At Times Square, Indian community celebrates UNESCO declaration of Garba as Intangible Cultural Heritage

Joyful garba dancing at Times Square Dec. 7, 2023, following UNESCO declaration of Dec. 6. PHOTO: videograb ANI video

On December 7, hundreds of Indians and Indian-Americans gathered at Times Square, to celebrate the inclusion of Garba on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List announced December 6. 2023.

Leadership of FIA-NYNJCTNE with DCG Dr. Varun Jeph on top left. According to FIA, it was instrumental in lobbying for the inclusion of Garba in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage for Humanity list. PHOTO: ITV Gold


Chairman of FIA-NYNJCTNE, Ankur Vaidya, speaking Dec. 7, 2023, at the Times Square celebration of Garba after UNESCO announcement.PHOTO: ITV Gold
India’s Acting Consul General Dr. Varun Jeph, center, with FIA current President Avinash Gupta, left, and past President of FIA Kenny Desai, right at the Dec. 7, 2023, Garba celebration at Times Square, following UNESCO declaration of the folk dance as an Intangible Cultural Heritage. PHOTO: ITV Gold

The event was organized by the Federation of Indian Associations NY-NJ-CT-NE, (FIA), along with support from a host of community organizations and the Consulate General of India New York, a press release from FIA said.

FIA leaders at the Times Square Dec. 7, 2023, celebration of Garba after UNESCO announcement. Seen in photo, Saurin Parikh, left, Srujal Parikh, center, and Haresh Shah, right. PHOTO: ITV Gold

The folk dance Garba, for long a cultural and religious phenomenon in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, has become extremely popular in the Indian diaspora in countries like the UAE (Dubai), USA, UK, Australia, Canada and other places.

The latest announcement came during UNESCO’s 18th session in Kasane, Botswana.

The FIA said in its press release that it was “The leading organization for this initiative.”

Following the UNESCO announcement, the FIA sent out a call for people to gather in Times Square, and “Free transportation, complimentary refreshments and participation certificates” were provided for all performing attendees.

Many came in the traditional Garba attire, in vivid colors and designs, to make the event colorful, joyful, and vibrant.

In addition to the Federation of Indian Associations NY-NJ-CT-NE, the event was made possible through the support and collaboration of a host of community organizations apart from the Consulate. They included GANA, BJANA, Siddhivinayak Temple USA, Parikh Worldwide Media and ITV Gold, Times Group, Aaj Tak, The Indian Panorama, EBC Radio, The South Asian Times, AUM Dance Academy, TV Asia, World BB TV, New India Abroad, The Indian Eye, Radio Zindagi, and Radio Dil.



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