A number of the Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) had items of their cultural and human treasures inscribed on UNESCO Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage. This took place at the 16th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (16.COM) held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France, from 13 to 18 December 2021. This year’s annual session featured four (4) elements inscribed on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, along with thirty-eight (38) placed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage List of Humanity.
The UAE, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Pakistan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity for the traditional activity of “Falconry” as a living human heritage. The Arab states are also on the same list for the artistic practice of Arabic calligraphy. For its part, Mali has secured a place on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding for cultural practices and expressions linked to the “M’Bolon”, a traditional musical percussion instrument.
On this year’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity are Malaysia for “Songket” (a traditional handwoven fabric), Indonesia for its “Gamelan” (traditional percussion orchestra), Turkmenistan for its “Dutar” making craftsmanship and traditional music performing art combined with singing, Senegal for its culinary art “Ceebu Jën”, and Bahrain for its musical performance “Fjiri”.
The 2021 Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity also features Iraq and Palestine, respectively for the “traditional craft skills and arts of Al-Naoor” and the “Art of embroidery in Palestine – practices, skills, knowledge and rituals”. Also on the list are Morocco for its traditional equestrian performance “Tbourida”, and Turkey for its “Hüsn-I Hat” traditional calligraphy in Islamic art.
Tajikistan also joined the Representative List with its traditional folklore music “Falak”, and Uzbekistan with its “Bakhshi” musical and poetry heritage. Inscribed on the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices are the “nomad games” of Kyrgyzstan and the “National programme to safeguard the traditional art of calligraphy” in Iran.
The OIC General Secretariat congratulated its Member States for the great feat to have such a world-class recognition for their elements of intangible cultural heritage, considering it a tangible sign of their dedicated effort to safeguard these treasures of humanity, as part of our living collective memory, and as an important factor in promoting the values of citizenry, peace and coexistence among world communities.
Source: Organisation of Islamic Cooperation