What is Your Intangible Cultural Heritage?

I spent the past week in Istanbul attending the wedding of a cousin. 

As is the case when I travel, I made a point of researching both the tangible, and intangible, treasures I wanted to experience and explore while I was there.

What is an intangible treasure, you ask?

Well, UNESCO has a (constantly updated) list of the intangible cultural heritage of every country. 

(FYI: Turkey’s include tile making– hence, the photo, above– flatbread-making, coffee culture, whistled language, and oil wrestling.) 

All of which got me thinking about the importance of defining a personal, intangible cultural heritage. 

An idea which felt particularly poignant at a wedding because–just as a country, or a company, might have a cultural heritage– a couple, or family, can define and refine the cultural heritage they wish to create/embody. 

As an example, the couple getting married had requested—in lieu of tangible gifts—that guests contribute to a scholarship education fund (they are both professors.)

A beautiful, intangible heritage.

If this inspires you, as it did me, I hope you take a moment to browse UNESCO’s list, and contemplate what you wish your intangible, cultural heritage to be.

For more on the impact of an intangible, cultural heritage look at https://www.francescolejones.com/2020/02/whats-your-intangible-cultural-heritage/.