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Naples’ pizza twirling wins Unesco intangible status

Traditional art of pizzaiuolo, handed down for generations in southern Italian city, fastens coveted world heritage honour

The Neapolitan art of pizza twirling has joined Unesco’s list of” intangible heritage”, securing the coveted status alongside a Saudi art form traditionally practised merely by women.

The art of pizzaiuol o – which has been handed down for generations in Naples, southern Italy– was approved by the UN cultural body’s world heritage committee, which met on the South Korean island of Jeju.

Approximately 2 million people had signed 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 culinary tradition joined the prestigious list.” We’ll be giving out free pizza in the streets ,” Miccu promised.

Proud pizza-makers in Naples celebrated even before the difference was announced on Thursday, pounding the dough and handing pizzas out to passersby.

” How perfect to celebrate with pizza for breakfast. The term pizza must be the most famous in the world, in every language, and now everyone known for devised it !” said Marco Toeldo, 47, who was on his third slice.

The custom goes far beyond the pizzaiuolo’s spectacular handling of the dough- lunging it into the air to “oxygenate” it- to include chants and tales that have become pizza-making into a social ritual.

“Victory!” tweeted Italy’s minister for agriculture, meat and forestry, Maurizio Martina.” Another step towards the protection of Italy’s food and wine heritage .”

Maurizio Martina (@ maumartina)

L’arte del pizzaiuolo napoletano e patrimonio culturale dell’Umanita Unesco. Vittoria! Identita enogastronomica italiana sempre piu tutelata nel mondo #pizzaUnesco pic.twitter.com/ MgQ5izZWbf

December 7, 2017

In a statement, Martina said the recognition came after years of campaigning.” The artwork of the Neapolitan pizza-maker contains Italian know-how … especially traditional knowledge that has been transmitted from generation to generation ,” he said.

Thirty-four candidates had sought to join the intangible heritage list, created in 2003 mainly to raise awareness, although Unesco also sometimes offerings financial or technical support to countries struggling to protect their traditions.

Quick guide

Unusual wins of Unesco heritage status

Uilleann piping, Ireland

This variety of bagpipe practice, originating in Ireland, was developed in around 1700. Unesco says it adds a sense of rootedness to important life events like bridals and funerals and that its characteristic audio instantly recollects Irish culture.

Whistled language, Turkey

Developed to communicate over a long distances in mountainous terrain, the language applies whistling to simulate words. its practitioners are chiefly farmers. Unesco fears that the custom being threatened from mobile phones.

Ijele masquerade, Nigeria

In Anambra state in south-east Nigeria, brightly coloured ijele masks- which are 4 metres high and take a team of 100 six months to build- are frequently used to differentiate both joyous and solemn occasions. The masquerade plays a number of important spiritual and political roles in the community, Unesco says.

Ido Vock

The list includes more than 350 traditions, art shapes and practises from Spain’s flamenco dancing to Indonesian batik fabrics, to more obscure enterings such as a Turkish oil-wrestling celebration and a Mongolian cajole ritual for camels.

Saudi Arabia was among those celebrating on Jeju, after being recognised for al-Qatt al-Asin – develop interior wall paintings traditionally created by women. The art form, which promotes female solidarity, is handed down through observation.

Another winner was the traditional horseback play of Kok Boru in Kyrgyzstan, where players score points by putting a goat’s carcass in an opponent’s goal- though in recent times musicians have been supplanting the dead animal with a mould.

Read more: https :// www.theguardian.com/ world/ 2017/ dec/ 07/ naples-pizza-twirling-wins-unesco-intangible-status