UNESCO most likely to list kimchi as cultural heritage

SEOUL, Oct. 23 (Yonhap) -- Kimchi, a spicy fermented cabbage side dish iconic of Korean food, is most likely to make it to UNESCO's list of cultural heritage, the government said Wednesday.

The body that deliberates on new additions has categorized South Korea's "Kimjang; Making and Sharing Kimchi" as recommended for inscription, according to the Cultural Heritage Administration. The final decision is due in December when UNESCO's intergovernmental committee meets in Azerbaijan.

The subsidiary body that makes preliminary deliberations for the December meeting said kimjang, the process of making kimchi, has served to nurture identity, solidarity and the spirit of sharing through generations.

Applications are divided into three categories of recommended for induction, refer, and not to inscribe. Those recommended for inscription are normally adopted by the UNESCO committee as intangible cultural heritages of humanity.

Kimchi would be South Korea's 16th item on the UNESCO list that includes ancestral royal rites, percussion instrument performance known as "pansori" and a 5,000-year-old dance "ganggangsullae."

There were 31 applications for this year, of which 23 were recommended for inscription and seven were dropped. One item was referred for more information.

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