Iran documenting art of Ashiqlar for UNESCO registration

TEHRAN, Oct. 6 (MNA) -- Iran is gathering records on its unique traditional performance art of Ashiqlar to register it on UNESCO’s List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, an official of the Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) announced on Tuesday.

The decision to register the art on the list will be independent of the registration by Azerbaijan Republic of their Ashiqlar, Director of CHTHO’s Office for Registration of Intangible Cultural Heritage, Natural and Historical Sites Hossein-Ali Vakil said.


Azerbaijan Republic’s Ashiqlar was added to the list during UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage meeting, which was held in Abu Dhabi from September 28 to October 2.


During the meeting, Noruz, the ancient celebration of the Iranian New Year, was registered on the list as common file from Iran, Azerbaijan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, and Turkey.


In addition, the titles and details of the radifs in Iranian music were added to the list.


“In intangible cultural heritage, UNESCO is aware of variations, so Iran’s art of Ashiqlar has the potential to be registered as an independent file,” Vakil said.


CHTHO’s Research Center assigned to compile the information for the Ashiqlar file should complete its mission in mid March 2010 and afterwards the file, along with several other dossiers, will be submitted to UNESCO, he explained.


Over the past few days, CHTHO has been criticized by some Iranian scholars and cultural institutes for not raising objections to Azerbaijan Republic’s decision to introduce the art of Ashiqlar as an exclusive Azeri art form to UNESCO.


“Since we can submit Iran’s art of Ashiqlar to UNESCO as an independent file, we didn’t raise any objections to Azerbaijan’s decision,” Vakil said.


An Ashiq, also spelled Ashik and Ashug, is a mystic troubadour or traveling bard, who blends together instrumental and vocal music, dance, poetry, and storytelling in his performances.


The art of Ashiqlar or Ashiqs, mostly performed by men, is more common in Iran’s northwestern provinces of East Azarbaijan, West Azarbaijan, and Ardebil. Ashiqs can also be found in Iran’s Central Provinces and Qom Province.


The art is also common in republics of Azerbaijan, and Armenia, which were separated from Iran after a new border was established by the treaties of Golestan (1813) and Turkmenchay (1828) following a series of wars between Iran and the Russian Empire.





News Code 36259

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