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Kimchi-making, Viennese horsemanship added to UNESCO list

December 3, 2015

The Korean art of making kimchi was among 20 practices and traditions added to the UN cultural agency's Intangible Heritage List. Other items include a tug of war game popular in parts of Asia and horsemanship in Vienna.

A person holds up a dish of kimchi.
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/S. Trumpf

The UN cultural agency on Wednesday added 20 new entries to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

"The Representative List includes forms of expression that testify to the diversity of the intangible heritage and raise awareness of its importance," the UN cultural agency said.

A few of the chosen

The expert panel, who met in the Namibian capital Windhoek, chose to add popular East and Southeast Asian tugging rituals to the list. The tugging practice, which is unlike the Western game of tug of war, marks the start of the agricultural cycle and is a non-competitive team event said to ensure a good harvest.

The art of making spicy, pickled greens, known as kimchi, in North Korea was also added. According to the cultural agency's website, kimchi-making is a common custom nationwide, and is mainly transmitted among mothers and daughters. The dish is enjoyed often in South Korea, as well.

"Kimjang" is a term used to refer to the practice of transferring kimchi-making skills among neighbors, relatives and other members of society. UNESCO noted the tradition of preparing kimchi in large quantities for the winter months.

The horsemanship cultivated in Vienna's Spanish Riding School was also added, with UNESCO saying, the world-renowned school that breeds its own Lipizzaner stallions "reflects the relationships of long standing between breeders, groomers, craftspeople, riders and horses."

The director of the 450-year-old school, Elisabeth Guertler, said further that the rituals of the school show the "harmonious interaction between humans and animals on a daily basis."

A total of 35 elements were proposed for inclusion on the list.

Earlier in the year, 27 intangible cultural assets were added to the German UNESCO Commission National Heritage List.

smm/gsw (AFP, UNESCO)