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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Georgian qvevri wine-making method approved for UNESCO's Intangible Heritage List

05.12.2013 (Hvino News). According to UNESCO official release published on December 4, the ancient Georgian traditional qvevri wine-making method has been approved for inclusion into UNESCO's List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

According to UNESCOPRESS, 14 new elements were inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity at the 8th session of the UNESCO's Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage in Baku.

Among the titles of the newly inscribed elements there is "ancient Georgian traditional qvevri wine-making method - Georgia":
Qvevri wine-making takes its name from the distinctive egg-shaped earthenware vessel – the Qvevri – in which wine is fermented and stored in villages and towns throughout Georgia. The tradition plays a vital role in everyday life and celebrations, and forms an inseparable part of the cultural identity of Georgian communities, with wine and vines frequently evoked in Georgian oral traditions and songs. Knowledge of this heritage is passed down by families, neighbours and friends, all of whom join in the communal harvesting and wine-making activities. 
 Decision 8.COM 8.13:
The Committee (…) decides that [this element] satisfies the criteria for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, as follows:
R.1: The knowledge and skills associated with making both wine and the Qvevri jars are widely practised and transmitted informally from generation to generation; ingrained in the everyday life of Georgians, they maintain social and religious significance;
R.2: Its inscription on the Representative List could contribute to promoting awareness of the intangible cultural heritage through attention to traditional wine-making practices and associated skills and rituals;
R.3: Past, current and proposed safeguarding measures focus on the improvement of legal frameworks, promotion, transmission, and education; the commitment of the communities and the support of the State Party are clearly demonstrated;
R.4: Communities, non-governmental organizations and local authorities participated actively in the nomination process and the communities provided their free, prior and informed consent.
Nomination File # 00870 on Qvevri Method may be downloaded here (MS Word). Application and consent letters from Georgian organizations related to qvevri  can be viewed here (PDF file, in Georgian and English).

UNESCO points out that the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity serves to raise awareness of intangible heritage and provide recognition to communities’ traditions and know-how that reflect their cultural diversity. The List does not attribute or recognize any standard of excellence or exclusivity.

"We want the tradition of making of the Georgian wine, which is called qvevri wine to be included into UNESCO's List of Intangible Cultural Heritage this year," Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze said last month visiting UNESCO HQ in Paris.

Georgia joined UNESCO Convention for the "Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage" in 2007. The Georgian folklore has already been included in the list of the world's intangible cultural heritages.

The Intangible Cultural Heritage programme was established in 2008, when the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage took effect.

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