Cultural Diversity International
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Actors and Expressions


«Intangible cultural heritage is gaining increasing recognition worldwide for the fundamental role it plays in our lives in the maintenance and enhancement of cultural identity and diversity. »

«Intangible cultural heritage urgently needs to be protected and revitalized, and each government should take the necessary measures to ensure this. »

M. Koïchiro Matsuura,
Director-General of UNESCO, Turin 2001



1. Traditional Culture and Folklore

In 1989, UNESCO adopted the Recommendation for the Safeguarding of Traditional Culture and Folklore. Traditional culture and folklore is defined as follows:

Folklore (or traditional and popular culture) is the totality of tradition-based creations of a cultural community, expressed by a group or individuals and recognized as reflecting the expectations of a community in so far as they reflect its cultural and social identity; The standards and the values being passed on orally, by imitation or by the other manners. The forms include, among others, the language, the literature, the music, the dance, the games, the mythology, the rites, the customs, the craft, the architecture and the other arts.

2. Intangible Cultural Heritage

In 2003, UNESCO adopted the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage where the Intangible Cultural Heritage is defined as folllows :

The "intangible cultural heritage" means 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. This intangible cultural heritage, transmitted from generation to generation, is constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and their history, and provides them with a sense of identity and continuity, thus promoting respect for cultural diversity and human creativity. For the purposes of this Convention, consideration will be given solely to such intangible cultural heritage as is compatible with existing international human rights instruments, as well as with the requirements of mutual respect among communities, groups and individuals, and of sustainable development.



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