08-12-2017 12:43 PM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
Kumbh Mela – A religious festival of tolerance and inclusiveness
Kumbh Mela, the largest congregation of pilgrims on earth, has been inscribed on the UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This is the third inscription for India in two years following the inscriptions of yoga and Nouroz.
The Kumbh Mela was inscribed at the 12th session of The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage under Unesco which was held at Jeju in South Korea. This was disclosed by the External Affairs Ministry on Thursday.
Adopted in 2003, The UNESCO Convention for Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage, defines intangible cultural heritage as the practices, representations, expressions as well as knowledge and skills that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognise as part of their cultural heritage.
The Kumbh Mela is a religious festival, held in Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik, that represents a syncretic set of rituals related to worship and ritual cleansing in holy rivers in India, UNESCO said. It stated that this is a festival that demonstrates tolerance and inclusiveness which is especially valuable for the contemporary world.
The statement said that the Committee “also took note of the fact that knowledge and skills related to Kumbh Mela are transmitted through the Guru-Shishya ‘parampara’ (guru-student relationship) by way of saints and sadhus teaching their disciples about traditional rituals and chants in order to ensure the continuity and viability of this festival in perpetuity”.