Rebetiko included in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity List



Greece's much loved rebetiko music genre, otherwise referred to as the Greek blues has been included on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list, joining the centuries-old custom of the “Momoeria” held annually in the wider Kozani region, the Mediterranean Diet, the traditional harvesting and produce of mastic on the island of Chios and the marble mastery of Tinos.

The decision was announced last week during the 12th session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) on Jeju island in the Republic of Korea.


According to UNESCO: “The rebetiko songs contain invaluable references to the customs, practices and traditions of a particular way of life, but above all the practice is a living musical tradition with a strong symbolic, ideological and artistic character”.

The UNESCO evaluation body also praised Greece for the actions being taken to safeguard the genre and its quality as well as for the educational programs currently being offered which highlight its importance and pass on know-how to the younger generations.

GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.