- Takes note that China has nominated Chinese Zhusuan, knowledge and practices of arithmetic calculation through the abacus for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, described as follows:
Chinese Zhusuan is the knowledge and practice of mathematical calculation through moving beads on an abacus. The abacus is made of bamboo or wood in the shape of a rectangle, divided horizontally into two decks with a string of five beads (one in the upper deck and four in the lower) or a string of seven beads (two in the upper deck and five in the lower). Each bead in the upper deck has a value of five while each in the lower has a value of one. A typical abacus has thirteen to nineteen rods connecting the beads. Zhusuan practitioners can perform mathematical calculations including addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, exponential multiplication and higher equations. Zhusuan formulas have easy-to-learn rhymes that represent the specific calculation rules and summarize the calculation practices. This has played a vital role in preserving and promoting the heritage. Beginners can make quick mental calculations after a little training, and skilful practitioners develop an agile mind. Zhusuan is transmitted from generation to generation through oral teaching. China and many other countries have Zhusuan clubs and associations that are responsible for teaching, research and organizing competitions.
- Decides that, from the information provided in nomination file 00426, Chinese Zhusuan, knowledge and practices of arithmetic calculation through the abacus satisfies the criteria for inscription on the Representative List, as follows:
R.1: Chinese Zhusuan is considered as a cultural symbol of Chinese identity as well as a practical tool that is transmitted from generation to generation;
R.2: The inscription of Chinese Zhusuan on the Representative List could contribute to enhancing visibility of the intangible cultural heritage;
R.3: Current efforts to protect and promote Chinese Zhusuan are described and the proposed safeguarding measures are supported by the State Party and organizations concerned;
R.4: The element has been nominated with the active participation of bearers, scholars, organizations and regional and national authorities, and their free, prior and informed consent is demonstrated.
- Further decides that the information provided in nomination file 00426, Chinese Zhusuan, knowledge and practices of arithmetic calculation through the abacus is not sufficient to allow the Committee to determine whether the criterion for inscription on the Representative List is satisfied, as follows:
R.5: The State is requested to provide further information to demonstrate that the element is included in an inventory of the intangible cultural heritage present in its territory, as defined in Articles 11 and 12 of the Convention, as required in criterion R.5 of paragraph 2 of the Operational Directives.
- Decides to refer the nomination of Chinese Zhusuan, knowledge and practices of arithmetic calculation through the abacus to the submitting State Party and invites it to resubmit the nomination providing the additional information specified as regards criterion R.5, with a view to its reexamination and potential inscription of the element by the Committee in a subsequent cycle.