IHCL PARTNERS WITH UNESCO TO PRESERVE THE INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE OF INDIA
From left to right: Shombi Sharp, UN Resident Coordinator, New Delhi; Nicholas Jeffreys, Assistant Director -General for Administration and Management, UNESCO; Eric Falt, Director, UNESCO, New Delhi; Arvind Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, GOI; Gaurav Pokhariyal, Senior Vice President & Global Head - Human Resources, IHCL
MUMBAI, MARCH 3, 2022: Indian Hotels Company (IHCL), India’s largest hospitality company, has announced that it will collaborate with UNESCO to help preserve and promote the intangible cultural heritage of India, as part of a major new initiative meant to transform the travel landscape in the post pandemic world.
Together, IHCL and UNESCO will offer experiential tours for travellers at various IHCL hotels, so that they can experience the living heritage of the country better. The first phase will include visits to local communities practicing art forms like Patachitra – a traditional scroll painting technique in West Bengal, Ganga Aarti – the prayer ceremony at Dasashwamedh Ghat at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, as well as Kalbelia performances, blue pottery making, Bagru hand block printing, and the Terracota art of Molela. Visitors will also be able to experience the unique tribal life of the Bishnoi village in Rajasthan, and Mysuru Dasara and Janpadaloka in Karnataka.
Speaking on the occasion, Gaurav Pokhariyal, Senior Vice President & Global Head – Human Resources, IHCL, said, “Long been heralded as the custodians of Indian heritage, IHCL for over a century, has been providing sustainable platforms that preserve and promote local art and culture. We are delighted to partner with UNESCO in this industry-first collaboration to work towards preserving India’s intangible cultural heritage. Leveraging our business strengths, value chains and partner networks, IHCL hotels will work towards a holistic plan to safeguard the living heritage of the country while empowering local communities.”
Eric Falt, Director, UNESCO, New Delhi, said, “Together with IHCL, we want to showcase to Indians and foreigners alike, the diversity of India’s living heritage. The objective is that when they visit an IHCL hotel, they are offered a chance to discover at least one cultural practice they have probably never witnessed before. Rather than bringing a dance troupe to their hotel, we will bring the visitors to the practitioners of that art form – in the midst of their community. They will see their pride, they will see their uniqueness, they will see the incredible diversity of intangible India.”
The 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, adopted by 178 countries, emphasizes the importance of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) for ensuring cultural diversity. ICH represents the “living” heritage of a country and is made up of practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, and skills, including instruments, objects, artefacts, and cultural spaces that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals, recognize as part of their cultural heritage.
UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It seeks to build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture. Its programmes contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in Agenda 2030, and adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015. In this spirit, it develops educational tools to help people live as global citizens free of hate and intolerance. UNESCO works so that each child and citizen has access to quality education. By promoting cultural heritage and the equal dignity of all cultures, it strengthens bonds among nations. UNESCO fosters scientific programmes and policies as platforms for development and cooperation. UNESCO stands up for freedom of expression, as a fundamental right and a key condition for democracy and development. Serving as a laboratory of ideas, UNESCO helps countries adopt international standards and manages programmes that foster the free flow of ideas and knowledge sharing.
About The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL)
The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) and its subsidiaries bring together a group of brands and businesses that offer a fusion of warm Indian hospitality and world-class service. These include Taj – the iconic brand for the most discerning travellers and the World’s Strongest Hotel Brand and India’s Strongest Hospitality Brand as per Brand Finance 2021, SeleQtions, a named collection of hotels, Vivanta, sophisticated upscale hotels and Ginger, which is revolutionising the lean luxe segment.
Incorporated by the founder of the Tata Group, Jamsetji Tata, the Company opened its first hotel - The Taj Mahal Palace, in Bombay in 1903. IHCL has a portfolio of 232 hotels including 59 under development globally across 4 continents, 12 countries and in over 100 locations. The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) is India’s largest hospitality company by market capitalization. It is primarily listed on the BSE and NSE.
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