Chinese shadow puppetry joins intangible heritage list

Last Updated: Nov 28, 2011, 19:58 PM IST

Paris: Chinese shadow puppetry has been added to the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity along with Belgian Leuven age set ritual repertoire, the UN cultural agency said in a statement Sunday.

The Inter-governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage meeting in Bali, Indonesia until Nov 29 inscribed Saturday two elements from China and Belgium on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, Xinhua reported.

Chinese shadow puppetry is a form of theatre whereby colourful silhouette figures perform traditional plays against a back-lit cloth screen, accompanied by music and singing.

Puppeteers make the figures from leather or paper and manipulate them by means of rods to create the illusion of moving images.

Belgium`s age sets of Leuven, which is a decade-long rite of passage for men who share the same year of birth, was also inscribed on the list.

As per this ritual, men form their group at age forty and participate in social and cultural activities that culminate 10 years later with a celebration around the city`s statue of the prophet Abraham. Each age set chooses its own medal, flag and uniform, and has a `godfather` a decade older.

The age set rituals provide participants and the entire city with a strong sense of identity.

The Committee is expected to evaluate 35 more nominations for their eventual inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as the session continues in Bali.

IANS