Fifth Session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage
15-19 November 2010 (Nairobi, Kenya)

Some 400 representatives of States Parties to the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, observers and civil society are attending the fifth session of the Intergovernmental Committee. Consisting of 24 members elected by the General Assembly of States Parties to the Convention, the Committee is one of its governing organs. The Convention, adopted in 2003 and ratified by 132 States, recommends the protection of elements such as oral traditions and expressions, performing arts, social practices, rituals and festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe and know-how related to traditional handicrafts. It is considered that they constitute a living heritage, which, when transmitted from generation to generation, give communities and groups a feeling of identity and continuity that is considered essential for the respect of cultural diversity and human creativity.

During the first two days, the Committee has inscribed four elements in the list of intangible cultural heritage in need of urgent safeguarding, including: meshrep (China); ojkanje singing (Croatia); the watertight-bulkhead technology of Chinese junks; and wooden movable-type printing of China. Several elements were inscribed in the representative list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity, including, among others: acupuncture and moxibustion of traditional Chinese medicine; falconry; flamenco; Indonesian Angklung; Kalbelia folk songs and dances of Rajasthan, India; Kumiodori, traditional Okinawan musical theatre; Sutartinės, Lithuanian multipart songs; the Mediterranean diet; the music of the Bakhshis of Khorasan from Iran; the scissors dance from Peru; and traditional sohbet meetings in Turkey. Visit the meeting website … View live webcast … Read UNESCO’s release, 15 November 2010 … View the intangible heritage lists …