Immediately after the Rajya Sabha proceedings started, chairperson M. Venkaiah Naidu congratulated the people of India on inclusion of ‘Durga Puja’ in Kolkata in the coveted list of UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The festival was particularly praised for its all inclusive approach cutting across religions, Naidu said, “Inclusion of Durga Puja in the list of intangible heritage is indeed a matter of great pride for our nation and speaks volumes of rich cultural diversity of our country, which has been meticulously preserved, propagated across generations.”
“On behalf of the House and on my own behalf, I extend my hearty congratulations to the citizens of the country, who have not only kept the auspicious traditions of Durga Puja alive but also have infused new found vitality into the celebrations,” the Rajya Sabha chairperson said to the thumping of the desks by all the members.
On December 15, in a major appreciation for the biggest festival in the Bengali calendar, UNESCO added Durga Puja to its ‘Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’, a first of its kind in Asia.
The UNESCO had tweeted: “Celebrations of city of joy – Kolkata! Durga Puja has been added to the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” after the 16th Committee of UNESCO at its meeting held in Paris inscribed Durga Puja in Kolkata on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of Humanity.
It is the first festival in Asia to make it to the list of ICH of Humanity. There were altogether 48 nominations which had been submitted for inscription on the list.