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| 6. Intangible Cultural Heritage

For most human groups, the source of identity is found neither in cities, nor in monuments, nor in natural parks. It is found in what UNESCO defined as "Intangible Cultural Heritage (PCI)": a set of traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors and transmitted to our descendants, such as oral traditions, performing arts, social uses, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices related to nature and the universe, and knowledge and techniques related to traditional crafts.

The PCI is at great risk of disappearing due to a strong threat: the rise of globalization. For this reason, UNESCO has recently developed several initiatives to publicize and preserve the PCI of all humanity.
The PCI is the living heritage of humanity and is essential to encourage dialogue between cultures and promote respect for other forms of life.

UNESCO currently recognizes a total of 584 PCI elements corresponding to 131 countries. Some of these elements belong to several countries at the same time, which shows that the PCI extends over different territories and is a living example of the wealth of humanity across the planet.

The 584 elements recognized by 2021 are classified into three different lists:

1. Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
There are currently 492 items corresponding to 128 countries. One of the last items on the list is "The Horses of Wine", an equestrian festival that takes place every year in Spain, in the town of Caravaca de la Cruz. Other examples are flamenco, capoeira or castells.

2. List of Intangible Cultural Heritage that requires urgent safeguard measures.
Safeguarding is understood as measures aimed at ensuring the viability of the PCI, including the identification, documentation, investigation, protection, enhancement, transmission and revitalization of this heritage in its different aspects. Today, there are 67 items on the list corresponding to 35 countries. One of the last items on the list is the hand weaving of Upper Egypt, called sa'eed. Sa'eed hand weaving is an identity factor with its own language. Currently, this ancient practice is in danger mainly due to its low profitability. Other examples are: the shadow theater of the Syrian Arab Republic; Mongolian Calligraphy; or the Indonesian Saman dance.

3. Record of good safeguard practices.
The Good Practices Register is made up of programs, projects and activities. In 2020, there are 25 items corresponding to 22 countries. One of the last practices on the list is the strategy of safeguarding traditional crafts for building peace in Colombia. This initiative aims to reduce the decline of traditional crafts with a system of intergenerational transmission of theoretical and technical knowledge from teachers to learners, based on a non-formal method of learning by doing. Other examples are: The yola da Martinique, a model for safeguarding cultural heritage: from construction to the art of sailing; or “Land of Legends,” a program to promote and revitalize the art of storytelling in the Kronoberg region of Sweden.

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