Popayan Holy Week could be UNESCO Intagible Heritage

The religious week is competing for recognition as official UN cultural heritage with Pasto’s Black and White Carnival, along with 111 other nominations from 35 countries.

The UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage will meet in Abu Dhabi from 28 September to 2 October to discuss the nominations.

The UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage protects oral traditions and expressions, rituals, holidays, crafts, music, dances and traditional performances.

Colombia has put forward two nominations to be considered: Popayan’s Holy Week, whose procession dates back to the Spanish Conquest; and The Black and White Carnival in Pasto, which originated from indigenous celebrations that combined African and Spanish elements.

Other countries submitting items of cultural heritage include Spain: the Silbo Gomero (an ancient form of communication by whistling from the Canary Islands); Murcia’s Council of Good Men; and the Water Court of Valencia.

The Mediterranean diet as an Intangible Heritage listing? Well, Spain, Italy, Greece and Morocco all seem to think so, putting forth a transnational nomination.

Argentina and Uruguay have put forth a joint bid for the tango, which emerged in South America in the early twentieth century thanks to the musical influences of immigrating Europeans.

Inspired by the World Heritage Convention, the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage was adopted in 2003 and has been ratified by 114 of the 193 UNESCO member states.

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