20.07.2019 - UNESCO Office in Tashkent

Intangible cultural heritage - a bridge between past and future


From 16 to 19 July 2019, the UNESCO Office in Tashkent, in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan, conducted a national workshop for secondary school teachers entitled: “Integration of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in Formal and Non-formal Education”.

The event was held within the framework of the UNESCO Regular Programme "Safeguarding ICH in Uzbekistan though strengthening capacities in inventorying and integrating ICH in education".

The main objective of the workshop was to improve the teachers’ qualification in the field of introduction of ICH methodology in education. During the workshop the materials, developed in the framework of the UNESCO project "Promotion of intangible cultural heritage among educators to strengthen education for sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region", were used. This project was implemented in 2013-2015 in close cooperation with the Ministry of Public Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The workshop was attended by 24 secondary school teachers from different regions of Uzbekistan, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Public Education and the Republican Centre for Education and other educational institutions. The workshop was facilitated by Urazali Toshmatov, professor, chief of chair for the instrumental performance of the State Institute of Arts and Culture of Uzbekistan, leading specialist of Uzbekistan in the field of intangible cultural heritage.

During four days, participants of the workshop studied the methods of introducing elements of ICH in the educational process on the example of general school subjects - musical education, mathematics, physics, literature, history, physical education and others. The participants of the training also considered the legal framework for the safeguarding of ICH in Uzbekistan, the relationship between the principles of ICH and sustainable development, as well as international experience in the implementation of ICH in education.

At the end of the workshop, each teacher had his or her own vision of how to integrate knowledge about the customs, traditions and rituals of the peoples of Uzbekistan into the school subjects.

Lola Mamedova, Physical Education Teacher, School 152, Tashkent, participant of the workshop:

"It is possible to raise awareness of ICH elements and share their subtleties with students through folk games, as they reflect people's way of life, work, national traditions and values. They are therefore included in the ICH inventory.

Uzbek folk games are divided into several game groups: hunting, shepherds, motor, verbal, imitative and others. In physical education classes, for example, you can take children to such folk games. In this way, children will get relaxed and become acquainted with the elements of intangible cultural heritage”.

Dildora Jamalova, PhD holder in Pedagogy, Director of the Republican Specialized Academic Music Lyceum named after V. Uspensky, participant of the workshop:

"The knowledge and traditions that have developed over the centuries as a result of human interaction with the environment is undoubtedly a valuable cultural asset. They reflect our identity, which is very important to safeguard in a time of globalization.

The use of ICH in school curricula is a very important step towards the safeguarding of the heritage. In the case of our educational institution, we can integrate ICH into education through the maqom art - traditional music of the East.

With great respect for the past, faith in the present and great hope for the future, intangible cultural heritage should be transmitted to the next generation naturally. In my opinion, the country, that carefully and respectfully safeguards its heritage, is majestic.

The material introduced and presented to us at the workshop is very valuable and useful. Using it in the curriculum, teachers take on the role of a guide from the past to the future.

Urazali Toshmatov, professor and chief of the chair for the instrumental performance at the State Institute of Arts and Culture of Uzbekistan, workshop facilitator:

"In my opinion, the main problem in the safeguarding of ICH is the lack of awareness of people about it. Education can solve this problem. It is important to understand that cultural heritage is not limited to monuments and collections of objects. It includes traditions, "living" forms of expression inherited from our ancestors, such as oral traditions, performing arts, social customs, rituals, festives, knowledge and customs related to nature and the universe, as well as knowledge and skills of traditional craftsmanship.

Achieving sustainable development goals is global priority. It is important that people learn to live in peace, prosperity and harmony with each other and with nature. In this regard, intangible cultural heritage serves this purpose.

Promoting respect for nature and people is one of the main goal of ICH. In order for people to know from a young age what constitutes intangible cultural heritage, it is necessary to integrate this knowledge into the educational system.

Information about ICH can be included in any subject in the school curriculum, from physics to physical education. It's all connected. For example, the physical properties of sounds can be studied using the example of Uzbek doyra, a tambourine type percussion musical instrument. Or study folk dastans, proverbs and sayings in literature classes. The main goal is to make people respect our heritage, safeguard and transmit it to future generations».


In 2008, Uzbekistan ratified the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. UNESCO's activities in this area are aimed at supporting Member States worldwide, promoting international cooperation in the safeguarding of living heritage and creating an institutional and professional environment conducive to the safeguarding of this intangible heritage.

Currently, the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO includes 6 elements from Uzbekistan. These are Navruz; Shashmaqom music; Cultural space of Boysun District; Katta Ashula; Askiya, the art of wit; Palov culture and tradition.

Another ICH practice is the Margilan Crafts Development Center: preserving traditional technology of atlas- and adras-making, which is inscribed on the UNESCO Register of Good Safeguarding Practices of ICH.

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