How do you capture the entire character of a culture that has no written record, has lived for centuries in relative isolation and exists in complete harmony with one of the world’s most extreme environments?
“Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; Teach a man to fish and he will feed his whole village!”
UNESCO and the world’s foundations have come to understand that current measures provide short term fixes, generally, and a more long term approach to solving the world’s various problems is required. UNESCO in their latest annual report dedicated all 454 pages to the importance of Cultural Diversity and Safeguarding Intangible World Heritages. Why is UNESCO seeing these initiatives as the only viable strategies for protecting our communal, global future?
UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage initiative in detail. protecting and preserving oral traditions, history and knowledge of 90 cultures globally. According to the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, the intangible cultural heritage (ICH) – or living heritage – is the mainspring of our cultural diversity and its maintenance a guarantee for continuing creativity.
The Convention states that the ICH is manifested, among others, in the following domains:
- Oral traditions and expressions including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage;
- Performing arts (such as traditional music, dance and theatre);
- Social practices, rituals and festive events;
- Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe;
- Traditional craftsmanship.
The 2003 Convention defines ICH as the practices, representations, expressions, as well as the knowledge and skills, that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognise as part of their cultural heritage. Continue reading