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Kumbh Mela recognised as humanity's intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO

Kumbh Mela recognised as humanity's intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO”

It's now a pizza history!

That could now change after the UN's cultural body gave it world heritage status, which aims to raise awareness of traditions around the world.

As per a report in Ministry of External Affairs, the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage under UNESCO has inscribed ´KumbhMela´ on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity during its 12th session held at Jeju, South Korea from December 4-9, 2017.

Pizzaiuolo has been handed down for generations, Unesco said, and encompasses the social ritual of songs, stories and gestures that takes place between pizza makers and diners in working class Neapolitan neighbourhoods.

It comes after some two million people joined a petition to support Naples' application, according to Sergio Miccu, head of the Association of Neapolitan Pizzaiuoli - no doubt buoyed by his offer of complimentary pizza if the age-old culinary tradition joined the prestigious list. "A recognition for Naples and Italy as a whole", he added.

A pizza maker prepares a pizza at the pizzeria Sorbillo in Naples.

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Dutch windmill
Traditional windmill operators in the Netherlands were also honored by UNESCO

Traditional Neapolitan pizza has a relatively thin crust with the exception of the rim, which, when baked, bloats like a tiny bicycle tyre.

And now that "pizzaiuoli" is officially recognized as an art form, pizza purists hope it will spell the end of foreigners putting questionable toppings on the dish.

"I think, and I hope, that this could be the chance to make foreigners understand how pizza is made, without Nutella or pineapple", Matteo Martino, a customer at a Naples pizza restaurant, told Reuters news agency.

In 2003, the UNESCO General Conference adopted the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage as an global treaty acknowledging that cultural heritage is more than tangible places, monuments and objects; it also encompasses traditions and living expressions.

Also on the UNESCO list is the Saudi Arabian art of Al-Qatt Al-Asin - elaborate interior wall paintings traditionally done by women and which promotes solidarity among females.

The US last month announced that it will pull out of UNESCO at the end of 2018, accusing the cultural agency of anti-Israel bias.



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