Arabic calligraphy, rumba or truffle hunting are some of the elements inscribed to UNESCO’s list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity in 2021.
This year, 39 elements have been inscribed in UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity. Another four appeared in the list in need of urgent safeguarding.
The list in need of urgent safeguarding totals 71 elements of living heritage whose viability is under threat and mobilizes “international assistance to strengthen the transmission of these cultural practices“.
The four new elements to urgently safeguard are Tais, a traditional textile from Timor-Leste, the M’Bolon, a traditional percussion instrument from Mali and two types of wood-carved canoes used in Estonia and the Federated States of Micronesia.
The Committee inscribed intangible cultural heritage elements in 9 countries for the first time: Congo, Denmark, Haiti, Iceland, Federated Republic of Micronesia, Montenegro, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Seychelles and Timor-Leste. The list now features 630 elements from 140 countries.
Ceebu jën and Joumou soup as intangible human cultural heritage
The newcomers go from falconry, Arabic calligraphy to the hunting and extraction of truffles in Italy.
Rumba in Congo, xòe in Vietnam, nora in Thailand, moutya in Seychelles are some dances part of cultural heritage now.
The Inuit artistic expression in Greenland for Denmark, the pasillo in Ecuador, Morocco’s equestrian performances during a tbourida, dutar music from Turkmenistan, falak songs and folklore music in Tajikistan or Uzbekistan‘s epic stories with bakhshi performances are some of the new art-related living heritage to preserve.
For food, Ceebu jën, the national dish in Senegal and Joumou soup, a celebratory Haitian pumpkin soup, are also part of the list that seeks to enhance visibility for the traditions and know-how of communities.
The Committee examined 62 files and therefore approved 69% of them. The process for safeguarding is then the responsibility of states which need to inform the Convention on measures taken or progress made to safeguard inscribed elements.
The Committee also allotted US$172,000 to a safeguarding project in Mongolia, $116,000 in Djibouti, $266,000 in Timor-Leste.