The 11th session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage has concluded with the inscription of 33 new elements on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, as well as four elements in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. A special financial assistance was awarded for the urgent safeguarding of Chapei Dang Veng, a musical form in Cambodia, with programmes for young masters and training of teachers to ensure the transmission of the artform.
The Committee brings together the representatives of 24 States Parties to UNESCO’s Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and aims to decide on measures to safeguard oral traditions and expressions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe and the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts, which constitute intangible heritage.
During the meeting, the Committee selected five programmes, which will be included on the Register of Best Safeguarding Practices, which seeks to promote programmes, projects and activities that optimally reflect the Convention’s principles and objectives:
Austria — Regional Centres for Craftsmanship: a strategy for safeguarding the cultural heritage of traditional handicraft
Bulgaria — Festival of folklore in Koprivshtitsa: a system of practices for heritage presentation and transmission
Croatia — Community project of safeguarding the living culture of Rovinj/Rovigno: the Batana Ecomuseum
Hungary — Safeguarding of the folk music heritage by the Kodály concept
Norway — Oselvar boat – reframing a traditional learning process of building and use to a modern context
This year, the Committee also inscribed four elements on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding as well as 33 elements on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The Committee also approved the granting of financial assistance totalling US$230,000 to Cambodia for the urgent safeguarding of Chapei Dang Veng, a musical tradition which features a lute (a chapei) accompanied by the performer singing. There are only two surviving great masters of the chapei but they do not practice it actively because of their age. The safeguarding plan submitted by Cambodia, in consultation with artistic and educational organizations, includes the training of chapei teachers, fellowship programmes for young masters, as well as a festival.
Read about new inscriptions in Japan
Read about Chapei Dang Veng in The Cambodia Daily
Image: Kong Nay reclines with his chapei dang veng last month in Kampot province. (Cambodian Living Arts)