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May 29, 2020

Thanakha submitted to UNESCO for intangible cultural heritage

Myanmar Thanakha, which is one of the favourite products of the local people to apply on their face, was submitted at the end of March as a world’s intangible cultural heritage to be nominated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), said Member U Ye Myat Aung of Intangible Cultural Heritage Promotion Committee under the Archeology and National Museum Department.

Myanmar Thanakha bark being sold in the market.  Photo: Min Htet Aung (Man sub- printing house)
Myanmar Thanakha bark being sold in the market.  Photo: Min Htet Aung (Man sub- printing house)

There are many intangible cultural heritages in Myanmar. But most are not yet listed in UNESCO. So, Myanmar will add the traditional Thanakha, which has been in use for more than 1,000 years and which remains up to these modern years. Myanmar Thanakha is found to meet the five norms. So, we have been attempting to nominate our Thanakha starting from January 2020 for being put on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Myanmar will receive technical assistance from UNESCO for the preservation of Thanakha if it is listed.
“Myanmar has nominated Thanakha as an intangible cultural heritage at the end of this month to UNESCO. To be nominated in UNESCO, our department has established the Myanmar Intangible Cultural Heritage Promotion Committee in cooperation with other Thanakha associations. The survey over the use of Thanakha was conducted across the country. The Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture has also surveyed on the social website (Facebook). Moreover, Myanmar submitted a form at the end of March after completing all the necessary information. Our Thanakha matches the standards of the UNESCO. We have submitted the forms together with the video records related to the use of Thanakha. The UNESCO holds its meeting every three months and chooses the items for putting them on the list of tangible and intangible cultural heritages. Myanmar will know the result in next December 2021 as to whether Thanakha will be listed in UNSECO or not,” he noted.
There are more than 200 countries in the world. Among them, 198 countries are members of the UNESCO. A total of 508 intangible cultural heritages from 122 countries have been named in the UNESCO world heritage list. About 33 intangible cultural heritages from seven ASEAN countries have been named by UNESCO. —Min Htet Aung (Man sub- printing house) (Translated by Hay Mar)

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