In a recent release UNESCO had announced a partnership with Netflix to create content that will celebrate the rich and diverse cultural heritage of India. A cartooned series titled ‘Mighty Little Bheem’ has been created to target both tangible and intangible means to capture India’s beauty and charm.
Food, traditions, languages and storytelling of its very first video has already been released to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of India’s Independence. Consequently, the collaborations between Netflix and UNESCO’s videos aims to ‘spark curiosity about India’s cultural diversity and resonate with both kids and parents across the globe’.
The story weaves a journey of ‘Mighty Little Bheem’ from cooking Pongal to flying kites in his village, told through the adventures of a young boy.
Over the next year, a new series of fun short videos called ‘One Country, Incredible Diversity’ will shine a light on India’s cultural journey. Showcasing a diverse representation of performing arts, social practices, rituals and festivals such as Dussehra, Diwali and Holi.
The short videos, according to UNESCO, will be released on UNESCO New Delhi’s Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.
Related efforts: Vietnam saw the documenting and revitalising of Tham Roc’s puppetry alongside its emblematic water puppetry. An immediate obstacle was that villagers no longer performed the puppet shows, having rejected them as a vestige of superstition in the wave of revolutionary fervour of the 1950s. Commissioned with the support of the Ford Foundation in Hanoi, efforts to search for and revived the puppets began in 1997 led by the Museum of Ethnology.
The puppets were brought back to life with a debut performance of the Tay Puppets of Tham Roc by the very villagers who performed them decades ago.
View the official website of Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism here.
In another effort to preserving the Shashmaqom tradition, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan performers of the ‘Shashmaqom’, meaning a musical suite, came together to celebrate its musical heritage in Dushanbe. Combining an orchestra of lutes, fiddles, frame-drums and flutes accompanying singers, the project lasted two years before reaching its height in a joint performances by Tajik and Uzbek artists.
The tanbuy, or a long-necked lute, is used extensively in Shashmaqom a traditional musical performance.
Training programmes and master classes, alongside traditional instrument-making, archive support and the publication of research and audio recordings involved the Tajik National Conservatory in Dunshanbe and the Research Institute of Fine Arts in Tashkent in Uzbekistan.