Nov. 27, 2018

North and South Korea are making a first joint bid for including Korean traditional wrestling “Ssirum” into the UNESCO list of “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity”.


  • Intangible culture is that part of culture which cannot be touched but can only be recorded. It includes performing arts like song, music, drama, skills, crafts etc.

  • Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage was adopted in 2003. India ratified it in 2007.

UNESCO’s list of intangible culture

  • It is an annual list which focuses on those forms of performing art which are of outstanding value but are vulnerable due to lack of support.

  • The program currently compiles two lists –
    • Representative List: It comprises cultural practices and expressions that help to demonstrate the diversity of this heritage and raise awareness about its importance. It is longer.

    • Urgent Safeguarding list: It is composed of those cultural elements “whose continuous recreation and transmission” are threatened and are in need of immediate support. It is shorter.

  • Domains: There are five broad ‘domains’ in which intangible cultural heritage is manifested:
    1. Oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage;

    2. Performing arts;

    3. Social practices, rituals and festive events;

    4. Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe;

    5. Traditional craftsmanship.

Source : The Hindu