UNESCO adds French horseriding to 'intangible heritage' list

27th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

French-style horseback riding guided by principles of non-violence was one of seven items added Sunday to UNESCO's list of "intangible cultural heritage" in need of preservation.

Envoys on Indonesia's resort island of Bali picked the new listings among scores of entries to add to the UN cultural agency's list of traditions in need of urgent protection.

Equitation in the French tradition emphasises "harmonious relations between humans and horses", UNESCO explained about the latest selection on its website.

"The common denominator among riders is the desire to establish close relations with the horse, build mutual respect and work towards achieving 'lightness'," it said.

The other new entries include Tsiattista poetic duelling from Cyprus, featuring lively, impromptu oral poetry performed with an accompaniment of violin or lute and the Nijemo Kolo "silent" dance from Croatia, showcasing energetic, spontaneous steps performed without music.

The list aims at ensuring "better visibility of the intangible cultural heritage and raising awareness of its importance while encouraging dialogue that respects cultural diversity," according to the website.

Chinese shadow puppetry and Belgian set ritual repertoire were added on Saturday.

UNESCO had chosen 47 items last year, including the Indian Chhau dance which enacts episodes from epics including the Mahabharata and Ramayana.

© 2011 AFP

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