Turkish dish and Korean tightrope walking join UN intangible heritage list

Final cleaning of the wheat for Keskek, a traditional Turkish ceremonial dish prepared for wedding ceremonies, circumcisions and religious holidays

28 November 2011 – Three elements from the Republic of Korea (ROK), one from Spain and one from Turkey were added today to the United Nations-backed list of the world’s outstanding examples of intangible heritage.

The latest additions bring to 19 the total of newly inscribed items this year, which are determined by a 24-member intergovernmental committee meeting in Bali, Indonesia.

The items from the ROK include traditional tightrope walking known as Jultagi, which is accompanied by music and dialogue between the tightrope walker and a clown; the traditional martial art of Taekkyeon, which promotes community integration and public health; and the process of weaving of Mosi, which involves the harvesting, boiling and bleaching of ramie plants to create yarn from their fibre, which is then turned into dress suits and military uniforms.

The festivity of ‘la Mare de Déu de la Salut’ (Our Lady of Health), celebrated each year on 7 and 8 September in Algemesí, Spain, was also added. During the festivities, almost 1,400 people participate in theatre, music, and dance numbers which have been passed down by the townspeople from generation to generation and are performed in historical areas of the city.

Another addition was Keskek, the traditional Turkish ceremonial wheat and meat dish prepared for several ceremonies such as weddings, circumcisions, and religious holidays. Women and men prepare the dish together in huge cauldrons and the preparation method has been transmitted by master cooks to apprentices for many years.

The committee, created under a convention that was adopted by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2003, will wrap up its considerations tomorrow.

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