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Saman Dance to be Nominated as UNESCO World Heritage

NUSA DUA, medicine - Aceh’s Saman dance is to be nominated for recognition as an intangible world cultural heritage at the 6th session of the UNESCO Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage being held here from November 22 to 29, 2011.

Education and Culture Minister Mohammad Nuh said at a press conference here on Tuesday the Saman dance was selected as a nominee because it was considered the most in need of an evaluation by UNESCO.

"We have of course studied a lot of cultural heritages and are wanting to register them. But, out of all the possibilities, the Saman dance was the most ready. Culture should not be dominated by Java, because other regions also have plenty of unique objects," the minister said.

Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said the whole Indonesian community agreed the Saman dance urgently needed to be nominated for world cultural heritage status.

"It’s from the community, and it is the most urgent need of recognition. We are worried that if it is not registered immediately, another nation may claim it as being theirs," she said.

To prevent another country from claiming the Saman dance, the dance must be acknowledged, preserved, and promoted, she said. "And, of course, by making documentation about the culture," the minister added.

The Saman dance was unique because the dance does not need music, and the dancers just sing and clap their hands together to create harmony in movement and sound.

In 2012, Indonesia would nominate Noken from Papua, a Balinese dance, and the Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature Park (TMII) to be included in the UNESCO’s list of intangible world cultural heritage.The Indonesian government will provide 10 million US dollars for the preservation, identification and promotion of the intangible world cultural heritage.

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