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[China] Strengthening national capacities for safeguarding ICH: training of trainers for Asia and the Pacific

To implement such workshops over the coming years, UNESCO has been developing a global network of experts who will be well trained in the curricula and methods framed by the International Training Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region. This meeting held in Beijing, China, from 10 to 14 January 2011 was one in a series of workshops devoted to the ‘training of trainers’ in different regions from January to March 2011 to introduce a training curriculum and create a network of expert trainers.

The workshop was hosted by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China, in cooperation with the International Training Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region, and made possible through the generous support of the Government of China.

[Japan] Training Course for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage 2011

‘The International Partnership Programme on the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) Training Course for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage 2011’ was organized by the National Institute for Cultural Heritage and Agency for Cultural Affairs in Japan with UNESCO Member States from Asia and the Pacific, on 1-5 February 2011, in Tokyo, Osaka and Shiga, Japan.

This training course was part of the International Partnership Programme for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, which aimed to provide participants with knowledge about the Japanese systems for safeguarding ICH, and to contribute to the establishment of the International ICH Network and its future activities.

In 2011, the programme focused on ‘The Japanese Systems for Safeguarding ICH’ aiming to provide a deeper understanding of the national and local cases of ICH safeguarding in Japan.

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[India] Intangible Cultural Heritage Festival 2011

The International Sufi Festival was organised in Kolkata on 4-6 February 2011 by the Contact Base (Banglanatak dotcom) in partnership with ICCR. During the festival, various Sufi performances were presented by artists from Jordan, Syria, Afghanistan, Tajikstan, Bangladesh, UK and India.

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[Kiribati] Workshop on the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage

A Workshop on the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage was held in Tarawa, Kiribati from 9 to 11 February 2011. The goal of this 3-day workshop was to discuss a strategy and action plan for the strengthening of ICH safeguarding in Kiribati by using guidelines and practical tools made available under the UNESCO Programme in this discipline. The Workshop also examined opportunities presented by the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

[Brunei Darussalam] CollAsia “Conservation of Collections and Intangible Heritage”

One of the main aims of CollAsia 2010 programme is to address the challenges facing conservation of collections of material culture within the wider context of the heritage sector and the society at large. In the past years the programme has addressed such current issues as the relationship of collections and heritage sites and collections of underwater heritage.

This year, the proposed training activity sought to explore the relationship and potential of conservation of collections in relation to intangible heritage. The course has established mechanisms for sharing knowledge, methods and approaches between the professionals caring for Southeast Asian heritage collections and intangible heritage. It offered opportunities to review, discuss, and compare living cultural practices and current conservation approaches to material culture, focusing on the creation, use and conservation of collections in relation to intangible cultural heritage.

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[Thailand] Sirindhorn Research Centre: ICH E-Learning Resource

The Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre (Public Organization) has launched on 18 April 2011 the Intangible Cultural Heritage and Museums E-Learning Resources.

Drawing on lectures and hands-on field experience from the Intangible Cultural Heritage and Museums Field School (August 2010) held in Thailand’s Lamphun Province, these e-learning materials focus on the role of the museum in the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage. Aimed at heritage practitioners and museum operators, the materials offer twelve lectures and two case studies on how to support the research, documentation, transmission and revitalization of intangible cultural heritage.

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[Lao PDR] Stakeholders’ Workshop on the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage 

The seminar was organised by the Lao National Commission for UNESCO and attended by representatives from Lao line ministries as well as UNESCO experts, including Head of Culture Unit at the UNESCO Bangkok office, Mr Tim Curtis.

During the seminar, Dr Phankham, Minister of Education, highlighted the process of the nation joining the UNESCO Convention in 2009 and stressed the importance of the convention and the obligations of Laos as a signatory to the convention.

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Ratification by Brunei Darussalam of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage

Paris - On 12 August 2011, it was announced that Brunei Darusalam has ratified the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and the 1972 Convention for the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage.

Access official announcement

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[Thailand] Intangible Cultural Heritage – Museums Field School, Lamphun

The annual Intangible Cultural Heritage and Museums Field School course was held from 8 to 21 August this year. The course focused on the role of the museum in safeguarding, documenting and revitalizing intangible cultural heritage in the ASEAN region.

Led by experts in the fields of museology and anthropology, including Mr Tim Curtis, head of Culture Unit, UNESCO Bangkok, this course offers museum and heritage professionals the conceptual and practical tools for engaging with local communities to safeguard their intangible cultural heritage, such as oral history and narratives, craftsmanship, festivals, ritual, performance and other forms of traditional knowledge. The course combines frameworks from “new museology” and ecomuseums with  anthropological approaches for understanding and working with source communities.

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[Uzbekistan] International Music Biennale 2011

The grand music show "Sharq Taronalari", held on the eve of 20th Anniversary of the independence of Uzbekistan in Samarkand, reaffirmed the reputation of one of the most exciting and largest cultural events in the Central Asian region.

"Sharq Taronalari" (Melodies of the Orient) Festival is one of the most significant events not only in Uzbekistan but also in Central Asia and by the existing tradition it is held at the central Samarkand square – Registan, which is one of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

This year, the festival was attended by the Director of UNESCO Bangkok, Mr Gwang-jo Kim, together with the head of Culture Unit, Mr Tim Curtis.

2011 Special Exhibition of Important Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Korea

The exhibition was held on 19 - 28 September 2011 at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France.

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[Thailand] Consideration for Ratification of the 2003 Convention

On 27 September 2011, Thailand's Department of Cultural Promotion, Ministry of Culture, organized a half-day discussion session in Bangkok, aiming to stimulate awareness and understanding of the concept of Intangible Cultural Heritage in governmental sectors in many provinces. The head of Culture Unit, Mr Tim Curtis, was invited to give lecture on the key concepts of ICH and processes for ratification. 

This attempt, in fact, has been undertaken since 2005 and this time the Department of Cultural Promotion has advanced to introduce the provisional inventories of Thai Intangible Heritage elements possible for nomination once the country ratifies the Convention.

[Japan] Opening of the International Research Centre for ICH under the Auspices of UNESCO

International Research Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region was inaugurated as the first Centre under the Auspices of UNESCO in the Asia-Pacific Region on 3 October 2011 in the Sakai City Museum in Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture, Japan.

Mr Timothy Curtis, Head of Culture Unit, UNESCO Bangkok, represented Madame Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, in the opening ceremony of the centre as well as the first Governing Board meeting of the Centre.

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[Republic of Korea] International Forum for the UNESCO-Accredited NGOs of the Intangible Cultural Heritage

Organized by the Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation and the Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea, the Forum aims to establish international networks of advisory NGOs and identify problems facing the roles of the NGOs in the advancement of ICH Convention in this region.

Mr Ricardo Favis, Programme Specialist of UNESCO Bangkok, was assigned to participate in the discussion as well as presented his paper on "The 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and the Roles of NGOs".

The Forum meeting took place in Seoul, Republic of Korea on 12-14 October 2011.

[Indonesia] UNESCO 6th Session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, Bali

During its fifth session held in November 2010 in Nairobi, Kenya, the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage accepted the offer from Indonesia to host its sixth session.

During this session, chaired by Prof. Aman Wirakartakusumah (Indonesia), the Committee will examine the first periodic reports of the States Parties on the implementation of the Convention, as well as the current state of the elements inscribed into the Representative List. For the third consecutive year, it will also consider the inscriptions on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding and the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The Committee will also select programs for the Register of Best Safeguarding Practices and grant financial assistance for safeguarding plans. 

As we approach the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Convention in 2013, the Committee will also discuss events and activities planned at local, national, regional, sub-regional and international levels.

More Info: See the event in "All Events" or visit Website.

UNESCO to Introduce an Interactive Documentation of Asia-Pacific Traditional Children’s Games to Schools

UNESCO, with support from Gangneung City, Republic of Korea, has launched a pilot project to document a selection of traditional children’s games from the Asia-Pacific region. This project commenced in 2010 by groups of researchers from 4 countries: Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia and Thailand. They were able to document games from 14 ethnic groups and generate socio-anthropological analyses of games played in different communities.

The final product of these undertakings is a CD set intended for use by both students and teachers. It incorporates extracted information (e.g. histories and descriptions on how to make toys and play different kinds of games) with colourful animation, videos and photos of the activities. The CD aims not only to teach children about games in other communities but also to inspire them to play these games with friends. It also includes model lesson plans that work as guidelines for teachers to integrate the traditional games into their curricula.

You can explore the CD set HERE.