Seven cultural traditions in need of urgent safeguarding in Asia, according to the UNESCO

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The Independent Online
(Relaxnews) -

Out of the list of 14 elements of "intangible heritage" threatened with disappearance published by UNESCO on October 1, seven cultural practices come from China, Mongolia and Vietnam.

A committee of experts gathered in the United Arab Emirates and announced Wednesday the list of Intangible Heritage elements (living and immaterial heritage) to be added to the UNESCO list. They voiced particular concern about 14 endangered cultural traditions in eight countries.

In China, the cultural traditions in danger are the Qiang New Year Festival in the Sichuan region threatened since the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake that destroyed many Qiang villages; traditional design and practices for building Chinese wooden arch bridges found along China's southeast coast; and traditional Li textile techniques that consist of spinning, dyeing, weaving and embroidering by women of the Li ethnic group of Hainan Province.

In Mongolia, UNESCO singled out the Biyelgee traditional folk dance; the Mongolian oral epic tradition called Tuuli, as well as the traditional music of the Tsuur.

And in Vietnam, "Ca trù singing," sung poetry originating in the north of the country, was identified as a tradition that requires special safeguarding efforts.

The rest of the list comprises cultural practices in other regions of the world: The rite of the Christmas Tsars in Belarus; The Cantu in paghjella -- an oral tradition (secular and liturgical) from Corsica in France, the cultural space (music, celebrations, costumes and dishes) of the Suiti community in Latvia, the collective fishing rite of the Sanké people in Mali and the Kaya forest people's practices in Kenya.

The immaterial cultural elements in need of urgent safeguarding will be eligible for financial assistance from the Fund established to this end.