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UNESCO Adds Durga Puja To ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’ List

West Bengal has just bagged a new crown of glory for itself, with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNSECO) on Wednesday adding the state’s largest annual festival, the Durga Puja, to its ‘Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.’

The decision to inscribe ‘Durga puja in Kolkata’ in the list was taken on Wednesday, the second day of the 16th session of the intergovernmental committee, which is being held is Paris from December 13 to 18.

“The festival was particularly praised for its all-inclusive approach cutting across barriers of religion, gender and economic strata,” said an official of the Union ministry of culture who is posted in West Bengal.

The inscription on the UNESCO’S website reads, “Durga Puja is seen as the best instance of the public performance of religion and art, and as a thriving ground for collaborative artists and designers. The festival is characterized by large-scale installations and pavilions in urban areas, as well as by traditional Bengali drumming and veneration of the goddess. During the event, the divides of class, religion and ethnicities collapse as crowds of spectators walk around to admire the installations.”

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