Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 18.COM 8.B.4

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Peru has nominated Practices and meanings associated with the preparation and consumption of ceviche, an expression of Peruvian traditional cuisine (No. 01952) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

Ceviche is a traditional dish in Peru prepared with raw fish marinated in lemon, seasoned with chili pepper and salt and accompanied with locally grown produce. The dish is consumed both on a daily basis and during festivities. It is associated with moments of celebration and social gathering, as well as with rituals, particularly the festivity of Saint Peter, patron saint of artisanal fishers. Ceviche can be made at home or sold in traditional spaces such as cevicherías, where the work of traditional female cooks stands out. Its preparation and consumption entail specific practices, knowledge and meanings at each stage, from fishing to cultivating the ingredients and preparing the dish. As recipes vary from one region to the next, the dish also strengthens regional cultural identity. The knowledge and techniques are generally transmitted within families. This can be complemented by training programmes, for instance to contribute to the proper management of natural resources. Bearers see a direct correlation between the quality and flavour of the dish and local and sustainable produce. As a result, they have developed community measures for the protection and recovery of traditional ingredients, such as various species of fish.

  1. Considers that, from the information included in the file, the nomination satisfies the following criteria for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

R.1: The preparation and consumption of ceviche is part of a complex system that includes culinary styles, inherited knowledge and techniques, as well as cultural meanings and values relating to all stages of the process. Bearers and practitioners are fishers and their families, local farming families, cooks in seafood restaurants, and the Peruvians who consume ceviche or prepare it at home. Fishing and boat-making skills are passed down orally and through practice. Farming skills are transmitted within families and supplemented with training courses provided by public and private institutions. Culinary skills are passed down within families and in cultural spaces. The element is also transmitted during the annual Feast of San Pedro, which includes the consumption of ceviche. Ceviche culture provides employment opportunities for communities while strengthening regional and national cultural identity.

R.2:   Inscription would lead to spreading awareness about food practices and their link to sustainable management of natural resources (notably marine and agricultural ecosystems), as well as well-being and sustenance. Ceviche as a space of encounter and a symbol of the country’s diversity and creativity, inscription would also underscore the role of intangible heritage in supporting the economic viability of communities and contributing to social and economic recovery from crises. Dialogue, especially around the cultural diversity of the practice, will be promoted throughout various communities in Peru and across Latin America.

R.3:   Past and current safeguarding measures include transmission and sustainability of the element. Proposed safeguarding measures cover a wide range of stakeholders (such as poets and musicians) and include: (i) contributing to the sustainability of the necessary resources for preparing and consuming ceviche; (ii) strengthening the transmission of the related practices, knowledge and meanings; (iii) promoting and disseminating the element and its components; and (iv) increasing the capacity of stakeholders. To implement the safeguarding measures, a multisectoral committee will be established with government ministries and departments, as well as a network of urban and rural municipalities. A consultative body of the committee will also be created for coordinating the implementation of the safeguarding measures, in collaboration with intersectoral working groups.

R.4:   A multisectoral working group was created to define the element for the nomination file. The preparation of the nomination was carried out with the participation of numerous collectives of bearers, who work together with public and private institutions related to fishing, aquaculture, agriculture, environment, culture, health and trade. Attached to the nomination are consent letters indicating the free, prior and informed consent of a large number of community members and organizations who participated in the nomination process.

R.5:   At the request of the Congress of the Republic representing citizens, the element was declared Cultural Heritage of the Nation through National Resolution RDN 241/INC-2004, a participatory inventory of intangible cultural heritage. The inventory is managed by the Directorate of Intangible Heritage under the Ministry of Culture. It was updated in 2019 and 2021 with the participation of individuals and organizations associated with fishing, aquaculture, agriculture and traditional cuisine.

  1. Decides to inscribe Practices and meanings associated with the preparation and consumption of ceviche, an expression of Peruvian traditional cuisine on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
  2. Commends the State Party for producing a good quality video that provides a detailed visual presentation of the cultural practices associated with the element;
  3. Further commends the State Party for a well-prepared file that features strong participation of the communities, groups and individuals concerned and that places the element within its social and cultural context.