THESE PRACTICES, along with the Mediterranean diet, the French meal, and 41 other cultural traditions were recognized as 2010 UNESCO Intangibles.
The Intangible Cultural Heritage Program was created in 2003 to protect the world’s endangered traditions, including songs, festivals, performances, arts and crafts, and local knowledge. Each year, countries nominate prized cultural practices for inscription and receive potential access to funding.
The program is meant to “safeguard” traditions by spreading awareness and fostering plans to pass them down to younger generations. In theory, the traditions should be preserved as seriously as the Pyramids of Giza or the Great Barrier Reef.
But critics are beginning to question the program’s overall benefits. Some even challenge whether it does more harm than good based on the following factors: