UNESCO adds Jamaican reggae, Georgian wrestling and Japanese rituals to ‘intangible heritage’ list
United Nations adds reggae music to its list of international cultural treasures to be preserved
Other inclusions are Georgian wrestling, Ireland’s hurling, Japan’s Raiho-shin rituals, Jordan’s dancing traditions and festive rites of Kazakh horse breeders.
The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage is meeting until December 1 in Mauritius, inscribing new elements to its much coveted-list.
Reggae music, born in the 1960s and made famous by artists like Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, to its list of “intangible heritage” for the world to treasure. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization added the genre to its list of global cultural treasures deemed worthy of protection and promotion.
From the border between Asia and Europe, in Georgia, it added Chidaoba, which combines elements of wrestling, music, dance and special garments.
Hurling, from Ireland, also made the grade. This field game, which dates back 2,000 years, features strongly in Irish mythology.
Japan’s Raiho-shin rituals, used to admonish laziness and teach children good behavior, was another winner.
Practiced across many areas of Jordan, As-Samer, another new inscription, consists mainly of dancing and singing.
Marking the end of the old and beginning of a new annual horse-breeding cycle, the spring festive rites of Kazakh horse breeders were also inscribed.
An historic joint bid was made by both Koreas, to include traditional Korean wrestling known as ssirum/ssireum.
Audrey Azoulay, said the “unprecedented result” was “a highly symbolic step towards inter-Korean reconciliation, that reminds us of the peace-building power of cultural heritage.”
UNESCO said all the listed elements are important in maintaining cultural diversity in the face of growing globalisation, without recognizing standards of excellence or exclusivity.