UNESCO includes ‘Suri Jagek’ tradition of Kalash in Intangible Cultural Heritage list

Islamabad: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has approved the for ‘UNESCO’s ‘List in Need of Urgent Safeguarding the tradition’.

The decision was taken at the 13th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural held in Port Louis, Mauritius.

This was the first-ever nomination of intangible cultural heritage filed by Pakistan.

‘Suri Jagek’ is a traditional Kalash meteorological and astronomical practice of observing the sun, the moon, stars and shadows with respect to the local topography.

The system is a complex structure of empirically observed knowledge and is repeatedly referenced to allow the Kalasha people to predict the appropriate time for sowing seeds, animal husbandry and natural calamities. It is also used to govern the Kalasha calendar by determining the dates of important social events, festivals, feasts and religious ceremonies.

The nomination was filed by National History and Literary Heritage (NHLH) Division with an aim to safeguard this traditional practice of Kalash community which is facing various threats.

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