UNESCO lists Kalash culture as Intangible Cultural Heritage

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Pakistan’s first independent nomination age old ‘Suri Jagek’ tradition was successfully adopted today for inscription as Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in need of urgent safeguarding.

At the ongoing 13th Session of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee being held in Mauritius today, the Permanent Delegate of Pakistan to UNESCO and Ambassador of Pakistan to France Mr. Moin ul Haque while commenting upon this latest development in Paris today termed the adoption of the ‘Suri Jagek’ tradition by UNESCO as historical achievement.

He further said that this vital and unique tradition will now be protected as part of shared human heritage of the entire world and will continue to serve its spiritual and utilitarian purposes.

The Pakistan’s Permanent Delegate to UNESCO said that this achievement also reflects the priority of the current government to place culture at heart of development policy and as an essential investment in our future.

He added that adoption of ‘Suri Jagek’ being Pakistan’s first ever independent nomination at this forum was a milestone towards ensuring better visibility of our rich folklore traditions and diverse cultural heritage at the international platform.

‘Suri Jagek’ (observing the sun) is a traditional meteorological and astronomical practices based on observation of the sun, moon and stars in reference to the local topography. It was the element of indigenous Kalasha knowledge of nature and universe.

This practice plays a pivotal role in the Kalasha community’s observance of significant social events like festivals, feasts, rituals; animal husbandry and farming practices.

Pakistan’s delegation at the 13th Session of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee on Safeguarding Intangible Cultural heritage was led by Mr. Zahid Ahmed Khan Jotoi, Pakistan Acting High Commissioner in Mauritius.

Other delegates included Mr. Naushad Khaliq, Section Officer at the National History and Literary Heritage Division, Islamabad, and Mr. Faisal Idris, Education and Cultural Attaché at the High Commission for Pakistan, Mauritius.

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