11.COM 10.B.1

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have nominated Nawrouz, Novruz, Nowrouz, Nowrouz, Nawrouz, Nauryz, Nooruz, Nowruz, Navruz, Nevruz, Nowruz, Navruz (No. 01161) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

New Year is often a time when people wish for prosperity and new beginnings. 21 March marks the start of the year in regions located in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Referred to as Nawrouz (‘new day’) and various other denominations in each of the countries concerned, it corresponds to a celebration encompassing a variety of rituals, ceremonies and other cultural events taking place for a period of about two weeks. An important tradition practised during this time is the gathering around ‘the Table’, decorated with objects that symbolize purity, brightness, livelihood and wealth, to enjoy a special meal with loved ones. New clothes are worn and visits made to relatives, particularly the elderly and neighbours. Gifts are exchanged, especially for children, featuring objects made by artisans. There are also street performances of music and dance, public rituals involving water and fire, traditional sports and the making of handicrafts. These practices support cultural diversity and tolerance and contribute to building community solidarity and peace. They are transmitted from older to younger generations through observation and participation.

  1. Decides that, from the information included in the file, the nomination satisfies the following criteria:

R.1:   The element marks the celebration of New Year and the beginning of spring, symbolizing the revival of nature in all or many of the families and communities in the submitting States, though with some distinctive characteristics. This celebration includes various ceremonies, rituals, traditional games, special dishes, performances in music and dance, oral expressions and literature, and handicrafts – all reinforcing the cultural identity of the communities concerned. The file describes how the element promotes peace and mutual respect through family and public gatherings, as well as interaction between communities, and how it is transmitted within families (often by women) and via elderly artisans, artists, the mass media, internet, specialized conferences, universities and non-governmental organizations;

R.2:   The file indicates that inscription would foster an element that encapsulates cultural diversity, tolerance and the rapprochement of cultures while illustrating the harmonious coexistence of ancient rituals with newer beliefs and social norms. Since the first inscription of this element in 2009, the seven States Parties have observed a positive effect in awareness of intangible cultural heritage at local, national and international levels. Together with five additional States the submitting States believe this process will continue with this extended inscription, which would also encourage inter- and intra-cultural dialogue and understanding for the purpose of peace, social cohesion, integration, reconciliation and solidarity;

R.3:   The viability of the element is being ensured by the widespread commitment and active participation of the local communities, groups, individuals, and non-governmental organizations concerned. A comprehensive list of past, current and future safeguarding measures are described. These involve families, communities, the respective governments, non-governmental organizations and academia. The proposed measures are relevant and practical, with some common to several States (e.g. through the involvement of the category 2 centre in Iran, the creation of a regional network among research institutes and centres of expertise, and the compilation of an international encyclopaedia on the element). The establishment of community learning centres is also proposed. The file states that a majority of the safeguarding measures proposed were prepared with the active participation of communities, craftspeople, scholars and other individuals, non-governmental organizations and national institutions concerned. The nomination attaches particular importance to multistate cooperation for several activities;

R.4:   The nomination file describes a series of meetings and workshops across all 12 submitting States, during which representatives of communities, experts, States and non-governmental organizations participated between 2012 and 2015 to elaborate the file. It presents letters expressing the free, prior, and informed consent of the representatives of communities from all 12 States to the nomination, although there are qualitative and quantitative differences with regard to the information and the supporting documents provided;

R.5:   All submitting States have included the element on their national inventories for intangible cultural heritage, with the involvement of communities concerned. The file presents extracts of these inscriptions. These are said to be regularly updated with continuous collaboration of representatives of local communities, non-governmental organizations and institutions.

  1. Inscribes Nawrouz, Novruz, Nowrouz, Nowrouz, Nawrouz, Nauryz, Nooruz, Nowruz, Navruz, Nevruz, Nowruz, Navruz on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
  2. Takes note that the present inscription replaces the 2009 inscription of Novruz, Nowrouz, Nooruz, Navruz, Nauroz, Nevruz, in conformity with Chapter I.6 of the Operational Directives.

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