Chinese intangible cultural heritages shine brightly as protection and inheritance strengthened

December 29 13:31 2022

The item “Traditional tea processing techniques and associated social practices in China” was recently added to the intangible cultural heritage list of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

China now has 43 items on the intangible cultural heritage list, continuing to be the most enlisted country in the world.

The traditional tea processing techniques and associated social practices in China consist of knowledge, skills, and practices concerning the management of tea plantations, picking of tea leaves, manual processing, drinking, and sharing of tea.

The item concerns 44 Chinese national tea-related cultural heritages in 15 provinces and regions, covering tea-making skills and related customs of green tea, black tea, oolong, white tea, fermented tea, yellow tea and processed tea.

Photo taken on Dec. 8, 2022 shows the beautiful scenery of a cherry valley on Wuliang Mountain in Yi Autonomous county of Nanjian, southwest China’s Yunnan province. The blooming cherry blossoms and the tea gardens constitute a beautiful scenery, attracting flocks of tourists. (People’s Daily Online/Shi Zhihong)

Tea originated in China and is popular around the world. It is not only a healthy drink but also an advertisement for Chinese culture. Tea-planting and tea-making enjoy a long history in China. Tea-making skills have been inherited by generations and are shared and cherished by many ethnic groups in the country. Tea is also an “envoy” that has facilitated trade exchanges and cultural communication. It vividly mirrors cultural diversity and the creativity of civilizations.

Tea reflects how China gets along with the world and enlightens people. The inscription will surely assist in the protection and inheritance of tea culture, better showcase China’s achievements in intangible cultural heritage protection, and bring tea culture to more and more people around the world.

Many promotional activities were launched across China to popularize knowledge about tea and spread the tea culture. For instance, central China’s Hunan province held an activity to showcase the making of Qianliang tea, Fuzhuan brick tea, and Junshan Yinzhen tea, which are all China’s national intangible cultural heritage items. Hangzhou, in east China’s Zhejiang province, launched a tea art performance to help Chinese tea culture gain more public attention.

What belongs to a nation also belongs to the world. In China, there are numerous other cultural treasures like the tea culture.

For instance, the countdown video featuring the 24 solar terms at the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games amazed the world. At the fifth China International Import Expo, performances about Chinese intangible cultural heritages attracted large groups of people.

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