Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 14.COM 10.B.41

The Committee,

  1. Takes note that Uzbekistan has nominated Khorazm dance, Lazgi (No. 01364) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

The movements of Khorazm dance, Lazgi encapsulate human creativity by reflecting the sounds and phenomena of surrounding nature, feelings of love and happiness. Initially associated with the Khorazm Region, Khorazm dance, Lazgi has since become widespread in Uzbekistan. Paintings of the dance can be found in the archaeological site of Tuproqqala, in the Khorazm Region, testifying to its centuries-old roots. Informed by the social life and activities of the local communities, Lazgi dance represents real life in all its movements. During the dance, all the musicians, singers and dance performers act in a harmonized way, and the lyrics of the songs are mainly devoted to glorifying love and kindness. Two types of dance exist: the ‘scenery’ dance and the interpretive improvised form. While the scenery dance represents these feelings through concrete movements, its interpretation focuses on improvisation as the rhythm and dance movements become more dynamic with changeable actions. The melody and dance of Lazgi are so attractive that spectators start dancing voluntarily. Khorazm dance, Lazgi is a key form of self-expression and is transmitted across the generations through the creation of new versions of performances. It is performed during national holidays and folk festivities in scenery forms, as well as in the daily-based interpretation form during community and family events.

  1. Considers that, from the information included in the file, the nomination satisfies the following criteria for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

R.1:   Khorazm dance, Lazgi promotes a spirit of solidarity and fraternity among people belonging to different social categories. Influenced by social life and the activities of the local communities, it represents real life in its movements and is also a means of satisfying the moral needs of the people. Moreover, Khorazm dance, Lazgi expresses the richness of the spiritual world of the local inhabitants and plays an important role in the aesthetic education of young people.

R.2:   Following the inscription of Khorazm dance, Lazgi, positive values embedded in the element could promote friendship, dialogue and understanding among different groups in Uzbek society. As the element symbolically represents universal human emotions and feelings, its inscription could also foster positive and easily understandable values at the international level. Furthermore, the diversity and creativity that characterize the element may encourage young people to respect and get involved in their local traditions.

R.3:   The viability of Khorazm dance, Lazgi is not currently under any serious threats. Its transmission is secured on many levels, including in the family environment and through the educational system. Thanks to its close connection with a wide range of festivities and important events, the practice is continuously present in the public and private space. Moreover, it is included in state programmes for safeguarding and promoting Uzbek cultural heritage. The inscription would support and strengthen these efforts. All the safeguarding measures are to be implemented with the active participation of the communities concerned, focusing on the promotion of the element, improving further research, inventorying and documentation activities and supporting the creativity of local bearers of intangible cultural heritage.

R.4:   A ‘bottom-up’ approach was adopted during the preparation stage. The nomination file was prepared in close cooperation with scientists, local municipalities and bearers of intangible cultural heritage, with the participation of experts from the Oltin Meros Public Foundation, the National Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan for UNESCO, the Khorazm Ma’mun Academy and Tamarakhanum House-Museum and under the leadership of a prominent bearer.

R.5:   Khorazm dance, Lazgi was included on the National Intangible Cultural Heritage Inventory List and Regional Inventory List of the Khorazm Region of Uzbekistan in 2009. The Republican Center for Folk Arts of the Ministry of Culture and the Cultural Department of the Khorazm Region Municipality are the bodies responsible for maintaining and updating the National Intangible Cultural Heritage Inventory List of Uzbekistan and the regional one, respectively. The National Intangible Cultural Heritage Inventory List of the Republic of Uzbekistan is updated every three years in close collaboration with local Makhalla communities, local authorities and bearers of intangible cultural heritage.

3. Decides to inscribe Khorazm dance, Lazgi on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.