Jeju women divers gain UNESCO Cultural Heritage of Humanity status

UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage has decided to include the culture of Jeju’s haenyeo women divers on its list of  Intangible Cultural Heritages of Humanity.

108-haenyeowomen-divers-5The committee, which convened for its 2016 meeting in Ethiopia, said the haenyeo culture clearly demonstrated the “region’s unique cultural identity and cultural diversity.”

The designation is expected to help protect the techniques and traditions of haenyeo by potentially increasing public interest and education, as well as leading to new funding and legislation to protect and support the haenyeo’s cultural practices.

Increased international and intercultural communication among countries and communities with similar marine traditions is likely to be an added effect.

The number of practising women divers on Jeju Island is dwindling as they age, and few new haenyeo are being added to their ranks due to the difficulty and dangerous nature of the work.

This makes the haenyeo Korea’s 19th cultural asset to be recognized with the world body’s heritage status. Representatives from 24 nations reviewed some 37 nominees for inclusion in the list, of which 18 were selected.

Jeju Special Self-Governing Province's Governor Won Heeryong (center) and other delegates celebrate with a women diver after learning of the UNESCO inclusion on Dec. 1.
Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Governor Won Heeryong (center) and other delegates celebrate with a women diver in Ethiopia after learning of the UNESCO inclusion.
Did you know?

The 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage has been ratified by 171 states. This was its 11th session.

We’d love to hear your views on the announcement. Please leave your comments!

Connect with us on social media:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/visitjeju.en

Instagram: www.instagram.com/visitjeju.en

Twitter: www.twitter.com/visitjeju_en

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s