UNESCO’s addition of tea processing techniques promotes national culture
President Xi Jinping has called for concrete steps to protect China’s intangible cultural heritage in a systematic way and promote Chinese culture around the world.
Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks in a recent instruction on the protection of intangible cultural heritage after UNESCO added traditional tea processing techniques and associated social practices in China to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on Nov 29.
In the instruction, which was made public on Monday, Xi said that traditional tea processing techniques and associated social practices in China being added to the UNESCO list is greatly significant in promoting the nation’s tea culture.
He underlined the need for solid measures to protect intangible cultural heritage, meet the people’s increasing demand for intellectual and cultural life and boost their cultural confidence and strength.
Efforts should be made to advance the innovative transformation and development of fine traditional Chinese culture, and constantly enhance the cohesion of the Chinese nation and the appeal of Chinese culture, Xi said.
He also called for increasing exchanges and mutual learning with other cultures around the globe, and for striving to make the stories of fine traditional Chinese culture known to the world.
UNESCO added traditional tea processing techniques and associated social practices in China during the 17th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Rabat, Morocco, on Nov 29. Chinese tea bears numerous traditions in terms of preparation, processing, serving and consumption, UNESCO said.
As a document from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to UNESCO explained, tea is ubiquitous in Chinese people’s daily life. Steeped or boiled tea is served in homes, workplaces, tea houses, restaurants and temples, and used as an important medium for communication in socializing and ceremonies.
Tea-related customs are not only found across the country, but also have influenced the rest of the world through the ancient Silk Road and trade routes.
China has 43 items on the intangible cultural heritage list, the highest among all countries.