Intangible Cultural Heritage

Cultural heritage does not end at monuments and collections of objects. It also includes traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed on to our descendants. These may be oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festivals, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe or the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts all of which is collectively termed as Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH). ICH or what some call "Living Heritage" also includes the stories we tell, the family events we celebrate, our community gatherings, the languages we speak, the songs we sing, knowledge of our natural spaces, our healing traditions, the foods we eat, our holidays, beliefs and cultural practices.

India's vast cultural diversity is itself an essential component of its intangible cultural heritage.  The intangible cultural heritage of India includes forms of popular and traditional expression such as :

  • oral literature¬†
  • music,
  • dance,
  • games,
  • mythology,
  • rituals,
  • costumes
  • craftwork know-how.
  • cultural spaces, where popular and traditional cultural activities take place (sites for story-telling, rituals, marketplaces, festivals etc.)