Intangible Cultural Heritage

©UNESCO / Nguy Ha

With monuments, museums, sites of natural beauty and many more, cultural heritage is as much about the things one can see as it is about the way one acts, feels and interacts with others. It provides a sense of identity and belonging, linking the past, through the present, with the future.

The UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural heritage defines Intangible Cultural Heritage as the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith – that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage. It encompasses five domains such as oral traditionsperforming artssocial practices, rituals, festive events and knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe.

Intangible Cultural Heritage carries with it a wealth of transferrable knowledge and skills, and has the power to bring communities closer together to create new lines of communication. Understanding of intangible cultural heritage promotes social cohesion and helps individuals feel as part of a community and of a society at large.

Taking pride of the richness of its heritage, Viet Nam shows a strong commitment in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage across the territory, witnessing successful revitalization of elements in changing social and economic contexts, such as those inscribed on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, namely Ca tru singing (2009)  and Xoan singing of Phu Tho Province (2011).

In addition to these, Viet Nam currently has ten elements listed in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:


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