Azerbaijan suggests balaban and Nasreddin Hodja jokes to UNESCO Intangible Heritage List

Azerbaijan suggests balaban and Nasreddin Hodja jokes to UNESCO Intangible Heritage List

Turkey and Azerbaijan have applied for the registration of balaban as part of UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, according to the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The ministry noted that Turkey has applied for the registration of four elements – one national and three multinational.

The national element suggested to UNESCO is the art of Islamic calligraphy, while multinational elements proposed for the list include: Tea culture as a symbol of identity, hospitality and social interaction; balaban wind instrument craftsmanship and the art of performance in partnership with Azerbaijan. 

The two other cultural elements being offered with other countries include the art of miniature – in cooperation with Iran, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan and moderated by Turkey – as well as Mangala / Köçürme, a traditional game of intelligence and strategy, offered in cooperation with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

Head of the department for international cooperation and innovative development of Azerbaijan's Culture Ministry Vasif Eyvazzade told Vestnik Kavkaza about the close cooperation of Azerbaijan and UNESCO in the field of protection of intangible cultural heritage.

"For 2021, we decided to submit an application with Turkey to include the art of balaban performance to the UNESCO intangible art list. Among other things, we also announced tea traditions as a symbol of hospitality and social contacts with Turkey," he said.

The tradition of telling jokes by Seljuk satirist Nasreddin Hodja has been proposed in cooperation with Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, Vasif Eyvazzade added.


Vestnik Kavkaza

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