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Merengue recognized by UNESCO

Merengue band orchestras are celebrating. Merengue band leader Johnny Ventura has called the inscription an alert to the Dominican Republic to protect the authenticity of the music.

Merengue, the music and dance of the Dominican Republic, was inscribed on 30 November 2016 in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The UNESCO explains that merengue is considered part of the national identity of the Dominican community. It plays an active role in various aspects of peoples daily lives – from their education to social gatherings and celebrations, even political campaigning.

The decision was taken during the 11th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage during the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, taking place from 28 November to 2 December 2016.

According to UNESCO, merengue is considered part of Dominican national identity. It plays an active role in various aspects of peoples daily lives – from their education to social gatherings and celebrations, and even in political campaigning.

The decision was taken during the 11th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage during the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, taking place from 28 November to 2 December 2016.

Merengue was added to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage following the decisions adopted by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, taking place in Ethiopia until 2 December.

In the 30 November 2016 announcement, UNESCO stated:
“Merengue is considered part of the Dominican community’s national identity, playing an active role in various aspects of the people’s daily lives, from education and social gatherings and celebrations to political campaigning. In 2005, November 26 was declared National Merengue Day with merengue festivals held each year. Danced in pairs, flirtatious gestures are used as dancers move to music. Passed on through participation, the traditional practice attracts people of different social classes helping to promote respect and coexistence within communities.”

Others added to the list are:
Spain’s Valencia Fallas festival
Egypt’s Tahteeb, stick game
Ethiopia’s Gada system
Korea’s Culture of Jeju Haenyeo
Azerbaijan – Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey’s flatbread making and sharing culture
France’s Carnival of Granville
Georgia’s living culture of three writing systems of their alphabet
Germany’s idea and practice of organizing shared interests in cooperatives
Greece’s Momoeria New Year’s celebration
Japan’s Yama, Hoko, Yatai, float festivals
Belgium’s beer culture
China’s 24 Solar Terms, knowledge of time and practices developed in China through observation of the sun’s annual motion
Cuba’s Rumba, the festive combination of music and dances and all the practices associated
India’s Yoga.
Iraq’s Khidr/Elias festivities.
Saudi Arabia’s Almezmar dance.

Source: DR1, Unesco

Dec 3, 2016

Category: DR News |

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Last updated February 26, 2017 at 10:12 PM
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