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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Iran celebrates UNESCO registration of Passion Play

Jan 23, 2012 5:3PM

Ghanbar Naderi, Press TV, Tehran

Iran's traditional Passion Play, or Tazieh, is now officially on the UNESCO's list. That's why many Iranian artists and officials gathered in Tehran to celebrate the successful registration of Passion Play on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding.

The relevant agreement took place back in November during the fifth session of UNESCO's Intergovernmental Committee in Nairobi, Kenya. The officials say the registration will help strengthen these traditional arts and highlight the intangible heritage of the country.

Also addressing the national gathering, the head of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization said they would organize and support other traditional events and activities that serve the same goal of preserving the country's cultural heritage, especially historic buildings and mosques.

Passion Play is a ritual art that recounts religious events, historical and mythical stories and folklore through poetry, music, song, gestures and movements.

Inscriptions on the list of United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization is designed to mobilize international cooperation and assistance to undertake appropriate measures to safeguard the intangible heritage of stakeholders.

Other Iranian events and arts on the UNESCO's list include the Persian New Year or Nowruz, and the Iranian classical music.

Some dramatic arts are all about a hero, who wants to come up on top. But passion plays seek to convey an important message. Here the protagonist and the antagonist are not after fame but truth. It's all about the quest for spirituality, justice, honor, integrity, and salvation.

We will continue to preserve our intangible heritage by registering them on the UNESCO's list. We've made great efforts to this end. Over the past seven years, we registered six elements of our intangible heritage on the list.

People love passion play because it's in their blood and so prevalent. All it takes is a drum to perform the play. People don't expect too much and can watch it even on a street corner.

Karim Moqadasi
This ritual art deserves to be on the UNESCO's list. It's one of the best in the world, because it has all the ingredients of a fine art, such as top players, superb dialogue, traditional music and subtle movements.

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