The Congolese rumba is one of at least nine new entries on UNESCO’s “Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity”.
UNESCO is making its 2021 designation this week, recognizing cultural heritage ranging from Arabic calligraphy to falconry to Nordic clinker boat traditions.
The Congolese rumba was named on the list on Tuesday. The Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo jointly bid for UNESCO to recognize music and dance, which helped energize the people of those countries to overthrow colonial rule by Belgium and France, respectively, in the Congo in 1960. Of.
UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay summarized the importance of the Rumba.
“In the 20th century, the Congolese rumba was a symbol of the fight for liberation, dignity and political independence on the African continent,” she said in a statement shared with the VOA. “Therefore, the inscription of this music is not merely a recognition of a cultural practice, but a historical judgment. It underscores the political nature of this music, which today inspires many artists around the world.”
Through its ongoing list, UNESCO aims to protect cultural practices and ensure that they are handed down through generations.
The list of new entries includes:
– Pasillo Songs and Poems from Ecuador.
– The pottery related practice and knowledge of the Awaz people of Peru.
– Dances and other expressions associated with the Corpus Christi festival of Panama.
— Venezuela’s festivities circle around the worship of St. John the Baptist.
– Bolivia’s grand celebration of Tarija.