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Salsa is the most representative musical genre of the city of Cali, Colombia. Photo: Sec Cultura de Cali
Salsa is the most popular musical genre in the city of Cali, Colombia. Photo: Sec Cultura de Cali

Salsa caleña joins Colombia's cultural heritage

Salsa Caleña was declared an intangible cultural heritage of Colombia during Cali's 486th birthday.

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Amid the celebration of Cali's 486th anniversary, the Colombian Culture Ministry together with the city's Culture Secretary officially recognized Cali's salsa as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Nation. 

The honors, announced by Culture Minister Angélica Mayolo, were given after the Secretariat of Culture of Cali received approval from the National Heritage Council of the Culture Ministry for the title.

"For Cali this is historic news, which has a global connotation. This heritage exercise allows us to ratify that we are, but that we are willing to take care of what we have walked, to preserve and protect all those narratives, all those stories, those products that Cali has created over the years, but also the challenge is to take new steps, we have to think about the future of salsa and salsa for the world," said Ronald Mayorga, Cali's District Culture Secretary.

Through Twitter, the Culture Ministry wrote that this recognition "seeks to promote the safeguarding of Salsa Caleña, its practices and associated traditions, such as exhibition and competition dances, musical creation, melomania and the creation of costumes."

The process of obtaining recognition started in July 2020, when the 'Complejo Musical Dancístico de la Salsa Caleña' was presented with the Special Safeguard Plan (PES), which is a project to safeguard the Cali salsa culture.

Other heritage in Colombia 

With this new decree, Salsa Caleña joins other musical genres, such as vallenato, champeta and porro, which have also been declared intangible heritages of the nation for their history and tradition. 

The most recent recognition was given to the banda rhythm, known as 'porro,' at the National Porro Festival held in San Pelayo, Córdoba. 

Music is one of the most representative cultural expressions of the different regions of Colombia and that is why it is so important for the Ministry of Culture and citizens to continue safeguarding its legacy in the country. 

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