Intangible Cultural Heritage

© UNESCO 2009
The Bistritsa Babi - Shoplouk region

According to the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, the intangible cultural heritage (or living heritage) is the mainspring of our cultural diversity and its maintenance a guarantee for continuing creativity.

The Convention states that the intangible cultural heritage is manifested in : Oral traditions and expressions including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage; Performing arts (such as traditional music, dance and theatre); Social practices, rituals and festive events; Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe; Traditional craftsmanship.


The safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage promotes, sustains and develops cultural diversity and human creativity. The 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage was conceived in order to reinforce solidarity and international co-operation as an instrument for all countries for identification, safeguarding and enhancement and promotion of this heritage, and is of special importance for those countries of SEE that have suffered from recent conflicts.

Regional Seminars on Itangible Cultural Heritage

Seeking to involve all institutions implicated in the domain of identification, safeguarding and promotion of intangible cultural heritage of the countries from Southern-Eastern Europe, in order to monitor and assess the state of the art, to study various inventory-making methodologies and to increase cooperation in the field. It will be an opportunity to share the efforts undertaken by Bulgaria in developing and establishment of Registers of the intangible cultural heritage.

Albanian Folk-Iso-polyphony

In the frame of the Japan Funds-in-Trust, this project contributes to the safeguarding of Albanian iso-polyphony, focusing especially on its transmission of to the younger generation.

The main activity is establishing traditional iso-polyphony chambers (Oda) in four locations of Southern Albania, where masters of iso-polyphony will teach their skills to young students. Other activities include creating a register, an electronic database and a print catalogue of outstanding performers of Albanian folk iso-polyphony, delivering training to cultural workers and producing the first issues of the Iso-Polyphony Journal. The project is intended to enhance the prestige and create a more favourable social context for the practitioners of this tradition, and to stimulate a renewed interest in iso-polyphonic music among Albanian youth - Watch

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