The Intangible Cultural Heritage of India

There are certain intangible cultural traditions across the world which might face threat with increasing commodification and commercialization of art. India has numerous such traditions, however at present 11 such traditions are recognized by UNESCO.

The General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization hereinafter referred to as UNESCO, meeting in Paris, from 29 September to 17 October 2003, at its 32nd session,

Considering the importance of the intangible cultural heritage as a mainspring of cultural diversity and a guarantee of sustainable development,

Considering the invaluable role of the intangible cultural heritage as a factor in bringing human beings closer together and ensuring exchange and understanding among them,

Adopted this Convention on this seventeenth day of October 2003  to enlist such rich traditions and protect them from extinction and help in their promotion.

  1. Traditional brass and copper craft of utensil making among the Thatheras of Jandiala Guru, Punjab, India
  2. Sankirtana, ritual singing, drumming and dancing of Manipur
  3. Buddhist chanting of Ladakh: recitation of sacred Buddhist texts in the trans-Himalayan Ladakh region, Jammu and Kashmir, India
  4. Chhau dance
  5. Kalbelia folk songs and dances of Rajasthan
  6. Mudiyettu, ritual theatre and dance drama of Kerala
  7. Novruz, Nowrouz, Nooruz, Navruz, Nauroz, Nevruz
  8. Ramman, religious festival and ritual theatre of the Garhwal Himalayas, India
  9. Kutiyattam, Sanskrit theatre
  10. Ramlila, the traditional performance of the Ramayana
  11. Tradition of Vedic chanting
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