Unique Cultural Identity of Our People Is In Danger
In the present day world, we are very fast loosing the cultural identity of a particular community . Everything is getting globalised. But I think, we need to strive for sustaining our individual cultural identity ( which encompasses so many varied aspects like our traditional knowledge, fairs& festivals,recipes, healing system,food habits, rituals being performed during our family events, vernacular language etc….).
Culture – Culture can be defined as the sum of habits, skills, traditions, customs, religion, beliefs etc.
Heritage – Heritage is the various touchable and untouchable things that are inherited from our ancestors and have cultural or social significance.
Indian civilization is one of the oldest civilizations of the world. Highlights of Indian heritage are its art, architecture, classical dance, music, flora and fauna, the inherent secular philosophy of its people.
Our heritage speaks a volume about our past and how our society has evolved . It helps us better realize our history and traditions and enables us to develop an awareness of ourselves. It helps us understand ourselves and explain why we are the way we are. A country’s rich heritage is a symbol of the strength and pride of its people. Monuments and ancient creations are the property of humanity all over the world. India’s heritage is divided into two categories: natural and cultural. This differentiation is applicable to all countries . Natural heritage includes forests, mountains, rivers, animals and birds; Cultural heritage includes man-made attractions such as temples and paintings etc.
Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) is considered by member nations of UNESCO comparable to the tangible world heritage zeroing in on intangible parts of culture . Just for example, many of our Odia children do not have any idea about Odia New Year, but wait anxiously to observe the English New Year ( i.e on Ist January). Intangible heritage comprises of nonphysical scholarly riches, like fables, customs, convictions, customs, traditional knowledge , our spoken language etc . Many people may not be aware about a particular day which has been devoted for this purpose . April 18 is observed annually as World Heritage Day or International Day for Monuments and Sites to raise awareness of cultural heritage and encourage the preservation and protection of the world’s most important historic sites.
Here is an appeal to the state government, Odisha.
A country can apply for ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’ status ( given by UNESCO)for only one event in a year. Our state government ( Odisha)should apply for Rathyatra , Durga Puja, Dhanuyatra and many more with a properly documented and convincing proposal for the said status of ICH. In the recent past ( December 2021), Kolkata Durga Puja has been accorded the status of an ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage ( ICH)’ .
Cuttack is known for the two primary celebrations in Odisha, Durga Puja, and Bali Jatra. In excess of 100 Durga Puja pandals are raised around here and you can see probably the most gorgeous Durga Puja pedestals in Cuttack. Another celebration is the Bali Yatra. There are different colonies better known as ‘Sahi’ having their own Durga Puja pandals. Nowadays, several of those Sahis have come up with golden crowns for their Durga idols ( the photos attached) . There also lies very lavishly decorated silver background supports in each of those Durga idols. Let’s have a look at those delicately designed golden crowns.
For information on many of such unique facts about Art Forms, Archaeological Monuments ,Cultural and Heritage Resources( both tangible and intangible)etc. please log in to the following link.
Dr. Manoj Mishra
Image source: CUTTACK PUJA FESTIVALS