Korean Mask Dance Drama Slated for UNESCO Listing

  • By Yoo Seog-jae

    November 02, 2022 13:46

    The traditional mask dance drama talchum is highly likely to be added to the UNESCO list as South Korea's 22nd intangible cultural asset. 
    UNESCO said Tuesday that talchum is recommended for inscription in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. 
    A final decision will be made at a session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Rabat, Morocco from Nov. 28 to Dec. 3. Once a cultural asset is proposed for inscription on the list, the decision is rarely reversed.  
    Talchum is a comprehensive art encompassing dancing, singing and drama that criticizes society and plays an important role in consolidating regional identities as it is performed in local dialects and with folk songs. 
    North Korea's Pyongyang raengmyon or cold-noodle making custom is also on the recommended list. 
    South Korea now has 21 intangible cultural assets on the list including royal ancestral rites and ritual music of the Jongmyo Shrine (2001) and Pansori narrative songs (2003), and North Korea three. 
    The folk song "Arirang" (2012), kimchi-making culture (2013) and traditional wrestling or ssirum (2018) are listed for both North and South.  
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