Intangible Cultural Heritage

Description of the initiative / best practice

Intangible Cultural Heritage is UNESCO’s initiative and it is focused on recognizing and preserving intangible cultural heritage. Intangible cultural heritage includes various aspects of a community’s traditions, practices, and knowledge that are not tangible, such as oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, and more. This initiative emphasizes the importance of intangible cultural heritage as a means of maintaining cultural diversity in the face of globalization. It highlights several key points:

  1. Broad Definition: The concept of cultural heritage has evolved over the years, thanks in part to UNESCO’s efforts. It now encompasses more than just physical monuments and objects; it also includes intangible elements that are passed down from one generation to another.
  2. Diverse Aspects: Intangible cultural heritage encompasses a wide range of elements, from oral traditions to traditional crafts, and from rituals to knowledge about nature and the universe. It encompasses both traditional practices and contemporary ones that different cultural groups engage in.
  3. Inclusivity: Intangible cultural heritage is inclusive and can be shared among various communities, regardless of geographic or cultural boundaries. It plays a role in connecting people to their past, present, and future, fostering a sense of identity and continuity.
    4, Representative: It is not valued solely for its uniqueness or exclusivity but is based in communities and relies on the transmission of knowledge, traditions, and customs from one generation to another.
  4. Community-Based: Recognition and preservation of intangible cultural heritage are community-driven. It is up to the communities, groups, or individuals who create, maintain, and transmit these elements to decide what constitutes their heritage.
    The initiative acknowledges that the value of intangible cultural heritage lies not only in the cultural expressions themselves but also in the knowledge and skills that are passed down through them. It highlights the importance of this transmission of knowledge for both minority and mainstream groups within a state, as well as for both developing and developed nations. Ultimately, the initiative underscores the significance of preserving intangible cultural heritage to promote intercultural dialogue, mutual respect, and social cohesion.

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