Unesco on Thursday added the Tunisian hot sauce "harissa" and the Algerian folk music "rai" to its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Algerian song "rai" and Tunisian sauce "harissa", world heritage

photo_camera PHOTO/PIXABAY - - Música del Magreb

The decision was taken by Unesco's 17th Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, which opened on Monday and is being held until Saturday in the Moroccan capital.
 
Harissa, a condiment based on red pepper puree, is part of the domestic provisions and daily culinary and food traditions of Tunisian society, according to the nomination dossier for this heritage item. Harissa is most often prepared by women in a festive family or neighbourhood setting.
 
The preparation of this condiment begins with drying hot peppers in the sun, then splitting them, de-stemming them and husking them. The chillies are then washed, mixed with salt, garlic and coriander and ground in a mortar or hand grinder. The cultivation of chillies is subject to an agricultural calendar that prohibits planting during certain periods, as this would bring bad luck, according to the local culture. Harissa is stored in glass or earthenware jars for later consumption.
 
Moreover, Unesco recognised the popular Algerian musical style called "rai" as an intangible heritage of humanity, which is today represented around the world by famous singers, such as the star Cheb Khaled.
 
In addition to its musical nature, "rai" is also, according to its advocates, a means of conveying social reality without taboos or censorship, and touches on themes such as love, freedom, despair and social pressures. It is considered a genre for young people and represents a channel for them to express their feelings in their quest to free themselves from social constraints, specifies the application file for this element submitted by Algeria.
 
Musicians make and decorate their own instruments and transmission takes place informally through observation, for example, or formally through apprenticeship. During today's sessions, the 17th Committee added to Unesco's list of intangible heritage of humanity new elements such as the "莽ay" (tea) culture in Turkey and Azerbaijan, which represents a symbol of identity and hospitality.
 
It also included straw weaving in Belarus, the traditional techniques of "talli" embroidery in the United Arab Emirates and the storytelling tradition of "Nasreddin Hodja" in Turkey and the countries of that region of Asia. The committee also recognised the traditional performing art in Kazakhstan, called "the ort茅k茅", which combines a piece of music played on the "kayajo", a traditional two-stringed instrument, and the dance of a wooden puppet.
 
In addition, Unesco included in its Intangible World Heritage List the art of the traditional blouse with embroidery on the shoulders (alti牛膬), an element of cultural identity in Romania and Moldova. UNESCO's 17th Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity has included 37 nominations out of the fifty or so submitted to the Intangible Heritage List.
 
It also added five elements to its list of intangible heritage in need of urgent safeguarding, such as the Ukrainian borscht culture, and recognised four nominations as examples of good practice in the protection of this type of world heritage.

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