Heritage Italian opera, bolero and Peruvian ceviche, declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today declared Italian opera as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Heritage Italian opera, bolero and Peruvian ceviche, declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today declared Italian opera as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. UNESCO made the decision at the eighteenth meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, which is being held from last Monday to next Saturday in the city of Kasane, in northern Botswana.

UNESCO highlighted that opera singing in Italy is a physiologically controlled form of singing that enhances the transmission capacity of the voice in acoustic spaces such as amphitheaters and churches. "Transmitted orally between a teacher and a student, this practice favors collective cohesion and sociocultural memory. It is a means of free expression and intergenerational dialogue, and its cultural value is recognized nationally and internationally," she stressed.

The same recognition has been granted to the bolero of Cuba and Mexico, considered the genre of romantic music and poetry par excellence. Both countries jointly defended the candidacy of the bolero as "identity, emotion and poetry made into song", which is "an indispensable element of the sentimental song of Latin America."

The bolero was born in Santiago de Cuba (southeast) at the end of the 19th century with the piece "Tristezas" by Pepe Sánchez, and in the first decades of the 20th century it was adopted by Mexico, which enriched it with its own style. In 1932, the Mexican Consuelo Velázquez released "Bésame mucho", the most international of boleros, later performed by Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra and The Beatles, among others.

In the gastronomic field, ceviche, one of the most emblematic and appreciated dishes of Peruvian gastronomy throughout the world, has been declared Intangible Cultural Heritage. It is a delicacy that consists of marinated meat - seafood, fish or both - with citrus dressing of which there are different versions that integrate the culinary culture of several Latin American countries in the Pacific Ocean. In Peru, ceviche is considered the flagship dish and cultural heritage.

UNESCO has also granted recognition to 'iftar' - the meal that breaks the Muslim fast - following a request from Azerbaijan, Iran, Uzbekistan and Turkey.

"Iftar (...) is performed by Muslims after sunset during the month of Ramadan, after the fulfillment of all religious and ceremonial rites," explains UNESCO. This meal, which marks the breaking of the fast, "usually takes the form of meetings or dinners, reinforcing family and community ties and promoting mutual help, solidarity and social exchanges," adds the agency. UNESCO stressed that its practice "is generally transmitted within families" and that "many times, children and young people are responsible for the preparation of dishes during traditional meals."

UNESCO has also recognized midwifery. Midwives are companions and support for pregnant women and their families before, during and after childbirth, UNESCO recalled. It varies according to the social, cultural and natural contexts of different communities and countries. "Related knowledge and skills are transmitted through oral instruction, observation, participation, and peer exchange, especially within women's networks. In many countries, the practice requires certification and is transmitted through formal education "added the institution.

Other approved American events have been the cultural and ecological festival of the sea turtle in Armila, on the Caribbean coast of Panama; the Parranda de los Santos Inocentes de Caucagua, in northern Venezuela; and the Festival of Ch'utillos, celebrated annually in Potosí, in the highlands of Bolivia, where it is considered that Saint Bartholomew, around 1589, fought against the devil and defeated him.

Finally, UNESCO has approved the inclusion of the glassblowing technique as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, in a candidacy promoted by Spain, Germany, Finland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and France. In our country, two centers have maintained this technique practically unchanged for centuries, Vidrios Gordiola in Algaida in Mallorca, and the Real Fábrica de Cristales de la Granja in Segovia.

The Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity recognizes and promotes the diversity of cultural practices and knowledge carried out by communities. Inscription on the List encourages all interested parties to implement safeguarding measures in close collaboration with tradition bearers.