- Takes note that India has nominated Sowa-Rigpa, knowledge of healing or science of healing (No. 01358) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:
Sowa-Rigpa, knowledge of healing or science of healing, is the traditional medical system of communities that inhabit the Himalayan region. Since its introduction, the practice has been transmitted through teacher-student and family lineages. The term Sowa-Rigpa derives from the Bhoti language, meaning ‘knowledge of healing’. Sowa-Rigpa is a complete guide to leading a healthy life based on a harmony of body, mind, spirituality and cosmos. Sowa-Rigpa is formally recognized as a traditional medical system by the Government of India. The fundamental principles of Sowa-Rigpa are based on dietary guidelines, pulse examinations and do’s and don’ts. The practice is firmly integrated into the sociocultural system of the Himalayan region as every village has an ‘Amchi’ (a Sowa-Rigpa practitioner) family to look after public health, practising medicine as a social service or religious practice for the well-being of the community. At present, traditional Amchi families, trained Sowa-Rigpa doctors, monasteries, educational centres and research institutions all uphold the element.
- Recalls Articles 11, 12 and 13 of the Convention;
- Notes that the Evaluation Body considers that from the information included in the file, the nomination satisfies the criteria R.1, R.2, R.4 and R.5 for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
- Further takes note that the Evaluation Body initiated a ‘dialogue’ process in order to obtain information on criterion R.3;
- Considers that, having examined the information included in the file, it is not sufficient to determine whether criterion R.3 is satisfied;
- Decides to refer the nomination of Sowa-Rigpa, knowledge of healing or science of healing to the submitting State Party;
- Urges the submitting State Party to seriously consider the concerns of other States Parties, in accordance with the purposes and provisions of the Convention;
- Encourages the State Party, when submitting nomination files in the future, to avoid standardized consent letters;
- Further encourages the State Party to avoid top-down approaches in all stages of the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage by ensuring that communities are at the centre of all safeguarding efforts;
- Reminds the State Party that updating is an important part of the inventorying process and invites it to include information in its next periodic report on the implementation of the Convention at the national level on the periodicity of updating of the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage of India, in accordance with Article 12.1 of the Convention.