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China hopes to see 24 Solar Terms get intangible heritage status

Reporter: Coletta Wanjohi 丨 CCTV.com

11-29-2016 18:13 BJT

Full coverage: The 24 Solar Terms

More than 40 nominations for inclusion onto the world list of intangible heritages are currently being considered. An important five-day UNESCO meeting has just started in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. Experts will be discussing various cultural heritages in need of protection, to ensure they do not disappear. The nominations include China’s 24 Solar Terms, which are an ancient calendar system that divides the year into 24 phases based on the sun's position in the zodiac.


China's 24 Solar Terms are hoping to be granted Intangible Cultural Heritage status by UNESCO this week. The traditional Chinese practice is knowledge of time and practices gained by observing the sun's annual motion.(File Photo))

“There is a large set of heritage values that are not tangible in the sense of being a monument or being a city or being a landscape or something fixed like this, not a site. So, actually, 13 years ago UNESCO decided to create a new tool to include also heritage that is highly recognized by the communities, by nation and so on but don’t have a definition,” said Francesco Bandarin, assistant culture director-general, UNESCO.

A new convention to help protect global intangible heritage came into effect in 2013. Since then, UNESCO has received an average of 30 proposals per year from countries hoping parts of their culture will receive the prestigious status, and the protection that accompanies it.

“The convention is not there to determine this originated here or this originated there. That may be a legitimate question but that is not what safeguarding intangible heritage culture under this convention is about. What it is looking for is where communities expressing and it is leaving and still today it must be alive,” said Tim Curtis, secretary, 2003 UNESCO Convention.

Cultural practices in Botswana, Kenya, Uganda, Portugal, Ukraine and Cambodia have also been nominated for consideration.

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