State appeals to UNESCO to give Durga Puja 'World Heritage status'
Kolkata: Durga Puja has long surpassed the boundary from being just a festival, it is now become a cultural event attended by people from across the globe and if all goes well—with the state government writing to UNESCO—the annual carnival of Bengal will soon get an international status.
"The Durga Puja is the best instance of the public performance of religion and art in the city. It witnesses a celebration of craftsmanship, cross-cultural transactions and cross-community revelry. So we feel it deserves such status," said a senior official of the state Tourism department.
The appeal to UNESCO has been forwarded through the Union Human Resources Development department.
Festivals of six countries that includes France, Belgium, Switzerland, Brazil, Bolivia etc have got international recognition by UNESCO.
In 2019, the state Tourism department had made a presentation to a team from UNESCO to have the festival listed in the latter's 'List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity' and had written to UNESCO for giving the status.
Bengal's Durga Puja has been showcased in a big way across the globe with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee ushering in a grand end to the Puja by organising a stunning carnival at Red Road where many of the city's best-known Durga idols are taken out in a parade.
The extravaganza, touted to be second only to the renowned Rio Carnival could not be held in 2020 because of the Covid pandemic.