"Intangible" cultural heritage preserved by UNESCO

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The Isukuti dance of Isukha and Idakho communities of Western Kenya has been inscribed in 2014 on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. Photo: Department of Culture, Kenya

Thirty-four new cultural heritage traditions have been inscribed on a list to ensure their preservation, according to the UN cultural agency, UNESCO.

An intergovernmental committee has been meeting this week to discuss what is called the "safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage".

Cultural heritage encompasses not just monuments and objects, but also traditions or living expressions that have been inherited.

These include the performing arts, rituals, oral traditions, and skills to produce crafts.

The UN agency says that while they are fragile, intangible cultural heritage is important to maintain cultural diversity in the face of growing globalization.

The list of intangible cultural heritage now includes Vietnamese popular songs, the Turkish art of paper marbling, and the art of wit, also referred to as "jocular dialogue" from Uzbekistan.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 56″

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