Gujarat's famous Garba dance has been recognized by UNESCO and added to the list of important cultural traditions. This dance, performed during the Navratri festival in Gujarat and various parts of India, celebrates devotion to the Goddess Mother.
The Chief Minister of Gujarat, Bhupendra Patel, shared this news on December 6. He mentioned that this recognition is a matter of pride for all Gujaratis worldwide. Patel also praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for emphasizing and sharing India's rich heritage globally.
UNESCO's decision was made during a meeting in Botswana, where Garba was approved as the 15th cultural element from India on their list. The significance of Garba lies in its ability to bring people together regardless of their background. This dance form promotes inclusivity among different social groups, genders, and religions.
The UNESCO description explains that Garba is a devotional dance performed during Navratri, a festival dedicated to the feminine energy or 'Shakti'. Dancers move around an earthenware pot or an image of the goddess Amba while singing, clapping, and dancing in a circular pattern. The dance starts slowly and gradually picks up speed, symbolizing devotion and celebration.
Garba's inclusive nature involves various people like dancers, musicians, craftspeople, and religious figures. It promotes social equality by breaking down barriers related to socio-economic status, gender, and religion. This recognition by UNESCO adds Garba to the list of other revered Indian cultural practices like Ramlila, Vedic Chants, Kumbh Mela, and Durga Puja.