Inscribed in 2009 (4.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
Known by various names throughout Romania, the doina is a lyrical, solemn chant that is improvised and spontaneous. As the essence of Romanian folklore, until 1900 it was the only musical genre in many regions of the country. Technically, the doina can be sung in any context (outdoors, at home, at work or during wakes), and is always performed solo, with or without instrumental accompaniment (which might include the traditional straight flute, bagpipes and even improvised instruments). There are several regional variants. The doina has a wide-ranging expressive and thematic palette that spans joy, sadness, solitude, social conflicts, brigand attacks, love and so on. Expressing as it does the personal qualities, emotions and virtuosity of the creator-performer, the doina also plays an important social role by providing a cathartic outlet that strengthens solidarity. It has also given rise to other artistic genres (dances). Today, the doina is under threat locally because of a break in the line of transmission from parent to child. Although some fifteen people have been identified as representatives of the various types of doina, an environment conducive to performance and transmission must be restored in order to ensure that this important feature of Romania’s intangible cultural heritage continues to flourish.
Decision 4.COM 13.69
The Committee (…) decides that [this element] satisfies the criteria for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, as follows:
- R.1: The doina has been transmitted, mainly inside families, in many parts of Romania, where people regard it as part of their cultural heritage and their identity;
- R.2: Inscription of the element on the Representative List would bear witness to human creativity and would contribute to enhancing the visibility of intangible cultural heritage;
- R.3: Current, recent and intended efforts to ensure the viability of the element are described and it is demonstrated that the concerned parties have the will and commitment to safeguard the element through the measures identified;
- R.4: The support of the State for the nomination is complemented by the consent of the communities and practitioners;
- R.5: The element is included on the national inventory by the National Commission for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
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