Germany – Saudi Arabia – Austria – Belgium – United Arab Emirates – Spain – France – Hungary – Italy – Kazakhstan – Morocco – Mongolia – Pakistan – Portugal – Qatar – Syrian Arab Republic – Republic of Korea – Czechia - Falconry, A Living Human Heritage

"Originally a method of obtaining food, the practice of falconry has evolved over time to be more associated with nature conservation, cultural heritage and social engagement within and amongst communities. Following their own set of traditions and ethical principles, falconers train, fly and breed birds of prey (which includes besides falcons, birds such as eagles and hawks) developing a bond with them and becoming their main source of protection. The practice, present in many countries around the world, may vary regarding certain aspects, for example the type of equipment used but the methods remain similar. Falconers regard themselves as a group and may travel weeks at a time engaging in the practice, while in the evenings recounting stories of the day together. They consider falconry as providing a connection to the past, particularly for communities for which the practice is one of their few remaining links with their natural environment and traditional culture. Knowledge and skills are transmitted in an intergenerational manner within families by formal mentoring, apprenticeship or training in clubs and schools. In some countries, a national examination must be passed in order to become a falconer. Field meets and festivals provide opportunities for communities to share knowledge, raise awareness and promote diversity."

Source: UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

Collected: Austria, France, Mongolia, Qatar, UAE, Germany (6 countries)

Missing: Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Hungary, Italy, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Pakistan, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Syria (missing 13 countries)

Postcard 1 - Falconry in France 
Spectacle de Fauconnerie Equestre was held in Provins. Thanks to Sylvie of France who went to see this performance and bought this postcard.

Postcard 2 - Falconry in Mongolia
A postcard of Mongolian falconry. Falconry is now listed in 2010 as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in Mongolia, France, UAE and other countries. This is my 3rd postcard sent from Mongolia. Thanks to Cliffe.

Postcard 3 - Falconry in Qatar
Falconry in Qatar. Thanks to Ashraf of Qatar.

Postcard 4A - Falconry of United Arab Emirates
Falcons are important in UAE. Falcon is seen in the UAE stamps used. Thanks to Cazz of UK for sending this card from Ras Al Khaimal, one of the seven emirates of UAE.

Postcard 4B - Falconry in UAE
Awesome postcard of falconry of UAE. Thanks to Jean-Pierre France for mailing from Sharjah, UAE.

Postcard 4C - Falconry in UAE 
Nice falcon postcard with matching falcon stamps. Thanks to Jean-Pierre of France.

Postcard 4D - Falconry in UAE 
Falcon Center, Dubai, United Arab Emirates with special Dubai Expo 2020 cancelation. Thanks to Jean-Pierre of France. Postmarked March 23, 2022 and arrived on April 1, 2022.

Postcard 4E - Falconry in UAE 
A nice Falconry postcard of Dubai, UAE. Thanks to Jean-Pierre of France.

Postcard 5 - Falconry in Germany 
The falconry motif of a staircase tile of Falkenlust Hunting Lodge, Bruhl, Germany. Falconru is a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in Germany. Thanks to Marcel of Germany.

Switzerland - Fete des Vignerons (Winegrowers' Festival), Vevey

"In Vevey, Switzerland there is a tradition that recognizes the community’s winegrowers involving not only those in the industry but also members of the public and local artists. Originally a single pageant, The Winegrowers’ Festival now features 15 events over three weeks and 5,000 contributors. Every festival is based on the recreation of a traditional theme, such as working the earth and vines, seasonal cycle and brotherhood. Pageants are held throughout the festival, as well as prizes awarded to the best winegrowers, music performances and songs sung such as the Ranz des Vaches (Alpine cow-herder’s song) and processions to the neighbouring town of La Tour-de-Peilz. Costumed extras can also be seen, as well as grotesques (wooden figurines on sticks). Taking place five times every hundred years, The Winegrowers’ Festival involves mainly volunteers who spend several years preparing for it. Transmission occurs within families and by the not-for-profit association the Vevey Brotherhood of Winegrowers, which coordinates the festival and whose members include winegrowers and the general public. The tradition encourages community spirit, helps to maintain the area’s artistic life and provides a sense of cultural continuity while facilitating the know-how of master winegrowers. The next festival will be in 2019."

Source: UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

Fete des Vignerons (Winegrowers' Festival) in Vevey held in 1999. This is a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Switzerland. Thanks to Thibaut of Switzerland.

China - Art of Chinese Seal Engraving

"The art of seal engraving is a cornerstone of Chinese fine arts. The seal was originally used as a signature or sign of authority, but it came to be used by all social classes and in much of Asia. The Seal Engravers’ Society of Xiling in Zhejiang Province, central China, which was founded a century ago, preserves the art of seal engraving along with approximately a hundred other specialized institutions. The design is first sketched on paper, and then engraved on stone, in reverse, with a knife. In addition to mastery of traditional calligraphy, the art of engraving requires a high degree of virtuosity, since the artist works on a tiny surface area where every curve, every thickness of line counts. The very diverse motifs are the fruit of the artist’s imagination and culture. As an instrument of calligraphy and painting, the seal is a work of art in itself. It expresses an entire culture’s ideas about humankind and nature. Today, seals continue to be used in official documents and private correspondence. Even though those understanding the complex characters are ever fewer, the art of seal engraving is still practised by both professionals and amateurs." Source: UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

Postcard 1
Different seals shown at 1998 Shanghai International Festival of Arts. Thanks to Shi of China.

Postcard 2
A cool maxicard of China Seal Engraving - a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. Thanks to Fu Ping of Beijing, China.

China - The Twenty-Four Solar Terms

The Twenty-Four Solar Terms, knowledge in China of time and practices developed through observation of the sun’s annual motion:

"The ancient Chinese divided the sun’s annual circular motion into 24 segments. Each segment was called a specific ‘Solar Term’. The element of Twenty-Four Solar Terms originated in the Yellow River reaches of China. The criteria for its formulation were developed through the observation of changes of seasons, astronomy and other natural phenomena in this region and has been progressively applied nationwide. It starts from the Beginning of Spring and ends with the Greater Cold, moving in cycles. The element has been transmitted from generation to generation and used traditionally as a timeframe to direct production and daily routines. It remains of particular importance to farmers for guiding their practices. Having been integrated into the Gregorian calendar, it is used widely by communities and shared by many ethnic groups in China. Some rituals and festivities in China are closely associated with the Solar Terms for example, the First Frost Festival of the Zhuang People and the Ritual for the Beginning of Spring in Jiuhua. The terms may also be referenced in nursery rhymes, ballads and proverbs. These various functions of the element have enhanced its viability as a form of intangible cultural heritage and sustain its contribution to the community’s cultural identity. Knowledge of the element is transmitted through formal and informal means of education."

Source: UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Postcard 1 - Little Snow 小雪
Nice postcard of 小雪 Little Snow one of the 24 solar terms.  Thanks to Wulifei of China.

Postcard 2 - Autumn center (Equinox) 秋分 
Autumn center (Equinox) 秋分 is one of the 24 solar terms is mailed from Taiwan. Thanks to Maicy of Taiwan.

Postcard 3 - Summer Solstice 夏至
Summer Solstice 夏至"Xia Zhi" is the tenth of the 24 lunar terms in China and part of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. It marks the longest day and shortest night of the year - lotus bloom in Forbidden City, Beijing. Thanks to Edwin of China. Mailed on April 10, 2020 and arrived in Penang on June 10, 2020.

Postcard 4 - Dong Zhi 冬至
Dong Zhi 冬至 Winter poem postcard. Thanks to Yumi of Guangzhou, China.

Postcard 5 - Frost Descent 霜降 
A unique postcard of one of the Chinese 24 Solar Terms - Frost Descent 霜降 Mailed on October 23, 2022 which is Frost Descent Day. This Chinese 24 Solar Terms is a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. Thanks to Fu Ping of Beijing, China.

Austria - Greece - Italy - Transhumance, the seasonal droving of livestock along migratory routes in the Mediterranean and in the Alps

"Transhumance, the seasonal driving of livestock along migratory routes in the Mediterranean and the Alps, is a form of pastoralism. Every year in spring and autumn, thousands of animals are driven by groups of herders together with their dogs and horses along steady routes between two geographical and climatic regions, from dawn to dusk. In many cases, the herders’ families also travel with the livestock. Two broad types of transhumance can be distinguished: horizontal transhumance, in plain or plateau regions; and vertical transhumance, typically in mountain regions. Transhumance shapes relations among people, animals and ecosystems. It involves shared rituals and social practices, caring for and breeding animals, managing land, forests and water resources, and dealing with natural hazards. Transhumant herders have in-depth knowledge of the environment, ecological balance and climate change, as this is one of the most sustainable, efficient livestock farming methods. They also possess special skills related to all kinds of handicraft and food production involved. Festivities during springtime and autumn mark the beginning and end of transhumance, when bearers share food, rituals and stories and introduce younger generations to the practice. Chief herders pass on their specific know-how to the younger generations through daily activities, ensuring the continued viability of the practice."

Source: UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

Transhumance - the seasonal cattle drive in Tirol, Austria is a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. Thanks to Uli of Austria. Received in July 15, 2022.

Azerbaijan - Iran - Kazakhstan - Kyrgyzstan - Turkey - Flatbread making and sharing culture: Lavash, Katyrma, Jupka, Yufka

The culture of making and sharing flatbread in communities of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey carries social functions that have enabled it to continue as a widely-practised tradition. Making the bread (lavash, katyrma, jupka or yufka) involves at least three people, often family members, with each having a role in its preparation and baking. In rural areas, neighbours participate in the process together. Traditional bakeries also make the bread. It is baked using a tandyr/tanūr (an earth or stone oven in the ground), sāj (a metal plate) or kazan (a cauldron). Besides regular meals, flatbread is shared at weddings, births, funerals, various holidays and during prayers. In Azerbaijan and Iran, it is put on the bride’s shoulders or crumbled over her head to wish the couple prosperity while in Turkey it is given to the couple’s neighbours. At funerals in Kazakhstan it is believed the bread should be prepared to protect the deceased while a decision is made from God and in Kyrgyzstan sharing the bread provides a better afterlife for the deceased. The practice, transmitted by participation within families and from master to apprentice, expresses hospitality, solidarity and certain beliefs that symbolize common cultural roots reinforcing community belonging. 

Source: UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

Flat bread making in the village life of Anatolia, Turkey. The making of this bread is a UNESO Intangible Cultural Heritage in Turkey and other neighboring countries. Thanks to Marcel of Germany for this postcard that was sent from Turkey. Appreciate it very much.

Malaysia - Songket

"Songket is a traditional Malaysian handwoven fabric created by women in the Malay Peninsula and Sarawak. The term songket refers to the decorative weaving technique used to make the fabric, which entails inserting gold or silver thread in between the base threads. As a result, the extra threads seem to float over a colourful woven background to create an ornamental effect. Songket is woven using a kek, a traditional, two-pedal floor loom. The final product is a delicate fabric resulting from months of skilled handloom weaving by expert artisans. The weaving technique, which dates back to the sixteenth century, is passed on from generation to generation, and the songket style can be identified by the design patterns that use geometric shapes and organic elements, such as flowers, birds and insects. The songket material was traditionally worn only by royalty and their families. However, today it is used by Malay people all over the country in traditional ceremonial clothing, for royal installations, weddings, births, festive occasions and formal state functions. Although the weaving of songket has always been firmly in the hands of women, men also partake i wearing a royal headgear made of songket.

Source: UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

Postcard 1
Making of songket using traditional handloom. I bought this older postcard in Malaysia.

Postcard 2
Maxicard of the King of Malaysia wearing a royal headgear made of songket material.

Postcard 3
Sultan of Kedah wearing a royal headgear made of songket material.

Thailand - Nora - dance drama in southern Thailand

"Nora is a lively and acrobatic form of dance theatre and improvisational singing from southern Thailand. Performances normally include a long oral invocation, followed by a presentation by a lead character who dances with vigorous and elaborate movements of the legs, arms and fingers. The performances are usually based on stories about the former lives of Buddha or about legendary heroes. An ensemble plays highly rhythmic and fast-paced music, with a traditional southern oboe providing the melody and strong rhythms produced by drums, gongs, cymbals and wooden clappers. The main Nora performers – whether male or female – wear colourful costumes with crowns or headdresses, beads, bird-like wings tied around the waist, ornate scarves, and swan tails that give them a bird-like appearance. Performers also wear long, metallic fingernails that curl out from the fingertips. Nora is a community-based practice with deep cultural and social significance for the people of southern Thailand. Performances use regional dialects, music and literature to reinforce cultural life and social bonds among local people. Over five hundred years old, Nora is performed in local community centres and at temple fairs and cultural events, and is passed on through training by masters in homes, community organizations and educational institutions."

Source: UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

Two Menorah (Nora) dancers in Nakhon Si Thammarat, southern Thailand. I bought this postcard during my first visit to Nakhon Si Thammrarat to buy postcards of its famouse Buddhist temple - not knowing that it will be a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage one day. I cancelled the Thai Asean cultural stamps at Sam Senai Philatelic Museum and Bangkok.

Spain - Valencia Fallas festivity

"The main feature of the Fallas Festivity, a tradition of communities in Valencia and its diaspora celebrating the coming of spring, is the giant falla. The falla is a monument made up of ninots (caricature pieces) created by local artists and craftspeople that provides a commentary on current social issues. Erected in the town square, the falla is set alight at the end of the festivity, which runs from March 14 to 19, to symbolize the coming of spring, purification and a rejuvenation of community social activity. In the meantime, marching bands parade the streets, outdoor meals are held and fireworks staged. Each year, a Fallas Queen is elected to promote the festivity throughout the year encouraging locals and visitors to take part. Know-how associated with the practice is transmitted within families, particularly those involved in the construction of the ninots who belong to different guilds among participating communities. The Fallas Festivity provides an opportunity for collective creativity and the safeguarding of traditional arts and crafts. It is also a source of community pride, contributor to cultural identity and enhances social cohesion. In the past, the festivity was also a way of preserving the Valencian language when it was prohibited."

Source: UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Fallas Festival in Valencia, Spain is a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. Thanks to Rosalia of Sevilla, Spain. Postmarked September 13, 2021 and arrived in Penang island on October 6, 2021.

Singapore - Hawker culture in Singapore, community dining and culinary practices in a multicultural urban context

"Hawker culture in Singapore: community dining and culinary practices in a multicultural urban context is present throughout Singapore. Hawkers prepare a variety of food (‘hawker food’) for people who dine and mingle at hawker centres. These centres serve as ‘community dining rooms’ where people from diverse backgrounds gather and share the experience of dining over breakfast, lunch and dinner. Activities such as chess-playing, busking and art-jamming also take place. Evolved from street food culture, hawker centres have become markers of Singapore as a multicultural city-state, comprising Chinese, Malay, Indian and other cultures. Hawkers take inspiration from the confluence of these cultures, adapting dishes to local tastes and contexts. Today, hawker centres across Singapore continue serving the needs of diverse communities in residential, recreational and work districts. Some of the oldest hawkers started their practice in the 1960s. Many specialize in a particular dish, refined over many years, and transmit their recipes, knowledge and skills to younger family members or apprentices. Community organizations, non-governmental organizations and educational institutions play a significant role in promoting and sustaining hawker culture through training programmes, events and documentation projects. As a social space that embraces people from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, hawker centres play a crucial role in enhancing community interactions and strengthening the social fabric."

Source: UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

Singapore Hainanese Steam Chicken Rice. One of my favorite dish that I like whenever I visit Singapore. It is one of the regular food sold at Singapore Hawker Centres. I bought these this extra long postcard in Singapore in August 2012.

China - Malaysia: Ong Chun/Wangchuan/Wangkang

"Ong Chun/Wangchuan/Wangkang ceremony, rituals and related practices for maintaining the sustainable connection between man and the ocean.

The Ong Chun ceremony and related practices are rooted in folk customs of worshipping Ong Yah, a deity believed to protect people and their lands from disasters. Developed in China’s Minnan region between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries, the element is now centered in the coastal areas of Xiamen Bay and Quanzhou Bay, as well as in the Chinese communities in Melaka, Malaysia. Those who died at sea are considered as ‘good brothers’ who become lonely, wandering souls. The ceremony begins by people gathering at the seaside to welcome Ong Yah to temples or clan halls, while lamp poles are erected to summon ‘good brothers’ and deliver them from torment. In this way, the element has been celebrated as ‘doing good deeds’. Performances head the procession and clear a path for Ong Yah’s barge (wooden or paper-made models). These performances include gaojia and gezai opera, different dances, comprising dragon and lion dances, and puppet shows, among many others. The element evokes the historical memory of ancestors’ ocean-going, reshapes social connections when confronted with emergencies such as shipwrecks, and honours the harmony between man and the ocean. It also bears witness to the intercultural dialogue among communities.

Source: UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage"

Yong Chuan Tian 勇全殿 Tee Ong Yah Temple is located at Bandar Hilir, Melaka, Malaysia. The temple houses the Tee Ong Yah and from where the barge of Wangkang festival begins the procession.

Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen -Date palm, knowledge, skills, traditions and practices

"The date palm has been connected to the regional population of the submitting States for centuries, serving both as the source of numerous associated crafts, professions and social and cultural traditions, customs and practices, and as a key form of nutrition. The date palm is an evergreen plant typically associated with dry climates, where the roots of the plant penetrate deeply into the earth in search of humidity. Bearers and practitioners include date palm farm owners, farmers who plant, nurture and irrigate the date palm offshoots, craftspeople who produce traditional products using various parts of the palm tree, date traders, creative individuals and performers of associated folkloric tales and poems. The Date palm, knowledge, skills, traditions and practices have played a pivotal role in strengthening the connection between people and the land in the Arab region, helping them face the challenges of the harsh desert environment. This historic relationship in the region and the element has produced a rich cultural heritage of related practices between people in the region, knowledge and skills maintained to this day. The cultural relevance and proliferation of the element over the centuries prove how committed the local communities are to sustaining it; this is achieved through collective participation in multiple date-palm related activities and numerous festive rituals, traditions and customs."

Source: UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

Postcard 1
Date palms in Al Ain Oasis, Abu Dhabi. Thanks to Heidi for mailing from UAE.

Postcard 2
Date palms in Fajal Daris of Oman. Thanks to Jean-Pierre of France.