Saturday, December 22, 2007

Nepal to be a party to convention on intangible heritage

Razen Manandhar

Kathmandu, December 21:
It’s better late than never. The government is now working hard to become a signatory to the Convention on Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage.

The Department of Archaeology is preparing necessary documents to be sent to the UNESCO to become a part of the convention. “We are now working to become a party to the convention,” director general of Department of Archaeology Kosh Prasad Acharya told this daily.

The documents are currently in the ministry and will be sent to the cabinet for approval soon. After sending the documents to the UNSECO, Nepal will be a state party to the convention within three months, he said.

The General Conference of the UNESCO from September 29 to October 17, 2003, in Paris had adopted the convention.

The convention recognises the role of communities, in particular indigenous communities, groups and, in some cases individuals, in the production, safeguarding, maintenance and re-creation of intangible cultural heritage, thus helping to enrich cultural diversity and human creativity.

UNESCO defines intangible cultural heritage as practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills - as well as the instruments, objects, artifacts and cultural spaces associated therewith - that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognise 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 and provides them with a sense of identity and continuity, Acharya said.

“We will identify and define various elements of intangible cultural heritage present in Nepal, with the participation of communities, groups and relevant non-governmental organisations,” he said, adding that educational, awareness-raising and information programmes will be launched to create awareness among the general public, in particular young people.
[ KATHMANDU, DECEMBER 22, 2007, Poush 07, 2064]