UNESCO adds new entries to ‘intangible heritage’ list

Friday, December 6th, 2013. Filed under: Art Destinations Food & Dining
Kimchi, a spicy dish of picked vegetables, is so much part of Korean life that a festival and even a museum are devoted to it. ©Reika/shutterstock.com

Kimchi, a spicy dish of picked vegetables, is so much part of Korean life that a festival and even a museum are devoted to it.
©Reika/shutterstock.com

(BAKU-AFP) – Traditional Japanese washoku cooking methods, Korean kimchi-making, millennia-old Georgian wine-producing techniques and the Mediterranean diet were among 14 new entries added to UNESCO’s “intangible heritage” list.

Envoys picked the new listings of traditional cultural activities worthy of preservation at a meeting in the Azerbaijani capital Baku, UNESCO said in a statement late Wednesday.

They include the traditional use of the abacus in China and a Christian festival in the French region of Limousin that involves holy relics being paraded before worshippers once every seven years.

South Korea hailed the addition of “kimjang”, the making and sharing of the country’s traditional kimchi dish.

The foreign ministry said it would seek legislation to ensure that kimjang remains “part of our precious cultural heritage and as a part of South Koreans’ lives”.

Kimchi, a spicy dish of picked vegetables, is so much part of Korean life that a festival and even a museum are devoted to it.

“I can’t live without kimchi,” wrote one online commentator in response to the listing.

Japan warmly welcomed the addition of its washoku cuisine.

“I feel genuinely happy…” said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a statement.

“Together with the Japanese people I want to pass on to the next generation our cherished culinary culture.”

Other additions are Belgian horseback shrimp fishing; the annual pilgrimage to the mausoleum of Sidi Abd el-Qader Ben Mohammed in Algeria; Taureg Imzad music; Jamdani weaving in Bangladesh; the Cirio de Nazare religious festival in Brazil; Sankirtana music from the Vaishnava people in India; a central Italian Catholic procession; an Orthodox holiday in Ethiopia and a Kyrgyz epic poem.

A naming tradition common among the people of Western Uganda and Mongolian calligraphy also made the list.

Established in 2008, the Intangible Cultural Heritage list comprises some 100 traditional events from around the globe and is designed to “help demonstrate the diversity of this heritage and raise awareness about its importance”, according to UNESCO.

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