UNESCO inscribes Bhojpuri folk songs, Geet Gawai, as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

December 2, 2016

On December 1st 2016, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) inscribed Bhojpuri songs from Mauritius known as “Geet Gawai”, to the representative list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

While we live in a modern society, some times the cultural heritage of our ancestors are lost as practices are abandoned. When that happens, it’s only a pity.

I was glad to read the inscription of “Geet Gawai” by UNESCO. I quote from the UNESCO page:

Geet-Gawai is a traditional, pre-wedding ceremony combining rituals, prayer, songs, music and dance performed mainly by Bhojpuri-speaking communities in Mauritius. Taking place at the bride or groom’s home, it involves family members and neighbors. Married women sort items like rice and money in a piece of cloth while others sing songs to honor Hindu gods and goddesses. Next, everyone dances to uplifting songs. An expression of community identity and collective memory, it is passed on within families, by community centers and academies.
I married Shelly Hermia Bhujun on 27 November 2016 following traditional Hindu wedding ceremonies. Geet Gawai was part of the three-days long ceremonies & rituals, which the young and old alike enjoyed. Below are some snaps from my Geet Gawai. ?

The beginning of Geet Gawai by offering a prayer with the musical instrument “dholak”.
Geet Gawai - Ish & Shelly wedding, Mauritius

Geet Gawai - Ish & Shelly wedding, Mauritius

Geet Gawai - Ish & Shelly wedding, Mauritius