Arirang Traditional Folk Song under UNESCO Heritage List

Korea's traditional folk song "Arirang" is almost certain to be on UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage list next month, Seoul officials said Monday. Arirang was among 18 nominations that have been recommended for the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by a subsidiary body of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, according to the Cultural Heritage Administration.

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A final decision is next month

Korean traditional folk song ArirangA final decision is due to be made at the committee's meeting scheduled for Dec. 3-7 at the U.N. body's headquarters in Paris. Given that there have been no known eliminations of nominations sent to the final round, chances are very high that Arirang will be selected, officials at the government agency said.

South Korea currently has 14 items on UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity List, including the Royal Ancestral Rite and Ritual Music at the Jongmyo Shrine, which the kings of the Joseon Dynasty used in ancestral memorial ceremonies, and "pansori," a traditional Korean style of narrative song.

Arirang folk song

The subpanel gave Arirang high ratings for having been constantly recreated generation after generation, playing an important role in forming Korean identity and consolidating national unity, according to the officials.

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