Chinese Tai Chi (太极) and Finnish Sauna
Tai Chi (太极) has been inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list last Thursday. Tai Chi, short for Tàijí quán (太極拳), is an internal Chinese martial art practiced for defense training, health benefits, and meditation.
The concept of the taiji appears in both Taoist and Confucian Chinese philosophy. The centuries old traditional exercise is characterized by circular movements and channeling the body’s vital energy, or qi, and is widely practiced in China and all over the world. Although rooted in martial arts, its tenets of meditation and regulated breathing have helped it gain broad popularity as a therapeutic exercise. It is estimated that over 100 million people today practice Tai Chi on a regular basis with parks in China a popular spot.
Tai Chi joins other Chinese cultural heritages on the UNESCO list such as Peking opera, Dragon Boat Festival, traditional calligraphy, acupuncture, and mathematical calculations with the abacus.
I was also happy to see another of my favorite cultural heritages added on the UNESCO list this year; the wonderful sauna culture in Finland :-)
source: unesco, sixthtone