and country’s citizens.
“The 16th Committee of UNESCO for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) has inscribed Durga Puja in Kolkata on the representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity,” according to the statement.
This was also the “first festival in Asia” to receive such recognition, according to the department.
“Today is a special day for us. Bengal is now Biswa Bangla, in a sense. Our best wishes go out to the people of Bengal, the country, and the entire world. “We express our gratitude to UNESCO for designating this wonderful celebration as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity,” the statement continued.
The annual Red Road carnival, which showcases the workmanship that goes into the creation of Durga Puja pandals, has made more people around the world aware of the festival’s grandeur, according to Suvaprasanna, chairman of the West Bengal Heritage Commission.
The Red Road Carnival was founded by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in order to exhibit the festival’s art, culture, and customs. “Durga Puja has been celebrated for decades, but with the carnival, the holiday took on a new dimension,” he said.
Indologist and academician Nrisingha Prasad Bhaduri, who welcomed the news, said Durga Puja is a “global event” that brings millions of people together.
He, on the other hand, believed that the festival should have received the status far sooner.
The latest Red Road carnival, held in advance of the immersion ceremony, was in 2019.
Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the event has been canceled this year and in 2020.
Soumen Dutta, a member of the Forum for Durgotsab, a leading organization of community Durga Puja committees in the city, said the ten-day gala’s organizers had finally received their due recognition.
“Our years of hard work have paid off with the anticipated outcome. “The scale of Bengal’s Durga Puja celebrations is unparalleled anywhere else in the globe,” he said.
The “holiday has come to symbolize homecoming or a seasonal return to one’s roots,” according to UNESCO’s website.
“Durga Puja is regarded as the best example of public religious and artistic performance, as well as a vibrant platform for collaboration artists and designers.” Large-scale installations and pavilions in metropolitan areas, as well as traditional Bengali drumming and goddess adoration, characterize the event,” it stated.
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