The process of making kimchi, Korea’s iconic side dish, entered the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritages on Thursday, according to the South Korean government.
UNESCO selected “kimjang,” a term coined to describe Korea’s tradition of making and sharing kimchi in the fall, as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity at the eighth Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Bak Sang-mee, member of the Intangible World Heritage Section of the Cultural Heritage Committee, said the UN’s cultural body recognized “kimjang” as a significant social practice as Koreans often make kimchi ahead of the country’s long winter to share with family, friends and neighbors.
“[Kimjang] is not only recognized as a culinary culture,” Bak told Arirang TV. “Social function and meaning are associated with kimchi-making.”
Kimjang becomes UNESCO’s 16th South Korean item, followed by the likes of jesa (ancestral royal rites), pansori (instrument performance) and gang-gang-sullae (5,000-year-old dance on Korean Thanksgiving).
The South Korean government said it expects kimchi’s induction to UNESCO will raise the visibility and significance of Korean culture around the world.