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Reggae music from Jamaica, the Irish sport of hurling, Polish Nativity scenes, Korean wrestling, and about three dozen more arts, crafts, folk dances, foods, and festivals are the latest global traditions added to UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. (Pity the arts and tourism officials currently trying to squeeze that mouthful into quick after-dinner speeches and funding pitches.)

Established in 2003, the list is an experiential complement to UNESCO's older and better known catalog of physical World Heritage Sites.

You already know that reggae is best appreciated in the nightclubs and dancehalls of Jamaica or at shrines such as the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston (some of the building's murals are pictured above).

But UNESCO's list might also spark an interest in visiting the parfumeries of GrasseFrance's fragrance capital—or, when you're in Ireland, catching a hurling match.

The latter is like an earthbound, more violent version of Quidditch or, as the UNESCO citation puts it, "an intrinsic part of Irish culture [that] plays a central role in promoting health and wellbeing, inclusiveness and team spirit." 

For travelers, browsing the intangible inductees of 2018 might provide some inspiration to seek out the unique cultural events and experiences that cry out to be discovered—and make a destination worth seeing. 

 



Tags: unesco, culture, arts, music, Jamaica, local experiences, ireland, sports, France

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