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UNESCO adopts decision on first report on status of Azerbaijani Yalli dance

7 December 2023 16:25 (UTC+04:00)
UNESCO adopts decision on first report on status of Azerbaijani Yalli dance
Laman Ismayilova
Laman Ismayilova
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UNESCO has adopted the decision on the first report on the status of an Azerbaijani cultural element named Yalli (Kochari, Tenzere), traditional group dances of Nakhchivan.

The decision was adopted during the 18th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO in Kasane, Botswana, Azernews reports.

"Yalli, traditional group dances, are dance expressions based exclusively on collective performances. Typically, yalli are performed in a circle, chain or line, and involve elements of games, pantomime (bird or other animal imitations), physical exercises and movements. The community of the yalli dances consists of practising dancers, who enact the dances either spontaneously or in a planned manner at various festivities and celebrations.Some variants of yalli bear a song-like character and are practised by both women and men, while others are practised by men only and imitate pastoralist games with some elements of butting animals. Until the mid-twentieth century, yalli were widely practised but several factors have impacted the transmission of the practice thereafter. They include a gradual loss of social functions for certain types of yalli, a preference for staged performances, external factors such as labour migration and the economic crises of the late 1980s and early 1990s, a shift from informal to formal transmission, and a drastic simplification of the dances, which has entailed a loss of diversity," the UNESCO reports.

Note that craftsmanship and performing art of balaban/mey, craftsmanship of mother of pearl inlay and Iftar/Eftari/Iftar/Iftor and its socio-cultural traditions have been recently included in the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of Humanity.

As a UNESCO member, Azerbaijan has been actively engaged in promoting cultural diversity and heritage preservation.

The country has been constantly participating in UNESCO programs since 1992.

Through its efforts, Azerbaijan plays a significant role in UNESCO's mission to build peace, foster sustainable development, and foster intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication, and information.

In 2003, the parties signed a framework agreement on cooperation in the areas of culture, science, education, and communication, which allowed Azerbaijan to become one of the donors of UNESCO.

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Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @lmntypewriterrr

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