UNESCO Subcommittee Recommends Haenyeo Culture for Intangible Heritage List

Anchor: A UNESCO subcommittee has recommended that South Korea's "Culture of Jeju Haenyeo" be placed on the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The recommendation paves the way for the Korean culture of women divers to be officially inscribed on the coveted list when the final decision is made at the eleventh session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage later this month.

Mina Cha has more.

Report: A UNESCO subcommittee has found the unique Korean culture of women divers, or "haenyeo," on the southern island of Jeju qualifies for placement on the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Ahead of this year's Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, the subcommittee issued its recommendation on Monday.

It said that the haenyeo culture deserves international recognition, noting that the free diving activity embraces cultural variety and traditional rituals of the region and passes down technical knowhow across generations. The subcommittee also said that that it promotes community cohesion and enhances women's rights.

Officials at the World Heritage Team of the South Korean Cultural Heritage Administration said it is rare for the subcommittee's decision to be overturned.

[Sound bite: Jeong Eun-seon - Cultural Heritage Foundation (Korean)]

"When this subcommittee recommends a listing, we believe that it means the candidate will very likely make the list at the [Intergovernmental] Committee... "

The final decision on the inscription will be made during the eleventh session of the Intergovernmental Committee to be held in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa from November 26th to December second.

If confirmed, "haenyeo" will be South Korea's 19th cultural asset to be put on UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Mina Cha, KBS World Radio News.

Source: KBS World Radio