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Dictionary of Intangible Cultural Heritage Published
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The Encyclopedia of China's Intangible Cultural Heritage was published Friday, introducing many national intangible masterpieces including the Spring Festival, Peking Opera, acupuncture and Shaolin Kungfu, using more than 3,000 pictures and 600,000 Chinese characters.


"The book provides very rare data for protection and study of intangible cultural heritage, and will significantly raise awareness of the need to protect China's heritage," said vice cultural minister Zhou Heping on Friday.


China's State Council included 518 items in 10 categories, including folk literature, folk music and dance, traditional opera, ballad singing, cross-talk, acrobatics, folk fine arts, traditional handicraft, traditional medicine and folk customs, on June 2 last year.


The items included in the book were selected by a jury organized by the Ministry of Culture and the Academy of Arts of China (AAC).


The encyclopedia, published by the Culture and Arts Publishing House, shows the distribution, history, status and cultural value of the items.


"We still have a lot of work to do to protect our heritage, such as better recording and study and training of staff," said Fang Lili, member of the National Expert Committee for the Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection Work.


UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity has listed four items from China since 2001. They are the 500-year-old Kunqu Opera, known for its graceful movements and poetic lyrics; the 3,000-year-old guqin seven-string zither; the Twelve Mukams, a 12-part suite of ancient Uygur music; and the Pastoral Song sung by a Mongolian ethnic group.


(China Daily via Reuters April 14, 2007)


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