What do French baguettes, Cuban rum and the Iranian festival of the sun have in common? They are all on the official since this week Unesco List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. It is not directly about the baguette or the celebrations, but always about the customs or the craft in its entirety. The 17th session of the Unesco Committee will take place in Morocco’s capital Rabat until Saturday. Since 2008, the intangible cultural heritage has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List for cultural and natural sites.
There is reason to be happy in Bonn on Wednesday: Modern dance, which was shaped in Germany, the culture of French baguettes and the production of Cuban molasses rum have made it onto the Unesco list of intangible cultural heritage. The fact that the world cultural organization honors modern dance in Germany in this way is “an important step and very good news”, explains Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth (Greens). Real landmarks of France and Cuba are also honored with the baguette and rum craftsmanship.
Unesco list counts more than 500 intangible world cultural heritage
The Unesco list already contains more than 500 entries from areas such as dance, theatre, music and crafts. Examples are violin making in Cremona, Italy, yoga from India, the Cuban rumba, the Zaouli dance in Côte d’Ivoire, the Pinisi boat building in Indonesia or the traditional system of water judges in Peru. According to the Cultural Heritage Commission, all of these lively forms of cultural expression shape identities and strengthen the cohesion of groups and communities. By resorting to traditional knowledge and experience-based skills, they make a contribution to overcoming current and future social challenges, according to the website.
With the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage In 2003, Unesco adopted an instrument to appreciate traditional human knowledge and skills and to raise awareness of their local, regional and international importance. The aim of the Convention is also international cooperation in the field of intangible cultural heritage through the exchange of information and experience and through the promotion of joint, cross-border initiatives.
In addition to French baguettes, the art of rum and modern dance, the Chinese tea ceremony, harissa from Tunisia and the art of ringing bells in Spain are also featured this year to the intangible cultural heritage. Here you can see a selection of this year’s winners in pictures.
Sources: “Unesco: Intangible Cultural Heritage“, “UNESCO list 2022“, with AFP footage