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  • Making Airag in Khokhuur inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage

    Khokhuur

    At the 14th Session of UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, that took place on December 11 in Bogota city of Colombia, Mongolian traditional technique of making Airag in Khokhuur and its associated customs has been inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

    The traditional technique of making Airag in Khokhuur and its associated customs includes the production of Airag, a fermented beverage made from mare’s milk, and related equipment, such as the khokhuur (cowhide vessel). To prepare Airag, freshly-milked mare’s milk is churned inside the khokhuur over 500 times, using a starter to assist fermentation. Airag is a nutritious beverage, a staple in the Mongolian diet. Bearers and practitioners inherit the related knowledge from their parents, keeping the thousands’ years old tradition alive.

    In his speeches delivered at the meeting, Minister of Education, Culture, Science and Sports Yo.Baatarbileg expressed gratitude on behalf of the Mongolian people and the Government of Mongolia to member states of the committee, the UNESCO Secretariat, the Evaluation Body and other corresponding officials, who supported recording of traditional technique of making Airag in Khohuur and its associated customs of Mongolia on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The Minister also voiced to pay special attention on the conservation and safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage in the future and make efforts to ensuring its existence.

    Assistant Director-General for Culture of UNESCO Mr. Ernesto Ottone extended gratitude to the people of Mongolia and wished success. Cultural representatives of governments of countries congratulated and wished success as well.

    Khikhuur 2

    Technique of making Airag in Khokhuur and its associated customs is the 15th element that got registered by Mongolia on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Since its joining in UNESCO 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, a total of 14 cultural elements of Mongolia have been inscribed on the list in 2008-2019. It includes:

    On the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

    1. Traditional music of the Morin Khuur (2008)
    2. Urtiin duu, traditional folk long song (2008)
    3. Naadam, Mongolian traditional festival (2010)
    4. Mongolian traditional art of khoomei (2010)
    5. Falconry, a living human heritage (together with 12 nations) (2016)
    6. Traditional craftsmanship of the Mongol Ger and its associated customs (2013)
    7. Mongolian knuckle-bone shooting (2014)

    On the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding:

    1. Mongol Tuuli, Mongolian epic (2009)
    2. Mongol Biyelgee, Mongolian folk dance (2009)
    3. Traditional music of the Tsuur (2009)
    4. Folk long song performance technique of Limbe performances- circular breathing (2011) 
    5. Mongolian Calligraphy (2013)
    6. Coaxing ritual for camels (2015)
    7. Mongolian traditional practices of worshipping the sacred sites