Mangal Shovajatra, a festival close to the heart of Bengalis, has been inscribed on UNESCO's Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The decision was taken today at the 11th session of the intergovernmental committee on intangible cultural heritage, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The Committee in its decision noted that Mangal Shovajatra , organized by teachers and students of Dhaka University's Faculty of Fine Arts to celebrate the Bengali New Year's Day, symbolizes the pride of the people of Bangladesh in their living heritage as well as their
strength and courage to fight sinister forces, and their vindication of truth and justice. The Committee also recognized that the festival represents solidarity and shared value for democracy, uniting people irrespective of cast, creed, religion, gender or age.
Ambassador and Permanent Representative to UNESCO, M Shahidul Islam is leading a four-member delegation to the Committee's meeting at Addis Ababa. The other members are Md. Monirul Islam, Ambassador of Bangladesh to Ethiopia and African Union; Prof. Nisar Hossain, Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts of Dhaka University and Farhana Ahmed
Chowdhury, First Secretary of the Bangladesh Embassy in Paris.
The inclusion of Mangal Shovajatra in the list of cultural heritage of humanity is the result of the Government's proactive cultural diplomacy. The enhanced visibility of Mangal Shovajatra festival will help reinforce Bangladesh's image as a secular and inclusive
The initiative to inscribe Mangal Shovajatra on UNESCO's in the list of humanity's intangible cultural heritage began two years ago when a nomination file on the festival prepared by Bangla Academy and approved by Ministry of Cultural Affairs was submitted to UNESCO.
Since then the nomination file underwent a number of amendments and was finally adopted by the relevant UNESCO committee.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs