Decisión del Comité intergubernamental: 18.COM 8.B.19

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Azerbaijan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Türkiye and Uzbekistan have nominated Iftar/Eftari/Iftar/Iftor and its socio-cultural traditions (No. 01984) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

Iftar (also called Eftari, Iftar or Iftor in practicing countries) is observed by Muslims at sunset in the month of Ramadan (the ninth month in the lunar calendar), upon completion of all religious and ceremonial rites. Observed by people of all ages, genders and backgrounds, it marks the daily termination of the hardships of fasting from dawn to sunset. The evening prayer is followed by activities such as praying ceremonies, music, storytelling, games, preparing and serving traditional and local meals and marriage arrangements. For communities, it often takes the form of gatherings or meals, strengthening family and community ties and promoting charity, solidarity and social exchange. The ceremonies and rituals related to Iftar are also practised by people who do not necessarily fast during the month of Ramadan. The knowledge and skills are typically transmitted within families through oral instruction, observation and participation, and children and youth are often entrusted with preparing components of traditional meals. During this process, parents also transmit knowledge about the benefits of fasting and the social values and functions of Iftar. Iftar is often supported by governmental entities, NGOs and charities, as well as through television, radio, press and social media.

  1. Considers that, from the information included in the file, the nomination satisfies the following criteria for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

R.1:   Iftar and its socio-cultural traditions is practiced by Muslims in the submitting States upon completing the rites of fasting during Ramadan. The practice is accompanied by prayers, music, singing, storytelling, preparing and eating traditional dishes and playing games. It often also has a charitable aim and is practiced both individually (within families) and collectively (by NGOs, charities and public and private entities). Women play a key role in preparing the foods that are to be consumed, while children and men assist in the distribution of the food to the poor, and in organizing activities. The religious clergy play a key role in the transmission of the element through religious teachings. In all submitting States, the element has been uniting bearers, practitioners and participants for centuries, regardless of age, gender and social background. It supports solidarity and cooperation, encourages empathy for the poor, and strengthens social ties between family and community members.

R.2:   Locally, inscription would stimulate awareness of the importance of local traditional forms of expression for the daily lives and cultural identity of the communities concerned. It would also enhance religious co-existence. Nationally, there would be increased awareness about the diversity of the element, and about its strong social and cultural characteristics. Internationally, communities in the submitting States would have opportunities for dialogue and intercultural exchange on this and other shared intangible cultural heritage. Inscription would contribute to dialogue, mutual respect and exchange among bearers and practitioners of the element, as well as among scholars and researchers. It would raise awareness among communities and groups from various cultural and geographical backgrounds about the similarities among intangible cultural heritage.

R.5:   The element is listed on the inventories of the four submitting States. Details about the inventory, date of inclusion and organization responsible are included in the nomination file. All four submitting States explain how information about the element was identified and prepared with the involvement of communities and/or NGOs. The frequencies of updating the inventories are also stated in the file.

  1. Further considers that, from the information included in the file, and the information provided by the submitting States through the dialogue process, the nomination satisfies the following criteria for inscription on the Representative List:

R.3:   Past and current safeguarding measures include private and public activities alike, some of which are State-led. They include the organization of collective Iftar events in public spaces, charitable actions, radio and TV broadcasts, exhibitions, conferences and workshops. The submitting States have contributed to holding various events during the month of Ramadan that are centred around Iftar, offering special consideration to fasting school students, and financing community activities. A number of joint and national safeguarding measures are provided to ensure the safeguarding of the element including music and food festivals, exhibitions, research activities and networking events.

R.4:   The nomination was prepared in collaboration with communities, groups and community organizations concerned with the element in the different submitting States. Different working groups or committees - with bearers, practitioners, community members, NGOs, experts of intangible heritage, relevant ministerial departments, etc. – were set up with the intent of preparing the multinational nomination in the submitting States. The necessary information and (visual) documentation was gathered throughout the preparatory phases. Some countries in the multinational nomination provided evidence and letters from various communities expressing prior and informed consent. Others, however, only provided a handful of letters and limited information on the role of communities in the nomination process. Given that the element is widely practiced by communities across the countries, the information did not represent the widest possible participation of communities. Notwithstanding, considering the full information of the file and dialogue responses, it was determined that the file was able to satisfy Criterion R.4.

  1. Decides to inscribe Iftar/Eftari/Iftar/Iftor and its socio-cultural traditions on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
  2. Reminds the submitting States Parties that nominations should provide a comprehensive description of the social functions and cultural meanings of the element, rather than overemphasizing its religious aspects;
  3. Further reminds the States Parties of the importance of ensuring the widest possible participation of the communities concerned in planning and implementing safeguarding measures, and in the preparation of multinational nominations.