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Georgia's 'chidaoba' wrestling joins UNESCO heritage list

AFP  |  Tbilisi 

A centuries-old form of Georgian traditional called chidaoba on Thursday won recognition from as a global cultural asset.

The cultural and scientific agency announced at a meeting in it had added the ex-Soviet country's martial art to its list of intangible cultural heritage.

The small mountainous country rich in and history already has listings for its three alphabets, polyphonic singing and a unique winemaking technique using pottery jars stored underground.

At a meeting in Mauritius, also announced the inclusion of Korean and reggae music in its register of intangible that is worthy of protection and promotion.

Descriptions of chidaoba techniques and codes of chivalry for champions appear in ancient Georgian manuscripts.

Combining elements of wrestling, music, and dance, chidaoba has played an important role in Georgia's social and cultural life over the centuries and remains popular throughout the country.

It was an essential part of training for in the 13th century but by the late Middle Ages, it had lost any combat function and tournaments were held as festive events in rural and urban communities.

The tournaments are accompanied by traditional music instruments and usually end with wrestlers performing folk dances.

A match lasts for five minutes, during which wrestlers wearing traditional high-necked woollen coats try to defeat their opponent using various holds.

The winner is determined by the number of points he gains and how often the fighter pins his opponent to the ground.

Intentional kicks, offensive blows, using holds on a felled opponent, and creeping up on an adversary who is kneeling in a defensive position are all forbidden.

Chidaoba skills are passed from generation to generation in many families as well as at specialised schools and almost every small village has its own chidaoba club.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 29 2018. 18:21 IST