Baguettes, Rai, and Cuban rum: UNESCO mulls heritage status

The French baguette is one item proposed to be added to UNESCO’s Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage this year. (Photo: Unsplash)
RABAT  — The French baguette, Algerian Rai music, and Tunisia’s harissa condiment are among this year’s contenders for recognition as intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO, which started deliberations on Monday in Morocco. اضافة اعلان

The United Nations’ cultural agency is examining 56 proposals for items to add to its Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage, among them four in urgent need of preservation — including the pottery of the Cham people of central Vietnam.

This year’s meetings in Morocco, which holds the organization’s rotating presidency, are the first to be held in person since the coronavirus pandemic.

UNESCO will tweet its decisions starting from Tuesday afternoon.

Other contenders include a French-Belgian application for fairgrounds, the chai (tea) culture of Azerbaijan and Turkey, traditional Chinese tea-processing techniques, and a central Asian lute called the Rubab.

Cuban light rum and the Serbian plum brandy known as Slivovitz also make the list.

Rai music is on the list not just as a form of music, but as a whole cultural tradition.

The 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage aims to safeguard and raise awareness about the “intangible cultural heritage of the communities, groups, and individuals concerned”.

“Intangible cultural heritage, transmitted from generation to generation, is constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature, and their history, and provides them with a sense of identity and continuity, thus promoting respect for cultural diversity and human creativity,” it says.

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