Guwahati, Oct 31: A rich cultural tradition and an art form of Manipur, which has been practiced in the state since ages, is among 31 nominations to be decided for inscription on the Representative List of the Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The Sankirtana, which includes ritual singing, drumming and dancing and practiced specially by Vaishnava community in Manipur, has been nominated from India this year. It is at present waiting to enter the Representative List of the Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, 2013.
The Manipur government in a statement Thursday said the formal decision for inscription in the List is likely to be taken during the eighth session of the Unesco Inter-governmental Committee, to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, during first week of December this year.
Sankirtana is practiced primarily by the Vaishnavite community of the plains of Manipur and also practiced by the Vaishnava Manipuri population settled in the neighbouring states of Tripura and Assam.
Starting with ritual observances, which involve singing and dancing in the temples of Manipur, Sankirtana encompasses an array of arts performed also at home and on streets to mark occasions of religious import and stages in the life of the Vaishnava people inhabiting the Manipur plains.
In a typical performance, two drummers and about ten singer-dancers perform in a hall or domestic courtyard encircled by seated devotees.
“The Inter-governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage consists of 24 representatives from the States Parties elected by the General Assembly of States Parties. The committee members are Albania, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Brazil, Burkina Faso, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Grenada, Indonesia, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Madagascar, Morocco, Namibia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Peru, Spain, Tunisia, Uganda and Uruguay,” said the statement.
“The International body satisfied the criteria of the Sankirtana of Manipur for inscription on the Representative List as Sankirtana is transmitted from generation to generation through formal and traditional education,” it said.
The declaration of Sankirtana as intangible cultural heritage of humanity by Unesco will help the art form receive substantial support from the Central government.