Tereré Is Recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage

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Practices and traditional knowledge of Tereré in the culture of Pohã Ñana, Guaraní ancestral drink in Paraguay are now considered to be an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Practices and traditional knowledge of Tereré in the culture of Pohã Ñana, Guaraní ancestral drink in Paraguay are now considered to be an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).


The 15th Session of the Intergovernmental Committee of the UNESCO 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage (15.COM) took place online from 14 to 19 December 2020. During the 15th Session, the Committee evaluated nominations submitted by States Parties and decided whether to inscribe those cultural practices and expressions of living heritage on the Lists of the Convention.

Tereré was among the 41 elements for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2020, and one of the 29 elements that were inscribed on that list this year. Submitting state presented a short film ‘Practices and traditional knowledge of Terere in the culture of Pohã Ñana, Guaraní ancestral drink in Paraguay’ as part of their application.


UNESCO recognized the significance of tereré in Paraguayan culture, describing it as “an intimate ritual involving a series of pre-established codes”. In their inscription the organization also noted that “the time and space dedicated to preparing and consuming the Tereré promote inclusion, friendship, dialogue, respect and solidarity”. This is the first inscription on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists for Paraguay, which now feature elements from a total of 131 States.

Minister of Culture of Paraguay, Rubén Capdevila, already called this inscription a “legendary achievement”. He also added that Paraguayan people are proud to obtain a worldwide recognition of their national cultural manifestation.

Tereré is an infusion of yerba mate, similar to mate but prepared with ice-cold water. Pohã Ñana, aka yuyos (medicinal herbs) are often added to increase healing attributes of the infusion. Tereré is the most popular way of consuming yerba mate in Paraguay.

An Intangible Cultural Heritage is a practice, representation, expression, knowledge, or skill considered by UNESCO to be part of a place’s cultural heritage. Intangible heritage consists of nonphysical intellectual wealth, such as folklore, customs, beliefs, traditions, knowledge, and language.


Why is it important that tereré is now recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage? The inscription allows UNESCO to safeguard the cultural heritage of Guaraní as well as to raise awareness at the local, national and international levels of the importance of tereré, and of ensuring mutual appreciation thereof.

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