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Kazakh 'aitys' - art of improvisation added to UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

December 3 2015, 16:44

Image 0The Committee for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage meeting in Namibia until 4 December, Wednesday afternoon inscribed 15 new elements on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The Representative List includes forms of expression that testify to the diversity of the intangible heritage and raise awareness of its importance. The review of nominations for inscription on this list is finished for this year, which saw 23 elements inscribed out of a total of 35 that were proposed.

Among the nominations that was included into the List is Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan's Aitysh/Aitys art of improvisation.

Aitysh/Aitys is a contest between two people on poetry improvisation spoken or sung to music of traditional instruments like the Kazakh dombra. The audience chooses the topics and the contestant who demonstrates the best musical skills, rhythm, originality and wit wins. Aitysh/Aitys is a popular cultural component and identity marker of bearer communities in multi-ethnic societies of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, featuring at local festivities or nationwide events often to raise important social issues. Transmission is from older to younger generations.

Source: unesco.org

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