Naples celebrates UNESCO recognition of art of pizza making

Kumbh Mela on UNESCO's list of intangible cultural heritage

As per a report in Ministry of External Affairs, the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage under UNESCO has inscribed ´KumbhMela´ on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity during its 12th session held at Jeju, South Korea from December 4-9, 2017. Farmers' association Coldiretti said that many pizzaiuoli were showing off their acrobatic pizza spinning and tossing in central Naples in celebration at the news.

Today, following a petition to support Naples' application which was signed by an estimated 2 million people, UNESCO has named Naples' famous pizza twirling an essential component of the world's "intangible heritage".

The custom goes far beyond the pizzaiuolo's spectacular handling of the dough - hurling it into the air to "oxygenate" it - to include songs and stories that have turned pizza-making into a social ritual.

"Victory! Italy's food-and-wine identity is increasingly protected around the world".

Thirty-four candidates were seeking to join the intangible heritage list, which was created in 2003 to mainly raise awareness.

Saudi Arabia was among those celebrating, claiming the tag for Al-Qatt Al-Asin - elaborate interior wall paintings traditionally done by women.

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Altogether it contains more than 350 traditions and crafts, ranging from better known practices such as Spanish flamenco dancing and Indonesian batik fabric making to more obscure items such as a Turkish oil wrestling festival and a Mongolian camel coaxing ritual. The art, which promotes solidarity among women, is handed down through observation.

The first recorded game of polo, in which players on horseback score by driving a small ball into the opposing team's goal using a long-handled wooden mallet, reportedly took place in 600 BC in ancient Persia.

Unesco has also placed six traditions on its urgent safeguarding list, which means they will get support to prevent them disappearing.

These include a whistled language that developed in Turkey as a way to communicate across steep mountains and rugged topography but is now being threatened by mobile phones.

They were declining for reasons including the spread of technology and disdain for cultural practices among young people, Unesco said.

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