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Greece’s National Intangible Cultural Heritage Index Adds 16 New Elements

The making of the traditional Limnos cheese is just one of the many cultural practices of Greece’s rich heritage. Photo credit: Greek Culture Ministry

Greece’s Ministry of Culture recently announced that 16 new elements will be incorporated into Greece’s National Directory of Intangible Cultural Heritage for the first time since 2008.

According to Culture Minister Lina Mendoni, “The 16 elements registered in the National Directory of Intangible Cultural Heritage reflect aspects of Greek popular expression and creativity, whether in music and dance, know-how and traditional ways of cultivation that promote the sustainable management of natural resources. Intangible cultural heritage is our collective identity.”

The National Directory of Cultural Heritage includes oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and traditional crafts.

With the recognition of 16 additional elements, Greece currently has a total of 55 entries within the directory itself, further expanding the scope of cultural heritage and practices.

Mendoni further added that this “demonstrates the importance we give to the protection of oral traditions and expressions, to social practices and festive events, to knowledge concerning nature, to the know-how associated with traditional handicraft; to all those elements that make up Greek folk tradition and our intangible cultural heritage.”

The new 16 elements are:

  1. The Genitsaroi and Boules tradition of Naoussa.
  2. The popular guitar used in the “Laiko” music genre.
  3. Elefsina’s Mesosporitissa ritual.
  4. The traditional water management practices of Lassithi, Crete.
  5. Englouvi’s Lentils, Lefkada.
  6. Lefkada’s “porsnaiko” knife.
  7. The Argoustaria tradition of Kastoria.
  8. The open-air festival of Agia Agathi, Aitoliko.
  9. The cheese-making tradition of Limnos (melihloro/melipasto).
  10. The “stafnokari” fishing tradition of Aitoliko.
  11. The Nea Aghialos vine cultivation.
  12. The Kykles dance of the Ioannina region.
  13. The cultivation and processing of tobacco in Macedonia and Thrace.
  14. The Olympos feast, Karpathos.
  15. The Ai Giorgis ritual of Ano Doliana, Arcadia.
  16. The art pottery tradition of the Kourtzis family, Lesvos.

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