Andalusia’s ‘white towns’ bid for UNESCO recognition of their traditions

Frigiliana, Andalusia. Image via Canva.
Frigiliana, Andalusia. Image via Canva.

A pueblo blacno of Andalusia is campaigning to have a local tradition of charlas al fresco (‘fresh-air chats’) officially recognised by UNESCO’s World Heritage Intangible list.

José Carlos Sánchez, mayor of Algar, who launched the bid, describes the tradition:

“We all bring chairs into the street to spend time with our friends and neighbours. It’s been happening as long as anyone can remember”.

Even during the pandemic, masked locals would take part in large, neighbourhood chats from their doorsteps.

Sánchez worries that the tradition is being lost, especially as young people turn to social media for communication. Gema Carrera Díaz, director of the Atlas of the Andalusian Immaterial Heritage, believes that the bid for recognition can revitalise the community, and connect local people through a shared heritage.

Read the full story at National Geographic.

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