The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage will meet from 26 November to 1 December in Port Louis, Mauritius, and be chaired by Prithvirajsing Roopun, the host country’s Minister of Arts and Culture.
Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, will take part in the opening of the Committee session, which yearly brings together representatives of 24 States Parties to the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003). The Committee ensures the implementation of this legal instrument, ratified by 178 States to date.
Subjects to be examined during the session will notably include intangible cultural heritage in situations of emergency, and follow up on elements already inscribed on the intangible heritage lists as well as the use of the resources of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund. Several countries will share their experience in implementing safeguarding projects funded by the International Assistance mechanism of the Convention.
The Committee will also decide on seven requests for inscription on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding and 40 requests for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
In addition, two projects have been proposed for inclusion in the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices, which seeks to showcase projects, programmes and activities that best reflect the objectives of the 2003 Convention. The register at present numbers 19 elements.
The List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding features elements of living heritage whose viability is considered under threat. There are currently 52 elements inscribed on this List, which allows State Parties to the Convention to mobilize the necessary international cooperation and assistance to strengthen the transmission of these cultural practices, in agreement with the concerned communities.
Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity now numbers 399 elements. It seeks to enhance visibility for the traditions and know-how of communities without recognizing standards of excellence or exclusivity
The Committee will also examine Albania’s request for international assistance to fund an inventory of its intangible cultural heritage with the participation of local communities.
The Convention promotes the safeguarding of traditions and living expressions handed down from generation to generation, including oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe or the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts.
Seven elements proposed for inscription on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding:
- Algeria: Knowledge and skills of the water measurers of the foggaras or water bailiffs of Touat and Tidikelt
- Azerbaijan: Yalli (Kochari, Tenzere), traditional group dances of Nakhchivan
- Cambodia: Lkhon Khol Wat Svay Andet
- Egypt: Traditional hand puppetry
- Kenya: Enkipaata, Eunoto and Olng’esherr, three male rites of passage of the Maasai community
- Pakistan: Suri Jagek (observing the sun), traditional meteorological and astronomical practice based on the observation of the sun, moon and stars in reference to the local topography
- Syrian Arab Republic: Shadow play
Forty nominations for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:
- Argentina: Chamamé
- Austria, Czechia, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia: Blaudruck/Modrotisk/Kékfestés/ Modrotlač resist block printing and indigo dyeing in Europe
- Austria, Switzerland: Avalanche risk management
- Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkey: Heritage of Dede Qorqud/Korkyt Ata/Dede Korkut, epic culture, folk tales and music
- Bahamas: Strawcraft in the Bahamas
- Bangladesh: Rickshaws and rickshaw painting in Dhaka
- Belarus: Celebration in honor of the Budslaŭ icon of Our Lady (Budslaŭ fest)
- Bosnia and Herzegovina: Picking of iva grass on Ozren mountain
- China: Lum medicinal bathing of Sowa Rigpa, knowledge and practices concerning life, health and illness prevention and treatment among the Tibetan people in China
- Croatia: Međimurska popevka, a folksong from Međimurje
- Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland: Art of dry stone walling, knowledge and techniques
- Cuba: Festivity of Las Parrandas in the centre of Cuba
- Czechia: Handmade production of Christmas tree decorations from blown glass beads
- Democratic People’s Republic of Korea: Ssirum (wrestling) in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
- France: The skills related to perfume in Pays de Grasse: the cultivation of perfume plants, the knowledge and processing of natural raw materials, and the art of perfume composition
- Georgia: Chidaoba, wrestling in Georgia
- Indonesia, Malaysia: Pantun, Malay oral tradition
- Ireland: Hurling
- Jamaica: Reggae music of Jamaica
- Japan: Raiho-shin, ritual visits of deities in masks and costumes
- Jordan: As-Samer in Jordan
- Kazakhstan: Traditional spring festive rites of the Kazakh horse breeders
- Lao People’s Democratic Republic: Traditional art of Naga weaving
- Malawi: Mwinoghe, joyous dance
- Malawi, Zimbabwe: Art of crafting and playing Mbira/Sansi, finger-plucking traditional musical instrument in Malawi and Zimbabwe
- Malaysia: Dondang Sayang
- Mexico: La Romería (the pilgrimage): ritual cycle of 'La llevada' (the carrying) of the Virgin of Zapopan
- Oman: Horse and camel Ardhah
- Panama: Ritual and festive expressions of the Congo culture
- Poland: Nativity scene (szopka) tradition in Krakow
- Republic of Korea: Ssireum, traditional wrestling in the Republic of Korea
- Serbia: Singing to the accompaniment of the Gusle
- Slovenia: Bobbin lacemaking in Slovenia
- Spain: Tamboradas drum-playing rituals
- Sri Lanka: Rūkada Nātya, traditional string puppet drama in Sri Lanka
- Tajikistan: Chakan, embroidery art in the Republic of Tajikistan
- Thailand: Khon, masked dance drama in Thailand
- Tunisia: Pottery skills of the women of Sejnane
- United Arab Emirates: Al Aflaj, traditional irrigation network system in the UAE, oral traditions, knowledge and skills of construction, maintenance and equitable water distribution
- Zambia: Mooba dance of the Lenje ethnic group of Central Province of Zambia
Two proposals for inscription on the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices (which currently features 19 projects):
- Saudi Arabia: Al-Janadria, national festival of heritage and culture
- Sweden: Land-of-Legends programme, for promoting and revitalizing the art of storytelling in Kronoberg Region (South-Sweden)
The Committee meeting will take place at the Swami Vivekananda International Convention Centre (SVICC).
A press briefing will be held on Monday 26 November at 12.30 pm
Journalists wishing to cover it need to register here: https://ich.unesco.org/en/registration-01006
Press resources: https://ich.unesco.org/en/13com-press
More information and live streaming of the session: https://ich.unesco.org/en/13com
Lucía Iglesias Kuntz, UNESCO press service, firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel: +33(0)145681702 and, as of 26 November, at Port Louis: +33(0)680240729
Follow the meeting on Twitter: @unesco, #IntangibleHeritage #LivingHeritage