What do the Great Wall of China, Georgia's polyphonic singing, the Mediterranean diet and the Vanuatu sand drawings have in common? Despite their evident dissimilarity, they are all protected by UNESCO, the supranational organisation that is responsible for preserving the common cultural heritage of humanity, protecting it from disappearance and ensuring its conservation for future generations. The Great Wall of China is one of the natural and cultural sites that comprise the famous list of World Heritage Sites, compiled by UNESCO while the other three are part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage list that includes immaterial goods. In fact, in 2003, the UNESCO General Conference adopted the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage with the intent to safeguard the traditional cultures and folklore of our planet.
Today, over 400 practices and expressions from more than 100 countries represent the riches and demonstrate the cultural diversity of the populations in the world. Appearing on this variegated list of traditions are the art of the "pizzaiuoli" - the pizza makers of Naples, the Carnival of Basel, the Rebetiko music of Greece, Japanese kabuki theatre, Mexico's Day of the Dead celebration, the Brazilian capoeira, Chinese shadow puppetry and the mass Hindu pilgrimage of faith, Kumbh Mela. This book of photographs and splendid illustrations will guide you on your discovery of the Intangible Cultural Heritage list; a journey that will open your eyes to the cultural riches of our planet and to the importance of preserving them for future generations.