The United Nations culture body UNESCO on Wednesday granted heritage recognition for tug of war, a traditional game played regularly in northern Vietnam and several rice-cultivating countries in the region.
Vietnam joined Cambodia, the Philippines and South Korea to file the application, which describes tug of war as a ritual to pray for favorable weather and bumper crops among many communities in Southeast Asia and East Asia.
The practice varies in each country, reflecting their distinctive environment, history and culture, it said.
In Vietnam, tug of war is played most regularly in Lao Cai, Vinh Phuc and Bac Ninh Provinces in northern Vietnam, as well as Hanoi.
The game is also popular to communities in the Philippines’ northern city Hungduan, those around the Great Lake of Tonle Sap, near the Angkor temples site, and three provinces in South Korea.