BREAKING NEWS: UNESCO has inscribed the Garba of Gujarat, India on its Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity!
Garba, a highly vibrant and energetic dance form, originates from the rich cultural heritage of Gujarat. It is a festival that celebrates Shakti or divine femininity and is performed for nine days in the Hindu festival of Navaratri.
Dance happens in a circular motion around a garba pot, representing the Mother Goddess as the center. Colourfully dressed participants chant and sing hymns making everything look wonderful.
Garba entails more than just physical beauty. It is an important mechanism that promotes social solidarity and strengthens the community.
Here are some of the reasons why Garba has been recognized as an intangible cultural heritage:
· Inclusiveness: Through socio-economic, gender, and religious boundaries, everyone is involved and enjoys the celebrations. The inclusivity stands out, remarkably in countries with mixed population subgroups.
· Transmission through practice and observation: Garba involves the inter-generational transmission of skills and knowledge through informal training and observation. Hence, it maintains or continues the tradition.
· Strengthening social bonds: Garba unites communities by making them feel at home and they are part of the bigger picture. Social links get more solid as they come from the process of festival preparations which are conducted jointly.
· Devotional significance: Garba is more than a mere dance; it is a devotional and spiritual process. Through the dance, we show our gratitude and respect for the great mother, who is an embodiment, Goddess.
Garba’s recognition by UNESCO proves that it has immense value for the Indian culture. It serves as an acknowledgment of what Garba represents, which are inclusion, belonging, and devotion.
Such recognition will no doubt boost Garba’s regard as well as the sustenance of such practice for many more years.
If you can find Garba in real life just do that. Be part of the fun by stepping into the circle, clapping your hands, and getting involved in this cultural tradition.