Humanity's Cultural Heritage Is So Much More Than Museums...

From shrimp fishing on horseback to building giant human towers to harmonicas and congos...and from Turkey to Namibia to Panama to Korea, today we'll check out a few examples of humanity's Intangible Cultural Heritage as designated by UNESCO.


Each Daily Cuppa Go post is like a daily newspaper to enjoy with your favorite cuppa. There's a series of related stories on a theme, and just like a newspaper, you can browse as your time and interests lead you.

What exactly is intangible cultural heritage? - In this 1-minute video, people across the globe answer the question in a variety of interconnected ways.
Invitation to Dive in and Explore Cultural Heritage - A 2-minute video introduction to UNESCO's Dive into Intangible Cultural Heritage website. This amazing site explores all the ways that cultural practices interconnect across the globe. If you want to dive in and explore, here's some tips for navigating the site: [1] Hover your cursor over the main map (pictured above). As your cursor moves over various elements, connections are highlighted. Follow one of the strands and you'll find a cultural element at the end! Click on it to learn about it. [2] You can also directly browse and search the information by country or key word here. NOTE: The United States is not a party to the 2003 Convention that established this UNESCO initiative, so no US resources are listed in the searchable database.
Shrimp Fishing on Horseback in Belgium - Twice a week, except in winter months, the strong Brabant horses walk breast-deep in the surf, pulling nets. Watch a 10-minute video showing how it's done here.
Human Towers in Spain - Castells are human towers built by members of amateur groups, usually as part of annual festivities in Catalonian towns and cities. Learn how it's done in this 10-minute video.
Yeondeunghoe (Lantern Lighting Festival) in the Republic of Korea - As the eighth day of the fourth lunar month (Buddha’s birthday) approaches, the entire country lights up with colourful lanterns. Originally a religious ritual of celebration, Yeondeunghoe has now become a national spring festival open to all. Watch an 8-minute video about it here.
Rituals and Festivities of Congo Culture in Panama - There are many contemporary collective celebrations by the Black rebel descendants of those enslaved during the colonial period. Nowadays, the celebration of freedom, involves playing congo, singing about the events of everyday life, and performing dramas and dancing. Enjoy the festivities in this 9-minute video.
Limbe Performances of Folk Long Songs in Mongolia - The Limbe is a side-blown flute of hardwood or bamboo, traditionally used to perform Mongolian folk long songs. Players breathe in through the nose while simultaneously blowing out through the mouth, using air stored in their cheeks to play the flute without interruption. Single stanzas of folk long song last approximately four to five minutes. This 10-minute video shows how it's done.
Whistled Language in Turkey - Whistled language is a method of communication that uses whistling to simulate and articulate words. The practice developed as a result of the steep mountains and rugged topography of the region, which required the local population to find an alternative way to communicate across long distances. A 10-minute video demonstrates the language in use.
Ancestral Musical Sounds in Namibia - The music of the Nama people involves the use of traditional musical instruments: the khab (musical bow) and !guitsib (traditional guitar), and the vlies (harmonica), accompanied by singing, humming and ululating. Hear the music in this 7-minute video.