The tango has been granted protected cultural status by UNESCO — a ruling that will be celebrated in Argentina and Uruguay, both of which claim to be the birthplace of the sensual dance.
The decision was taken by 400 delegates from the UN cultural organisation at a meeting in Abu Dhabi. A total of 76 living arts and traditions from 27 countries were safeguarded as part of humanity’s “intangible cultural heritage”.
“We are very proud,” Hernán Lombardi, the culture minister for Buenos Aires, said. “Tango is a feeling that can be danced, and that feeling, of course, is passion.” Argentina and Uruguay could now be eligible for financial aid from a fund intended to safeguard cultural traditions.
Almost half the new additions were of Chinese or Japanese origin, including silkworm farming and a 7th-century rice harvest ritual. The practices will enjoy the same protection offered to physical treasures such as the Great Wall of China.