- Takes note that India has nominated Chaar Bayt, a Muslim tradition in lyrical oral poetry, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, India for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, described as follows:
Chaar Bayt is a genre of lyrical poetry performed by men of Muslim communities in the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Originating in the Arab world and brought to India by Afghan soldiers employed in princely states, Chaar Bayt are sequences of four quatrains employing end-rhyme. The verses are sung at a high pitch accompanied by the fast rhythm of the duff (a leather percussion instrument). Groups sing in the evenings and compete with each other by trading verses. Each group has a poet who sits with the group and writes new verses on the spot in various languages including the local Awadhi language, Urdu and Persian. The highly involved and deeply participatory performances are sung during festivities and can last late into the night. Chaar Bayt songs originally concerned war, physical challenges and nostalgia for loved ones. Today, devotional and romantic lyrics and songs about contemporary socio-political issues have become a part of its repertoire, along with songs about the Hindu god Krishna and the festival of Holi. However, the martial aspect to Chaar Bayt lives on in the form of wrestling matches since the leader of the singing group is frequently also the trainer of young wrestlers. This is a tradition that combines the martial with the musical, the physical with the spiritual.
- Decides that, from the information provided in nomination file 00336, Chaar Bayt, a Muslim tradition in lyrical oral poetry, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, India satisfies the criteria for inscription on the Representative List, as follows:
R.1: Formerly sung to entertain soldiers, Chaar Bayt retains its competitive aspect as a highly improvised form of verse, performed with great versatility by the members of the Muslim communities of several Indian states as a symbol of their identity and a testament to their poetic mastery in several languages;
R.2: Emblematic of India’s cultural syncretism, Chaar Bayt embodies contributions of people from different religious communities; its inscription on the Representative List could help promote respect, tolerance, dialogue and harmony among them;
R.3: Numerous safeguarding measures are proposed, focussed in particular on increasing the visibility of Chaar Bayt, and the singers themselves have initiated educational programmes for the continuity of transmission;
R.4: Leading practitioners of Chaar Bayt were involved in the elaboration of the nomination and they have given it their free, prior and informed consent.
- Further decides that the information provided in nomination file 00336, Chaar Bayt, a Muslim tradition in lyrical oral poetry, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, India, is not sufficient to allow the Committee to determine whether the criterion for inscription on the Representative List is satisfied, as follows:
R.5: The State is requested to provide further information to demonstrate that the element is included in an inventory of the intangible cultural heritage present in its territory, as defined in Articles 11 and 12 of the Convention, as required in criterion R.5 of paragraph 2 of the Operational Directives.
- Decides to refer the nomination of Chaar Bayt, a Muslim tradition in lyrical oral poetry, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, India to the submitting State Party and invites it to resubmit the nomination in a subsequent cycle, providing the additional information specified with regard to criterion R.5.