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Discuss about the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

  • The intangible cultural heritage of India called “Ram Leela” which is a performing art is chosen for this paper. It is a theatrical presentation of Indian scripture Ramayana.
  • One may visit northern Indian states to experience the performances in rural regions. However, “Ram Leela” is now performed in big auditoriums in larger cities as well.
  • The significance of this art form in Indian sub continental region is very high because the performance is based on the scriptural history of India. People in India have deep regard for the scriptures and they venerate “Ram Leela” as a holy even that often unfolds throughout the night (Jafa, 2012).

The Ramleela celebrations were announced by UNESCO as one of the "Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity" in 2008. Ramlila is especially remarkable in truly critical Hindu urban areas of “Ayodhya, Varanasi, Vrindavan, Almora, Satna and Madhubani” – urban communities in “Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh”. The epic and its sensational play moved into southeast Asia in the first thousand years CE, and Ramayana based Ramleela is a piece of execution expressions culture of Indonesia especially the Hindu society of Bali, Myanmar, Cambodia and Thailand. In the nineteenth and twentieth hundreds of years, with the development of Asian diaspora into European states as obligated workers, the social festival of Ramleela is presently found in numerous parts of the world Provide an overview description of the site or collection (Mahabir & Chand, 2015).

The methodology would include experiencing “Ram Leela” first hand and understanding from the audience, the cultural impact this particular play has on their lifestyle. This comprises of the primary data for the research. Primary data is the one which id directly collected from the source by the researchers. Apart from that existing books, scholarly articles, researches, news stories and write ups from authentic sources will be studied to understand the history and variation of Ram Leela. This comprises the secondary data for the research. Secondary data is the information which is not directly collected by the researcher but is taken from other authentic sources and existing researches and literature.

  • The Hindu workmanship, religion and social history have been principally influenced by two noteworthy artistic works of antiquated India: The Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The Ramayana has gone through hundreds of years and human advancements in the Indian inception and culture. Its impact has been on each living being in India, as well as nearly the entire of South-East Asia (Yousof, 2015). The Ramayana has intensely cut out the building pieces of Hindu religion and its hugely assorted culture. The Great Indian esteems and legacy owes its reality to Valmiki's epic story. Indeed, even in the present ages, the essential human morals and qualities can be followed out back to the Ramayana. Ramayana can answer every one of an individual’s inquiries and issues of their present life. The answers for human issues lie in following the belief systems displayed in the epic.
  • Ram Leela which is the theatrical representation of Ramayan has been the source of spirituality, entertainment, morality and lifestyle for crores of rural Indians throughout ages.
  • In many places all over the world there are specialized art forms that has been performed from generations and has now become intangible cultural heritage of the geographical area. In Bhutan the art form called “Drmetse Ngacham” is one such intangible cultural asset and heritage. In this traditional performance drums and masks are used. Nga translates to “drums” and Cham signifies “mask dance”. This particular dance form is performed during the fifth and tenth month of the Bhutanese calendar when the Drametse calender.

Another example can be the Khmer shadow theatre which are types of shadow play in which calfskin shadow manikins are utilized. The two principle classifications are Sbek Thom, which includes the Reamker, and Sbek Toch, which utilizes little manikins and an extensive variety of stories. Another kind called Sbek Por utilizes shaded cowhide manikins. The shadow plays of Cambodia are firmly identified with and furthermore take after the shadow plays of Thailand

  • There are various other traditional art forms that can be listed. However, the importance of Ram Lila in the Indian population is much more important as the play exhibits incidents from the life of Rama, who is considered to the incarnation of the Supreme Personality of God according to Indian scriptures (Oswald, 2016). Therefore, people venerate, respect, and relate to the theatre.
  • Some of the Heritage Criterions of the United Nations which can explain the significance of Ram Leela are:
  • “To represent a masterpiece of human creative genius.”
  • “To bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared.”
  • “To be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance.”
  • Documenting specific aspects of Ram Leela can be done by taking testimony of the people whose lives have been directly or indirectly transformed by the play. The theatre artists who enact the scriptural roles are directly engaged in the phenomenon, whereas the audience who may pick up certain moral aspects from the play and practically apply that in life can be indirect beneficiaries.
  • It was found by talking to the rural audience that most of the people acknowledge following the directions and moral advices given by the characters throughout the play. In addition, they conceded that the play was a major factor for their entertainment and recreation.

Valmiki Ramayana's significant effect over the civic establishments can be featured in the way that the epic has prompted the generation of various Ramayanas, very nearly 300 inventive works spreading over the cross areas of an assortment of districts, dialects and nations (Singh, 2015). The Ramayana has been adjusted suiting to the nearby conditions. On the off chance that individuals feel that the impact of Ramayana is just confined to India, or South-East Asia, one must reconsider (Srivastava & Jha, 2015).  The immense volumes of research work done on Ramayana is mind boggling in its own particular sense. There is an unending rundown of interpretations accessible on Ramayana in an assortment of dialects, even Arabic and Uzbec. The voyagers, mariners and merchants over the circumstances have spread the information, standards and estimations of the considerable Indian magnum opus. Accordingly, we see that the Ramayana knows no limits, imperatives and boundaries of dialect, fringes, and assorted varieties. Ramayana has transcended them through the ages, demonstrating that it is something beyond another work of writing. It relates to the lives of people, their ethical esteems and morals.

Methodology

The ancient art form which is very popular in the rural part of India is often neglected by the urban people, and the apathy of the urban population towards its own intangible cultural heritage is causing damage to the art form. The artists who have taken the responsibility of taking forward the cultural heritage are economically challenged. Apart from that the revolution of television, internet and mobile has taken even the rural areas by storm which has made the youth disinterested in theatres and plays.

The Ram Leela groups are managed by rural people hence the corporate system is not yet introduced which makes the group vulnerable to economic losses. In addition, some groups are interpreting Ramayana in a modern way which is making it losing its essence (Saha, 2016)

Because of the two UNESCO Conventions, one 'to shield and ensure Intangible Heritage' and the other on 'Social Diversity', the administration has started proactive measures to defend and secure social decent variety and the different articulations of intangible legacy confronting the danger of vanishing. The upkeep and support of exhibition halls and archeological destinations will significantly enhance with the presentation of current innovation and redeployment of existing staff. To begin with, security administrations have just been outsourced and the likelihood for outsourcing in territories like consultancy and upkeep should be inspected in detail. Production through private division ought to be empowered as they have all the advanced innovation and know-how to create the best from the most exceedingly terrible. Store work is clearly done by the private area. As the Ministry of Culture has been confronting intermittent slices in expense because of poor spending amid the initial two quarters, legitimate use arranging in the field of workmanship and culture, a few plans are being executed without evaluating the procedure and effect.

  • Establishing committees to formulate policy to safeguard and preserve the art form.
  • Providing financial assistance to the artists who are performing.
  • Launching awareness campaigns to raise the interest of the general population.
  • To start competitions at state and national level among Ram Leela performance groups and give them financial rewards.

References

Jafa, N. (2012). Performing Heritage: Art of Exhibit Walks. SAGE Publications India.

Mahabir, K., & Chand, S. J. (2015). The phenomenon of Ramleela/Ramlila theatre in Trinidad. Nidan: International Journal for Indian Studies, 27(1_2), 1-21.

Oswald, P. (2016). The Ramayana. Oberon Books.

Saha, S. (2016). Performing Alternative Ramayana: A study of the (re) presentation and (re) reading of the Epic in Modern Bengali Theatre.

Singh, N. (2015). Oral Tradition and Performative World of Ramlila in Odisha.

Srivastava, S., & Jha, V. (2015). Religious, NonReligious and the Changing Consciousness of the Ramlila. Consciousness, Literature & the Arts, 16(2).

Yousof, G. S. (2015). Southeast Asian Adaptations of the Ramayana and their Use in the Indonesian-Malaysian Shadow Play with Special Reference to Characterization. Malaysian Journal of Performing and Visual Arts, 1(1), 39-51.

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