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  • 07 December, 2022

  • 5 Min Read

Baguette in the UNESCO list

Baguette in the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage

  • Baguette, the staple French bread, was recently inscribed on the UN's list of intangible cultural heritage (ICH).
  • France nominated the baguette as a candidate for inclusion on the UNESCO ICH list in March 2021.
  • It drew attention to the country's steady decline in the number of bakeries, with approximately 20,000 closing since 1970.

What is a baguette?

  • The baguette is a long and thin loaf of bread made of flour, water, salt, and yeast that is a staple in France.
  • Some believe that August Zang, a baker and entrepreneur from Vienna, invented it in 1839 when he introduced the world to the taste of crusty bread with softer insides using a steam oven.
  • It was given its formal name in 1920.
  • Some believe that Napoleon Bonaparte, the French military leader, ordered thin sticks of bread for consumption by his soldiers because they could be carried more conveniently from one place to another.

Regarding intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO:

  • "Intangible" is defined by UNESCO as "expressions that have been passed down from generation to generation, have evolved in response to their environments, and contribute to our sense of identity and continuity."
  • Oral traditions, performing arts, social practises, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practises concerning nature and the universe, or the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts" are examples of intangible cultural heritage.
  • It places value on "the wealth of knowledge and skills that is transmitted through it from one generation to the next," implying that it must be preserved.
  • The General Conference of UNESCO's adoption of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the ICH in 2003 was a critical step toward preserving intangible heritage from around the world.
  • In 2008, UNESCO established the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The criteria for choosing:

For an intangible cultural heritage to be included on the United Nations list, it must meet three criteria:

  • The entity must "be recognised as part of their cultural heritage by communities, groups, and, in some cases, individuals, be transmitted from generation to generation, and be constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, interaction with nature, and history, and provide them with a sense of identity and continuity, thus promoting respect for cultural diversity and human creativity."

India's intangible cultural heritage has been added to the UNESCO list.

  • This year, India proposed Garba, a traditional dance form from the Indian state of Gujarat, for inclusion on UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
  • Kolkata's Durga Puja (2021), Kumbh Mela (2017), Navroz (2016), Yoga (2016), traditional brass and copper craft of utensil-making among Punjab coppersmiths (2014), Sankirtana, a ritual musical performance of Manipur (2013), and Buddhist chanting of Ladakh are among the elements that have been on the representative list of intangible cultural heritage from India in the last decade (2012)
  • Prior to 2011, the list included Chhau dance, Rajasthan's Kalbelia folk songs and dance, and Mudiyettu, a dance drama from Kerala (2010), Ramman, a religious festival and theatre performance of Garhwal in the Himalayas (2009), and Kutiyattam, or Sanskrit theatre, and Vedic chanting (2008).
  • Ramlila, a traditional Ramayana performance, was also included in 2008.

Read Also: Yakshagana

Source: The Indian Express

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