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Gujarat Garba Now on UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List

Legendary Garba Singer Atul Purohit welcomed the news and said this would enable a larger number of world audience to discover the beauty in the traditional Indian dance form

Gujarati community in the US and across the globe ecstatic at the honor as the dance form truly represents the vibrant culture of Gujarat


Legendary Garba singer Shri Atul Purohit


By Zofeen Maqsood

If you are from India, it is likely that you would have danced to the beat of Garba or reverberated with the Garba music during festive occasions. Now, this traditional dance form has made it to the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

It may be noted that this popular dance form is the 15th cultural item from India to make it to the UNESCO list. The inclusion in the ‘Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’, was announced on Wednesday, December 6, by the Chief Minister of Gujarat Bhupendra Patel.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, wrote on social media site, X: “Garba is a celebration of life, unity and our deep-rooted traditions. Its inscription on the Intangible Heritage List showcases to the world the beauty of Indian culture. This honour inspires us to preserve and promote our heritage for future generations. Congrats for this global acknowledgment.”

Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel also took to X to write: “The age-old tradition of devotion to Goddess Mother in the form of Garba is alive and growing. Garba which has become the identity of Gujarat has been approved by UNESCO under its intangible cultural heritage list.” He also wrote: “This is a moment of pride for Gujaratis spread all over the world. This is a result of importance being given to the heritage of the country under prime minister Narendra Modi’s leadership and such heritage being taken to the world. Congratulations to the people of Gujarat.”

Legendary Garba Singer Atul Purohit welcomed the news and said this would enable a larger number of world audience to discover the beauty in the traditional Indian dance form

Legendary Garba singer Atul Purohit who hails from Gujarat, India has been practicing the traditional form of Garba for many decades. One of the most exemplary names in the world of traditional India music, he thinks that this recognition is a wonderful addition as this will go on to attract more youth and dance lovers to learn and explore this traditional dance form.”

For anyone who has been to India during the period of Navratri or has attended any of the concerts that Atul Purohit and his group have been conducting globally, the magic of Garba has left an indelible mark in the heart. Atul Purohit also says, “There is a distinct symphony and beauty in this art form that captivates you. Even for those amidst the audiences outside of India, who see the dance form for the first time, we always see a curiosity to learn more about it.”

The honor rightfully bestows the dance form the recognition it deserves. For culture, dance and music enthusiasts from across the globe, the news came as a huge boost as the dance not only represents a beautiful symphony but is also a reminder of the rich heritage and traditions emerging from the state of Gujarat in India.

About two years ago, Kolkata’s Durga Puja was added to the list.

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