26.12.2012 - UNESCO Office in Apia

Workshop in Beijing for Intangible Cultural Heritage Safeguarding

Diploma awarding(c)UNESCO/A.Takahashi

CRIHAP Workshop on the Implementation of the 2003 Convention at the National Level took place in Beijing from 14 to 19 December 2012.

CRIHAP is Category II Center based in Beijing.  It was officially established in February 2012 with its mandate on capacity building in the intangible cultural heritage (ICH) safeguarding.  CRIHAP’s first activity for the Pacific region took place in Beijing in December 2012, bringing together seven officers from the cultural authorities in states-parties to the ICH Convention in the Pacific region.

Mr Yang, Director-General of GRIHAP, opened this one-week Workshop.  Providing fresh information of the recent ICH Intergovernmental Committee Meeting held in Paris, he emphasized the importance of the country level implementation of the ICH Convention as duty of states parties to the ICH Convention. Under the facilitation of UNESCO trainer and UNESCO Office in Apia, the Workshop participants learned knowledge and skills relating to the implementation of the ICH Convention through lectures, group exercises, documentary videos and interactive quiz.

Country presentations by the Workshop participants provided interesting topics for discussions.  The presentation of Fiji illustrated the country’s unique approach to the ICH safeguarding in multicultural settings.  The participants discussed how the ICH Convention can contribute to the language preservation by using the presentation on the revitalization of the oral traditions in a minority language in Tonga.  Palau shared its experience in a joint nomination of Yapese Stone Disk with Micronesia with a view to developing multi-national nominations of Pacific ICH in the near future.  An expert from New Caledonia/France made a presentation on its unique knowledge, skills and rituals at village life associated with fishing still being practiced by communities as living traditions.

On the last day of the Workshop, the participants made a cultural excursion to a primary school in Beijing which introduced the teaching of traditional Chinese Yo-Yo in its school curriculum.  Welcoming the Workshop participants by students’ performance at the school ground, the principle of the school provides background and the outcomes of this school-driven initiative.  The participants then visited the National Museum of Yo-Yo where Chinese master Yo-Yo performer and Yo-Yo producer made special demonstrations for the Pacific delegates.

This Workshop was a first encounter between CRIHAP and the Pacific experts, providing the opportunity to get to know each other and discuss a plan for the future.  As a next step, CRIHAP ICH Ratification Workshop will be hosted by Samoa in February 2013.

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