Indonesia on Monday officially registered three items to be recognized as part of world cultural heritage.
“Today, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism is showing its responsibility to preserve Indonesian culture by proposing three cultural treasures to Unesco,” Culture and Tourism Minister Jero Wacik.
The three items are Balinese dance, Papua’s noken woven bag and the Taman Mini Indonesia Indah recreation park, which is a nominee for cultural heritage protection, development and education space.
Nine traditional Balinese dances were proposed to the UN cultural agency, one for each district on the island.
The noken is an iconic bag woven from the fibers of plants related to orchids. It is used by tribal women in Papua to carry everything from roots and produce to young pigs.
Jero said he hoped the process of seeking recognition from Unesco would get more Indonesians interested in the country’s cultural heritage.
While the government hopes to make more proposals to Unesco, he said, it would probably have to wait for the time being.
“Just to be able to propose three items as world heritage, we had to involve thousands of people,” he said. “So I cannot even imagine how many people we would need to propose all of Indonesia’s cultural treasures to Unesco.”
Aside from the three new proposals, Unesco is expected to announce Aceh’s saman dance as a world cultural heritage sometime this year. The dance features the synchronized movements of dancers sitting in a row, and has been used in Aceh as a medium to spread Islamic teachings.