Kimchi-Making Culture Joins UNESCO Intangible Heritage List

The Korean traditions of making and sharing kimchi have been included in the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The decision was made at a meeting of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Baku, Azerbaijan, according to the Cultural Heritage Administration on Thursday.

The CHA had intended to title its submission "Kimchi and kimjang," but the UNESCO committee felt this could be viewed as recognition of a particular dish that could be used for commercial purposes, which would undermine the spirit of the list.

As a result, the Korean delegation in Azerbaijan revised the submission to "Kimjang" and added "in the Republic of Korea," suggesting that this culture is practiced uniquely here.

The committee said the culture of "kimjang," which has been handed down for generations, has encouraged sharing with neighbors and enhanced solidarity and Korean identity.

Korea now has a total of 16 intangible cultural assets on the list, including the royal ancestral rites and ritual music of the Jongmyo shrine (2001), Pansori narrative songs (2003) and the folk song "Arirang" in its various forms (2012).

englishnews@chosun.com / Dec. 06, 2013 10:09 KST