Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Towards a "Third Intifada"?

Read more

FOCUS

What solutions for California's overcrowded prisons?

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza conflict: Palestinians mark sombre Eid

Read more

WEB NEWS

Celebrities in the Israel-Gaza crossfire

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Israeli strike takes out Gaza power station

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French newspaper apologises for Sarkozy story

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Last-ditch talks aim to avert Argentina default

Read more

  • Israel says it is 'days' from completing Gaza tunnel hunt

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • Argentina fails to reach deal with holdout creditors

    Read more

  • Liberia shuts all schools as Ebola virus spreads

    Read more

  • US House votes to sue Obama for over-reaching his powers

    Read more

  • Suspect in Jewish Museum attack charged with 'terrorist' murder

    Read more

  • Women should not laugh in public, Turkey's deputy PM says

    Read more

  • Fourth female suicide bomber targets Nigerian city

    Read more

  • US rebounds to 4% growth in second quarter

    Read more

  • Video: Coping with rocket attacks in Israel’s Sderot

    Read more

  • Rats on the rampage at Louvre museum gardens

    Read more

  • France evacuates nationals, closes embassy in Libya

    Read more

  • 'Compelling' signs Kosovo leaders trafficked organs, prosecutor says

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Islamists seize key Benghazi army base as fire rages on

    Read more

France

French gastronomic meal joins UNESCO heritage list

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-11-18

France’s traditional gastronomic meal, in which ritual is as important as the food itself, has been entered on the world’s "intangible" heritage list by a UNESCO committee meeting.

AFP - The UN cultural organisation on Tuesday added Spain's flamenco dance and French cuisine -- a first-ever listing for gastronomy -- to the world's intangible cultural treasures.
   
UNESCO experts, gathered this week in the Kenyan capital, singled out French gastronomy as a "social custom aimed at celebrating the most important moments in the lives of individuals and groups".
   
France's multi-course gastronomic meal, with its rites and its presentation, therefore fulfilled the conditions for featuring on the list.
   
The country's ambassador to UNESCO Catherine Colonna hailed the inclusion, saying it "makes a contribution to cultural diversity".
   
"The French love getting together to eat and drink well and enjoy good times in such a manner. It is part of our tradition -- a quite active tradition," she added.
   
How wines are paired with dishes, how the table is dressed, the precise placing of glasses, for water, red and white wine, knife blade pointing in and fork tines down, are all seen as part of the rite.
   
Francis Chevrier, chief delegate of the French mission in charge of submitting the UNESCO bid, also welcomed the decision.
   
"It's very important that people realise, in villages in Africa and everywhere, that when you have knowledge of food it is a treasure for your community, and something worth cherishing," he said.
   
"It's wonderful. This is excellent news for French culture, for French heritage, to invite our cuisine, our gastronomic heritage to sit at the high table of culture at UNESCO."
   
However the move has sparked worries that the UNESCO heritage label could now be used for commercial ends.
   
Among the reasons cited for the inclusion of flamenco was that the dance could "raise awareness about intangible cultural heritage, while promoting human creativity and mutual respect among communities".
   
The inter-governmental committee meeting here since Monday has been considering 51 cultural practices from around the world for inclusion on the Convention of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
   
It approved all four elements proposed for inclusion on a list of practices in need of urgent protection: Croatian Ojkanje singing, Meshrep -- the harvest festival ceremony of northwest China's Turkish-speaking Muslim Uighur people and two other Chinese cultural practices.
   
Delegates overruled some participants' concern over China's restriction on Meshrep.
   
Of the 47 items proposed for inclusion on a non-urgent list, 46 have so far been inscribed. The last item will be discussed early Wednesday.
   
The "world intangible heritage" list, which until now numbered 178 cultural practices -- including the Royal Ballet of Cambodia and Mexico's Day of the Dead festival, was drawn up under a 2003 convention, now ratified by 132 countries.
   
A UNESCO fund delivers grants to help developing countries finance the protection of cultural practices in much the same way that the UN body protects sites of cultural value or great natural beauty.
   
Mexican traditional cuisine and Croatian ginger bread craft were also included in the classification.
   
Other admissions to the list include China's traditional art of Peking opera, oil wrestling in Turkey's Kirkpinar region and falconry in 11 countries.
 

Date created : 2010-11-16

COMMENT(S)