May 10, 2021

An unprecedented joint proposal of the two Koreas elected Unesco Heritage

An unprecedented joint proposal of the two Koreas elected Unesco Heritage



Unesco announced today that it has decided to inscribe on its Intangible Heritage List the traditional Korean struggle "ssirum / ssireum", a joint proposal of the two Koreas that was an unprecedented initiative and with which it intends to contribute to reconciliation.

"This joint inscription constitutes a highly symbolic step on the road towards inter-Korean reconciliation and reminds us of the extraordinary power of cultural heritage as a vector of peace and bridge of union among peoples," the Director General of Unesco, Audrey, said in a statement. Azoulay.

He noted that the fact that the two Koreas had decided to merge their candidacies was unprecedented and would not have been possible without the trust that Pyongyang and Seoul placed in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco).

In fact, the mediation process of the organization was what allowed the initiatives of the two countries, initially separated, to become one.

In the past, the fact that the same element had been inscribed by Unesco on its World Heritage List twice, one for North Korea and one for South Korea, reminded Efe a spokeswoman.

The traditional Korean struggle, called "ssirum" in North Korea and "ssireum" in South Korea, has a deep meaning for people on both sides of the border.

It is fundamentally linked to land and agriculture, and is both a national sport and a very popular cultural practice, with periodic competitions on the occasion of agricultural events or festivals.

Its recognition comes after the visit last June of Azoulay to South Korea and its meeting in Paris in October with the president of that country, Moon Jae-in.

In that meeting, he proposed to the president to carry out a series of projects to facilitate inter-Korean reconciliation. In parallel, similar exchanges have taken place with North Korean officials.

Unesco affirmed that "it will continue working for the reconciliation of the Korean peninsula through projects with the authorities of both countries" in education, culture and science, "essential foundations of a lasting peace".

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