UNESCO recognition for Koodiyattam

NEW DELHI, MAY 19. `Koodiyattam', the Sanskrit theatre tradition of Kerala, has been declared as among the ``Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity'' by UNESCO. It is for the first time that UNESCO has selected art forms from across the world to bestow recognition as part of its effort to safeguard expressions of oral heritage and traditional culture.

`Koodiyattam' was selected from among 32 entries from all over the world. Dating back to 2,000 years, `Koodiyattam' is a unique theatre tradition which survived in Kerala from an ancient past. It deals with the plays of eminent Sanskrit dramatists such as Bhasa, Harsha, Kalidasa, Maendravikrama and Saktibhadra. While following the performative principles of the larger Indian aesthetic tradition, `Koodiyattam' has its own distinctive characteristics that are firmly rooted in the culture of Kerala.

UNESCO has until now considered only built heritage, such as monuments, sites and landscapes of exceptional value as world heritage.

It has introduced the stream of oral heritage and traditional culture this year.

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