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Inscriptions to UNESCO

Finland has three inscriptions in the UNESCO Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

As part of the implementation of the UNESCO 2003 Convention, it is possible to make inscriptions to the UNESCO lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage: Representiative List, Urgent Safeguarding List and Register of Good Safeguarding Practises.

Finland’s inscriptions on the UNESCO lists are Sauna culture in Finland (2020), Kaustinen fiddle playing (2021) and Nordic clinkerboat traditions (2021). A multinational application Knowledge, craft techniques and skills related to handmade glass is also pending, with a decision expected in December 2023.

In Finland, listing is carried out on two levels. The wiki-inventory for living heritage presents examples of intangible cultural heritage in Finland and there is a constant search for new inscriptions. From the Wiki-inventory, it is possible to apply for the National Inventory of Living Heritage to which the next submissions will take place in early 2023. From the National Inventory it is possible to make inscriptions for the UNESCO Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Decisions on the inscriptions to be submitted to National Inventory and UNESCO will be made by the Ministry of Education and Culture based on the proposal of the Finnish Heritage Agency and the advisory group on intangible heritage. The schedule for the next national applications on the UNESCO lists is open for the time being. Before making new decisions on the coming nominations, evaluation of the activities and impacts of the past inscriptions needs to be made.

It is also possible for Finland to participate in multinational applications. Finnish actors concerned to express their interest in participating in an initiative led by another country can send a statement of reasons for joining to the Finnish Heritage Agency for evaluation at a time of their choice.

The Finnish Heritage Agency, together with the communities behind the cultural heritage elements, is responsible for the preparation. The Ministry of Education and Culture submits the final application to the UNESCO Living Heritahe Entity. The deadline is the end of March each year and UNESCO processes approximately 50 applications annually. Currently, 584 inscriptions from 131 countries are on UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.

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