39 Traditions Added to UNESCO Cultural Heritage List, From Arabic Calligraphy to Truffle Hunting

The list now includes traditions from countries that are represented for the first time.

UNESCO added 39 traditions to its cultural heritage list in December 2021, including some from countries represented for the first time.

The traditions, which come from all over the world, were added by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, according to UNESCO. This year's decision was a landmark for Montenegro, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congo, Denmark, the Seychelles, the Federated States of Micronesia, Timor-Leste, Iceland, and Haiti, which each had something presented for inscription on the list for the first time.

The Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists currently feature 630 elements from 140 countries.

The list now includes a range of cultural traditions from Arabic calligraphy to falconry, Danish Inuit drum dancing and singing, Maltese folksong, Haitian soup, and even truffle hunting in Italy.

In addition to the traditions that have been added, UNESCO also placed four things on its List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, including nomad games, rediscovering heritage, and celebrating diversity in Kyrgyzstan; and success story of promoting traditional foods and safeguarding traditional foodways in Kenya.

In July 2021, UNESCO also added several new additions to its World Heritage list, including Madrid's Retiro Park and the Trans-Iranian Railway. In total, there are more than 1,100 World Heritage sites around the world spread over 167 countries, a combination of cultural, natural, and mixed sites, according to the group.

These are the traditions that have been added to this year's Intangible Cultural Heritage List and the countries where they take place.

  1. United Arab Emirates, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czechia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Spain, Syrian Arab Republic: Falconry, a living human heritage
  2. Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen: Arabic calligraphy, knowledge, skills and practices
  3. Denmark; Finland; Iceland; Norway; Sweden: Nordic clinker boat traditions
  4. Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congo: Congolese rumba
  5. Plurinational State of Bolivia: Grand Festival of Tarija
  6. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela: Festive cycle around the devotion and worship towards Saint John the Baptist
  7. Ecuador: Pasillo, song and poetry
  8. Panama: Dances and expressions associated with the Corpus Christi Festivity
  9. Peru: Pottery-related values, knowledge, lore and practices of the Awajún people
  10. Malaysia: Songket
  11. Indonesia: Gamelan
  12. Thailand: Nora, dance drama in southern Thailand
  13. Viet Nam: Art of Xòe dance of the Tai people in Viet Nam
  14. India: Durga Puja in Kolkata
  15. Sri Lanka: Traditional craftsmanship of making Dumbara Ratā Kalāla
  16. Turkmenistan: Dutar making craftsmanship and traditional music performing art combined with singing
  17. Seychelles: Moutya
  18. Madagascar: Malagasy Kabary, the Malagasy oratorical art
  19. Senegal: Ceebu Jën, a culinary art of Senegal
  20. Bahrain: Fjiri
  21. Iraq: Traditional craft skills and arts of Al-Naoor
  22. Palestine: The art of embroidery in Palestine, practices, skills, knowledge and rituals
  23. Syrian Arab Republic: Al-Qudoud al-Halabiya
  24. Morocco: Tbourida
  25. Turkey: Hüsn-i Hat, traditional calligraphy in Islamic art in Turkey
  26. Finland: Kaustinen fiddle playing and related practices and expressions
  27. Denmark: Inuit drum dancing and singing
  28. Malta: L-Għana, a Maltese folksong tradition
  29. Portugal: Community festivities in Campo Maior
  30. Tajikistan: Falak
  31. Bulgaria: Visoko multipart singing from Dolen and Satovcha, South-western Bulgaria
  32. Ukraine: Ornek, a Crimean Tatar ornament and knowledge about it
  33. Belgium: Namur stilt jousting
  34. Italy: Truffle hunting and extraction in Italy, traditional knowledge and practice
  35. Netherlands: Corso culture, flower and fruit parades in the Netherlands
  36. Uzbekistan: Bakhshi art
  37. Montenegro: Cultural Heritage of Boka Navy Kotor: a festive representation of a memory and cultural identity
  38. Poland: Flower carpets tradition for Corpus Christi processions
  39. Haiti: Joumou soup
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