Chinese Abacus listed as world heritage
The Zhusuan, otherwise known as the Chinese abacus was officially listed as an intangible cultural heritage at the 8th Annual UNESCO World Heritage Congress on December 4th in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The abacus is an ancient calculating method with a history of over 2,500 years. It is regarded as the fifth invention in Chinese history and was listed as a national-level intangible cultural heritage in 2008.
The abacus's popularity has been compromised over the course of time by the emergence of digital calculators; however, they are still in use in many of China's rural marketplaces. Today, the abacus has a richer value as a cultural symbol rather than a practical calculating tool.
The UNESCO stated that intangible cultural heritage could bring a sense of identification to the people who own it and it is essential to maintaining cultural diversity and human creativity.
Since 2001, China has successfully applied for 37 items to be listed as World Intangible Cultural Heritages, including Kunqu opera, the shadow play and acupuncture.
China currently has 30 intangible cultural heritage items listed by UNESCO, the most among all countries throughout the world. (Source: China Daily)
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China Nantong Abacus Museum, located along the northern bank of the Haohe River, is the world’s largest museum of its kind. It consists of three parts: abacus exhibition hall, academic report hall and abacus training base for children, making it a multifunctional museum for exhibition, research, education, communication and tourism. It houses more than 4,000 volumes of historical abacus records, and 2,000 pieces of abacus items, among which are treasures with priceless historical and cultural value. The museum expresses to the combination of local and abacus cultures, making it an excellent cultural landscape along with its unique building design.