We all know about the UNESCO World Heritage List – the comprehensive list made by UN delegates, detailing places around the world that are "considered to be of outstanding value to humanity." It includes sights like the pyramids in Egypt, England's Stonehenge and – most recently – the Forth Rail Bridge in Scotland. But there's another list that no one really talks about: the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
What is intangible cultural heritage?
It's things we can't touch. Sometimes you can't even see it. It includes anything and everything, from hospitality in the Middle East to a specific type of traditional music in Slovakia. Sometimes it's vague – like the "know-how of cultivating mastic on the island of Chios, Greece" – and other times it's extremely niche (take "Mongolian knuckle-bone shooting", for example). Rather than places, sites or destinations, the intangible list focuses on traditions we're keeping alive, and sometimes at risk of losing, from around the world.
What's actually on the list?
In 2015, UNESCO added 28 new entries to their Intangible Heritage list. Here they are:
1. Glasoechko, a male two-part singing in Dolni Polog in Macedonia
2. Mongolia's coaxing ritual for camels
3. Koogere oral tradition of the Basongora, Banyabindi and Batooro peoples in Uganda
4. The manufacture of cowbells in Portugal
5. The traditional Vallenato music of the Greater Magdalena region in Colombia
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6. Aitysh/Aitys, art of improvisation, Kazakhstan & Kyrgyzstan
7. Al-Razfa, a traditional performing art from the UAE and Oman
8. Alardah Alnajdiyah, dance, drumming and poetry in Saudi Arabia
9. Arabic coffee, a symbol of generosity in the UAW, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar
10. Bagpipe culture in Slovakia
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11. Classical horsemanship and the High School of the Spanish Riding School Vienna, Austria
12. Copper craftsmanship of Lahij, Azerbaijan
13. The epic art of Gorogly, Turkmenistan
14. Fichee-Chambalaalla, New Year festival of the Sidama people, Ethiopia
15. Filete porteño in Buenos Aires, a traditional painting technique, Argentina
16. Lad's dances in Romania
17. Majlis, a cultural and social space in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar
18. Marimba music, Ecuador and Colombia
19. Oshituthi shomagongo, marula fruit festival, Namibia
20. Sbuâ, annual pilgrimage to the zawiya of Sidi El Hadj Belkacem in Gourara, Algeria
21. Summer solstice fire festivals in the Pyrenees in Andorra, Spain and France
22. Surova folk feast in Pernik region, Bulgaria
23. Three genres of traditional dance in Bali, Indonesia
24. Tinian marble craftsmanship in Greece
25. Tradition of kimchi-making in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
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26. Traditional knowledge and technologies relating to the growing and processing of the curagua, Venezuela
27. Tugging rituals and games, Cambodia, the Philippines, Korea and Vietnam
28. Wititi dance of the Colca Valley, Peru
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