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Unesco list Yodelling, design and carnival: heritage candidates?

Switzerland has drawn up a shortlist of eight customs for the UNESCO’s list of “intangible cultural heritage”. Some are rather unexpected. (SRF/

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) manages a list of World Heritage Sites of special cultural or physical significance to humanity.

The Jungfrau-Aletsch region in the Alps, Bern’s old town and the convent of St Gallen are among the 11 Swiss sites previously accorded conventional World Heritage status.

Since 2003 UNESCO has been building up an additional list of “intangible” cultural heritage. The list includes practices and expressions that help demonstrate the diversity of national heritage to help raise awareness of their importance as forms of cultural diversity and creative expression.


From 2015 the Swiss government will submit eight deeply rooted traditions as nominees. The list comprises of activities such as yodelling, precision watchmaking, and graphic and typographic design.


Events on the shortlist include ceremonies connected to the Alpine livestock season and the Easter procession in the town of Mendrisio in Ticino, as well as Winzerfest, the winemaker’s festival held every 20 years in Vevey on Lake Geneva, and Fastnacht, the famous carnival festivities in Basel.


The Swiss government still needs to decide on which tradition to submit first. According to UNESCO rules, for each country, only one intangible heritage candidate can be submitted each year.

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