Phnom Penh, Nov 30 (IANS): Kun Lbokator, Cambodia's traditional martial art, has been inscribed on the Unesco's representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity,
The inscription was made on Tuesday during the 17th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Rabat, Morocco, Xinhua news agency quoted a government statement as saying.
"This is a great success and a new source of pride for the nation, that was born of high commitment and strong efforts made by the government under the wise leadership of Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has always protected and promoted the value of national cultural heritage," it said.
According to a statement posted on the Unesco's website, Kun Lbokator was listed on the representative list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Kun Lbokator is a martial art dating back to the first century, aiming to develop the mental and physical strength and discipline of its practitioners through self-defence techniques and a philosophy of non-violence, the news release said.
The training is not only about physical techniques and skills, but also about mental disciplines on how to respect nature and behave with decorum in society.
"Masters, some of whom are believed to have healing and protective powers, lecture their apprentices about their roles and responsibilities in society so that, once they have mastered the necessary skills, they can protect vulnerable communities and the natural environment and stand up for justice and peace," the Unesco statement said.
Kun Lbokator is still actively performed as part of ritual offerings to local deities and in other festive events, along with elements such as dance, music and traditional medicine, it added.
An embodiment of the country's social, cultural and religious values, Kun Lbokator is widely practiced among Cambodians, regardless of their age, gender and educational background or status, the news release said.
To date, the Southeast Asian nation has three tangible cultural properties and six intangible cultural heritages listed on Unesco's prestigious world heritage list.
The listed tangible cultural properties include the Angkor Archaeological Park, Preah Vihear Temple, and Sambor Prei Kuk Archaeological Site, while the listed intangible cultural heritages are the Royal Ballet; Sbek Thom or Khmer Shadow Puppetry; tug-of-war game; Chapei Dang Veng, a long-necked, two-stringed lute; Lkhon Khol Wat Svay Andet, a masked dance-theatre; and Kun Lbokator.