Secretary presented the proposed amendment, which read: ‘The file demonstrates how inscription of the Torch festival on the Representative List could contribute to the visibility of the intangible cultural heritage and could encourage dialogue among communities by linking up various subgroups of the Yi neighbouring ethnic communities, domestic and international scholars.’
591.The delegation of Algeria supported Brazil’s amendment in R.2.
592.The Chairperson noted that there was insufficient support for the amendment, which was duly rejected, and the original paragraph was retained and adopted. The Chairperson then turned to the draft decision and sub-paragraphs R.3, R.4 and R.5 of paragraph 2. With no comments or objections, they were duly adopted. The Chairperson then turned to paragraph 3 and the original sub-paragraphs on R.1 and R.2.
593.The delegation of Brazil proposed the deletion of the word ‘violent’ in paragraph R.2, which was duly adopted.
594.The Chairperson then turned to paragraph 3 as a whole, which was duly adopted.
595.The delegation of Brazil remarked that it had proposed an amendment to this paragraph, but as its amendments in paragraph 2 were not adopted, the former paragraph 3 had been maintained. Thus, it withdrew its amendment, and the original paragraph to refer the nomination to the submitting State was maintained.
596.The Chairperson then turned to paragraph 4, which was duly adopted.
597.On behalf of the 8 million people of the Yi community, the delegation of China expressed its sincere appreciation of the great efforts by the Subsidiary Body, the Secretariat and the Committee on the evaluation of this element, as well as all the valuable comments. However, it expressed disappointment with the Committee’s decision, remarking on the representatives of the communities in their beautiful folk costumes that had come to the meeting during a week when the communities were celebrating the Yi New Year’s festival. One could only imagine their disappointment on hearing the news. The delegation was disappointed, as it believed the decision was made on the basis of a misinterpretation of the definition of the element, and not because of any technical issue or lack of information, adding that this was unfair to the communities. As one of the States Parties who ratified the Convention at an early stage, China had closely followed the development of the Convention and actively participated in relevant activities and events under its framework. It remarked how during the development of the Convention it had continuously encountered controversial issues, which always served to reflect on how the Convention could better guide the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage. From a positive perspective, it believed that the case of the Torch Festival could be a new study on the promotion of cultural diversity and dialogue between cultures in the spirit of the Convention. It presented a new space for dialogue between communities, and particularly communities with different sensitivities, and helped think about the relationship between humans, animals and nature. As the Chinese goes, ‘seeing is believing’. The delegation therefore invited the delegates to visit China and join the Torch Festival with the local communities in the near future. It concluded with a quote by the Chinese president who visited UNESCO earlier this year, ‘civilizations have come in different colours and such diversity has made exchange and mutual learning among civilizations relevant and valuable. A single flower does not make spring while a hundred flowers in full blossom bring springs to the garden. An attitude of equality and modesty is required if one wants to truly understand the various civilizations’.
598.With no further comments or amendments, the Chairperson proceeded with the adoption of the decision as a whole and declared adopted Decision 9.COM10.12 to refer Torch festival of the Yi people to the submitting State for additional information.
599.The delegation of Uruguay noted the consideration for the very sensitive issues just discussed, and suggested to consider the proposal by Peru to organize a meeting in this regard with a view to easing the Committee’s work in the future.
600.The Chairperson thanked Uruguay for its interesting proposal, and suggested discussing this point in the next agenda item. He then turned to draft decision 9.COM 10.13.
601.The Vice-Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body presented the next nomination on Spring celebration: Hıdrellez or Saint George’s day [draft decision 9.COM 10.13] submitted by Croatia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Romania, the Republic of Moldova and Turkey. Hıdrellez or Saint George’s Day is celebrated on 6 May or 23 April to mark the reawakening of nature. Different ceremonies and rituals linked to nature are performed in each locale to promote well-being, fertility and prosperity, and to protect livestock and crops for the coming year. The knowledge and skills are actively transmitted from one generation to the next, through the involvement of family members, groups or communities, who have distinct roles in transmission. The Subsidiary Body failed to find sufficient information to understand the unifying aspects of the Spring celebration: Hıdrellez of Saint-Georges day that made it a single element for all the communities involved. The nomination provided detailed information on how the different festivities were experienced by the different communities, but the Body questioned whether there was indeed a common ground that the communities would recognize. As a result of this ambiguity on the scope of and contours of the element, as well as on a common denominator for the different celebrations described in the nomination, the Body concluded that the nomination should be referred in criterion R.1. Consequently, this had a knock-on effect at the level of each criterion. Indeed, the lack of information meant that the proposed element could not be clearly identified and thus it was impossible to measure how inscription would contribute to the objectives of the Representative List, particularly regarding awareness of the importance of intangible cultural heritage (R.2). The Body also found disparities in the proposed safeguard measures, where the level of information provided varied greatly from one State to another, resulting in a set of measures that were inconsistent, thus requiring further information. The evaluation of R.4 lacked clarity in the definition of the element, leading to an inadequate identification of the communities concerned. The Body sought to verify whether each community had given its consent to the submission of the joint nomination as a whole and not just that part of the element practised by its own community, as is implied by ‘informed’ consent. Given the diversity of the consent letters, the Body sought additional information in order to verify that the communities concerned had consented to the nomination of the same element. This ambiguity continued in R.5, since the information provided about inventories and evidence of inscription on the inventories in each of the countries did not enable the Body to determine whether it referred to single and same element, even though they appeared under different names. The Subsidiary Body therefore concluded by recommending referring Spring celebration: Hıdrellez or Saint George’s day to the submitting States for additional information for resubmission in a subsequent cycle.
602.The Chairperson thanked the Vice-Chair for the presentation of the debates, opening the floor for comments.
603.Having worked on the elaboration of a file, the delegation of Algeria understood the difficulties of elaborating a multinational file involving various communities in different States, which was difficult even when involving several communities in the same country. The delegation found the nomination interesting because it raised questions on what the Subsidiary Body termed the ‘common core’, which could be called ‘invariance’, i.e. an aspect that does not vary and which is transformed in every community. It believed that although the nomination did not satisfy any of the criteria that it was nonetheless interesting. Thus, it would be good to hear from the submitting States about the problems they encountered, so as to learn from a pedagogical point of view.
604.The delegation of Greece was particularly pleased to have six countries from its region submit a joint nomination, which was deeply embedded in the spirit of the Convention, and it thus supported such nominations. However, as was mentioned by Algeria, it was extremely difficult to gather all the elements when there were various communities. The delegation therefore invited one of the submitting States to shed light on the whole process, adding that the figures of Hıdrellez and Saint-Georges were emblematic for the entire region and was an extremely interesting and ancient tradition.
605.The delegation of Tunisia realized how significant and important multinational submissions were. Indeed, this illustrated the uniqueness of intangible cultural heritage. However, it also realized how difficult it might be to draft such a nomination, not only drafting the paperwork but also on a theoretical approach, trying to identify the commonalities of an element or its expressions from one country to the next. Occasionally there might be an impression that there was not one single element but a number of elements. Thus, the delegation wished to hear from one or more of the submitting States in order to really understand the core of the nomination, and the heart of the element.
606.The delegation of Brazil congratulated the States Parties for their multinational nomination. Aside from the value of the element, it believed that this was a clear demonstration of how the Convention contributed to dialogue and a culture of peace and understanding among neighbouring countries. It highly appreciated the efforts of all the countries in the region that have different perspectives on religion and culture, and have even had a difficult history in the past, which was overcome by working together on this file to safeguard this very interesting practice.
607.The delegation of Côte d’Ivoire was very sensitive to the fact that this was a multinational nomination, adding that this was an example to follow. However, it noted that none of the criteria had been satisfied and thus wondered how this had come about. The delegation asked that the submitting State(s) be allowed to provide an explanation.
608.Before moving to the adoption of the decision, the Chairperson opened the floor to the submitting States for comment.
609.The delegation of Turkey thanked the Committee Members and the Subsidiary Body for their encouraging remarks. It explained that preparing a multinational file was a great challenge due to the logistic challenges, challenges of different legislative restrictions or practices, the challenge of linguistics and many other aspects, as well as a relatively broad geography across the boundaries of nation States. However, what was surprising among the observations was that the experts did not perceive the core intention of the file, which was to demonstrate that multiple nations and communities belonging to different religions, convictions and geographic locations, were for centuries practising the same rituals with common practices on the same day. The difference being that in some communities this was called Hıdrellez, and in others Saint George, but the festivities overlapped. The delegation remarked that at a time of a disaccord among civilizations, interreligious disharmony, tensions between nations, communities, cultures, religions and States, the inscription of such a multinational file would have constituted a very strong message. It was obviously disappointed, but not to the point of giving up on the nomination, adding that it had faced similar constraints when preparing the multinational file on Novruz inscribed in 2009; now more countries seem to wish willing to join this file. In the case of Hıdrellez and Saint George, the delegation spoke of the determination of the submitting States to work together with its commitment to and confidence in the file, which had not diminished. Thus, together they would take on board the observations of the Subsidiary Body and restructure the file for submission in a subsequent cycle. It hoped that the Committee and the Subsidiary Body would be struck with the message of inter-civilization and interreligious coexistence and cohabitation.
610.The Chairperson thanked Turkey for its important statement. With no further comments or objections, the Chairperson proceeded with the adoption of the draft decision as a whole and declared adopted Decision 9.COM 10.13 to refer Spring celebration: Hıdrellez or Saint George’s dayto the submitting State for additional information.
611.The Vice-Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body presented the next nomination on Arirang folk song in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea [draft decision 9.COM 10.14] submitted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Arirang is a popular lyrical singing genre performed on various occasions among family, friends and communities, as well as on public occasions and at festivities. Transmitted and recreated orally, it exists in multiple traditional forms as well as symphonic and modern arrangements. Arirang typically contains a gentle and lyrical melody and speaks about leaving and reunion, sorrow, joy and happiness. The folk songs reinforce social relations, thus contributing to mutual respect and peaceful social development. In its evaluation, the Subsidiary Body found that all the criteria were satisfied, and that the nomination file demonstrated how the different variants of the lyrical singing provided a sense of identity and continuity to Koreans of all ages, creating a symbolic bond. The emphasis on the unifying character of the songs in the nomination led the Body to believe that inscription was likely to promote intercultural dialogue between communities practising similar traditions elsewhere in the world. The detailed description of the proposed safeguarding measures, some of which were already underway, demonstrated the commitment of both the State and the communities concerned. The participation of a wide range of stakeholders in the elaboration of the nomination file and the inscription of the element on the National List of Intangible Heritage were adequately demonstrated. The Subsidiary Body thus concluded by recommending the inscription of Arirang folk song in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on the Representative List.
612.The Chairperson proceeded with the adoption of the draft decision as a whole, and with no forthcoming comments or amendments, declared adopted Decision 9.COM10.14 to inscribe Arirang folk song in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
613.The delegation of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea spoke of its pleasure on this significant occasion of inscribing the Arirang folk song on the Representative List, adding that it was an auspicious and sentimental moment for all Korean people who were descendants of Dangoon of the Arirang nation. It deeply thanked the Committee, the Subsidiary Body, and the Secretariat for their sincere cooperation. The delegation remarked that it paid special attention to the protection of national heritage, regarding it as an important and patriotic undertaking that shone light on the national history and cultural traditions, as well as the enormous achievements made by the great leaders. Thanks to the wise guidance of the supreme leader Kim Jong-un, national heritage protection was carried out with the full participation of all people. The country would strive to fulfil its commitment to the Convention and further promote exchange with UNESCO and other countries.
614.Before moving to the next nomination, the Chairperson gave the floor to The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia that had asked to speak.
615.On behalf of the delegation of The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia that participated in the multinational file, it wished to express its full support of the statement by Turkey. It emphasized that the celebration in its country expressed the same cultural expression as that of the other multinational communities, adding that it was an element that unified the entire population in the country. On the national level, this element was inscribed in five different languages, and was a very good example of the connectedness of different multinational cultures.
616.The Vice-Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body presented the next nomination on Smoke sauna tradition in Võromaa [draft decision 9.COM 10.16] submitted by Estonia. The smoke sauna tradition is an important part of everyday life in the Võro community of Estonia. It comprises a rich set of traditions including the actual bathing customs, the skills of making bath whisks, building and repairing saunas, and smoking meat in the sauna. Generally practised on Saturdays, but also before major festivals or important family events, it is above all a family custom whose main function is to relax the body and mind. Families take turns hosting each other. In its evaluation, the Subsidiary Body found that all the criteria were satisfied. The nomination convincingly demonstrated that the tradition of the smoke sauna is a living practice and a set of skills that is meaningful for the Võro community. The file contained adequate information about its features, its practitioners and their modes of transmission. The contribution of possible inscription to the objectives of this Representative List were presented in a realistic and reasoned manner, including through the strengthening of transboundary dialogue with practitioners from neighbouring countries with very similar traditions. The submitting State presented a rational and well-designed safeguarding plan that demonstrated the involvement of a range of stakeholders at different territorial levels, including several community associations whose participation in the elaboration of the nomination was also deemed satisfactory. The element was also inscribed in an inventory. The Subsidiary Body thus concluded by recommending the inscription of Smoke sauna tradition in Võromaa on the Representative List.
617.Thanking the Vice-Chair for the summary, the Chairperson proceeded with the adoption of the draft decision as a whole, and with no forthcoming comments or amendments, declared adopted Decision 9.COM 10.16 to inscribe Smoke sauna tradition in Võromaaon the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
618.The delegation of Estonia expressed its sincere gratitude for the positive decision, adding that it appreciated the careful observations made by the Subsidiary Body and the Committee. This was significant recognition for the Võro community who initiated the process of inscription on the tradition of smoke sauna in 2009. It was noted that smoke sauna was a place to cleanse the body and the soul, and that this undertaking had brought together all stakeholders. The International Sauna Society also supported their work with the hope of raising awareness about sauna traditions and practices worldwide.
619.The Vice-Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body turned to the next nomination on Gwoka: music, song, dance and cultural practice representative of Guadeloupean identity [draft decision 9.COM 10.17] submitted by France. Gwoka is one of the most identifiable elements of Guadeloupean society. It combines responsorial singing in Guadeloupean Creole, rhythms played on the Ka drums and dancing. Gwoka unites these three areas of expression and emphasizes individual qualities of improvisation. The participants and public form a circle in which dancers and soloists enter in turn and perform, facing the drums. It strengthens identity and provides a feeling of communal development and individual pride, conveying values of conviviality, resistance and dignity. In its evaluation, the Subsidiary Body not only found that all the criteria were satisfied, but was unanimous in praising the quality of the nomination, which deserved to be considered among the ‘good examples’ selected by the Committee. The nomination clearly demonstrated that gwoka constituted intangible cultural heritage, as described in Article 2 of the Convention, having evolved over time while still fulfilling social and cultural functions for the people of Guadeloupe. The Body was also convinced that its inscription would contribute towards raising awareness of the role of intangible cultural heritage as a factor of social cohesion and creativity. It particularly appreciated the visibility given in the nomination of the participation of the many gwoka associations and local authorities, not only in the design of innovative safeguarding measures, but in the elaboration of the nomination itself, as well as the inscription of the element in the inventory of intangible cultural heritage of France. The Subsidiary Body thus concluded by not only recommending the inscription of Gwoka: music, song, dance and cultural practice representative of Guadeloupean identity on the Representative List but suggested that the Committee include it among those that could serve as an inspiration to other submitting States.
620.With no forthcoming comments or amendments, the Chairperson proceeded with the adoption of the draft decision as a whole and declared adopted Decision 9.COM10.17 to inscribe Gwoka: music, song, dance and cultural practice representative of Guadeloupean identity on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
621.The delegation of France began by thanking the experts and the Committee for their decision, expressing the attachment of France to the Convention, its principles and values. It remarked that this inscription would add to the 12 elements already inscribed, illustrating the wealth of its culture and the diversity of its heritage, of which it was proud. The delegation gave the floor to the Chairperson of the Regional Council.
622.Mr Victorin Lurel was happy for this landmark decision to inscribe gwoka on the Representative List, which was the result of a long process carried out by determined groups of men and women, cultural and political activists. This was a combat of vieux nègres, as it is said, who continued to practice their art, instruments and culture. He spoke of culture that lived on if carried by people who are proud of their identity. Gwoka itself escaped slavery and colonialism, and was thus a time to thank the ancestors, the Africans of all backgrounds and to congratulate the great masters of ka. Mr Lurel congratulated Mr Félix Cotellon for his long fought cultural combat together with his association Repriz. He also thanked France and the Ministry of Culture for supporting its nomination, as well as UNESCO. Mr Félix Cotellon remarked that it was a great day for gwoka and for Guadeloupe, and thanked the working group that worked on the nomination file for years, the Directorate of Cultural Heritage at the Ministry of Culture for having selected the nomination, and the Committee for inscribing gwoka on the Representative List. His first thoughts were for the deported and enslaved Africans who had introduced elements of Guadeloupean gwoka today and made it a space for resistance to dehumanization. He then wished to thank the small farmers of the post-slavery society and the vieux négres popular classes, the ka masters, and the generations, especially during the 1970s and 1980s who, despite the prohibition, made it a space of cultural resistance. Representative of the Guadeloupean identity, gwoka carries universal values of resistance, dignity and respect. However, inscription was not an end in itself, as gwoka formed part of a safeguarding project. It would contribute to the awareness of Guadeloupean intangible culture heritage as a common and transdisciplinary foundation for creating a new cultural policy.
[Performance of Gwoka]
623.The Vice-Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body presented the next nomination on Know-how of cultivating mastic on the island of Chios [draft decision 9.COM 10.18] submitted by Greece. Mastic is cultivated on the island of Chios from the aromatic resin mastiha, which is extracted from the shrub Pistacia lentiscus. Its traditional culture is a family occupation. Men take care of the natural fertilization and pruning of the shrubs in winter, while women sweep, level and clean the ground around the trunk, so that the mastic can easily be recovered. The culture of mastic represents a comprehensive social event, around which networks of alliances and mutual help have been established. It was recalled that the nomination had been presented to the Committee at its seventh session in 2012 and had been referred to the submitting State for additional information on criterion R.5. In addition, the State had reworked the entire nomination such that the Body evaluated the nomination in its entirety. This time the Body concluded that all the criteria had been satisfied: one of the few elements in which all Members were unanimous in their individual evaluations. The Body particularly appreciated the definition of know-how associated with the cultivation and harvesting of mastiha with its emphasis on the respect for the principles of sustainable development, which adequately demonstrated that its inscription would contribute to greater awareness of the role of intangible cultural heritage. The Body also appreciated the transversal nature of the proposed safeguarding measures, as well as the involvement of communities and their associations in both the elaboration of measures and throughout the nomination process. Finally, the Body was satisfied that the information provided on the inclusion of the element in the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage and that the process had benefited from the participation of the community as well as experts and scientific foundations. The Subsidiary Body thus concluded by recommending the inscription of Know-how of cultivating mastic on the island of Chios on the Representative List.
624.The Chairperson thanked the Vice-Chair for the presentation of the examination of a previously referred nomination.
625.The delegation of Turkey remarked that the shrub Pistacia lentiscus served as a bridge of beauty joining the two shores of the Aegean Sea, connecting island life and the rural community in Greece and elsewhere in the region. It commended Greece and the authorities for their commitment to the nomination following its referral in 2012, adding that they had done fantastic work. It also thanked the constructive observations of the Subsidiary Body, and hopefully the Committee. It hoped that the nomination would set another example for States Parties that once they believe in their constructive asset for humankind and cultural unity, then they can deliver, despite initial complications in the file.
626.The Chairperson proceeded with the adoption of the draft decision as a whole, and with no forthcoming comments or amendments, declared adopted Decision 9.COM10.18 to inscribe Know-how of cultivating mastic on the island of Chios on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
627.The delegation of Greece expressed sincere thanks and appreciation of the inscription of the element on the Representative List, which is a very old and important tradition for the region. It also expressed its deepest appreciation of the communities involved in the cultivation and production of mastic who had made great efforts to present a complete nomination, in exemplary cooperation with the Museum of Mastic, local authorities and the Ministry of Culture. The delegation remarked that this was the first element inscribed on the Representative List in spite of the fact that Greece had extensive experience with intangible cultural heritage, but it sought to develop cooperation between the communities among the hundreds of intangible heritage elements found in Greece. It spoke of the exemplary network of cooperation among the communities, the local authorities and the Ministry of Culture, adding that the Convention was at the very forefront of rapprochement between communities, but also of neighbouring peoples and countries with common elements of intangible elements. It concluded with warmest thanks to the Secretariat for its work so that all countries could understand the Convention.
628.The Chairperson remarked that the perseverance of Greece had paid off.
629.The Vice-Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body presented the next nomination on Traditional brass and copper craft of utensil making among the Thatheras of Jandiala Guru, Punjab, India [draft decision 9.COM 10.19] submitted by India. The craft of the Thatheras of Jandiala Guru constitutes the traditional technique of manufacturing brass and copper utensils in Punjab. The process begins with procuring cooled cakes of metal that are flattened into thin plates and then hammered into curved shapes. Utensils are manually finished by polishing with traditional materials such as sand and tamarind juice. Utensils may be manufactured for ritual or utilitarian purposes such as weddings or at temples. The process of manufacturing is transmitted orally from father to son. It was recalled that the Committee had referred the nomination in 2011 for several criteria, namely R.1, R.2, R.4 and R.5. This time the Body found that all the criteria were satisfied. Indeed, the Body found that the revised nomination not only clearly described the Thatheras community but the craftsmanship was well characterized and its modes of transmission and social and cultural functions were explained in detail. The Body also concluded that the nomination adequately demonstrated how its inscription would promote dialogue with communities practising similar crafts, while highlighting creativity in the metal processing and the manufacture of utensils. The only reservation was attributed to the use of non-compliant expressions such as ‘unique art’ or ‘unique cultural heritage’, which was recalled in paragraph 4 of draft decision. Information on R.3 was barely changed from the original nomination and the Body continued to consider that safeguarding measures were adequately designed and planned in the short, medium and long term. The revised nomination also seemed to contain more detailed information describing the participation of Thatheras artisans and the many other local actors in the nomination process, while demonstrating their free, prior and informed consent. This participation was also demonstrated in the inventorying that led to the inclusion of the element in two inventories managed by two organs of the Ministry of Culture, which allayed the reservation expressed by the Committee in 2011. The Subsidiary Body thus concluded by recommending the inscription of Traditional brass and copper craft of utensil making among the Thatheras of Jandiala Guru, Punjab, India on the Representative List.
630.The Chairperson proceeded with the adoption of the draft decision as a whole, and with no forthcoming comments or amendments, declared adopted Decision 9.COM10.19 to inscribe Traditional brass and copper craft of utensil making among the Thatheras of Jandiala Guru, Punjab, India on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
631.The delegation of India expressed its sincere and heartfelt thanks to the Committee for the inscription of the element on the Representative List, as well as the Subsidiary Body for the positive recommendation. It remarked that the centuries-old technique of making beautiful utensils from copper and brass was passed through the generations and was an art that transcended the boundaries of religion, and was respected by Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims in a cohesive way. It was thus a beautiful example of how intangible heritage could be economically viable in current times, while contributing to sustainable development. The delegation was particularly happy and emotional because he was from the State of Punjab where the craft was flourishing. He had been to the place as a kid and listened to the pitter-patter of the hammer and mallets banging the metal plates in a rhythmic way. The delegation concluded by expressing its sincere thanks to the Secretariat for its guidance.
632.The Chairperson congratulated India and its example of successful perseverance.
633.The Vice-Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body presented the next nomination on Bārān Khāhi, rain-seeking rituals of Kaburān village, Tafresh [draft decision 9.COM 10.20] submitted by the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Bārān Khāhi rituals, also known as ‘Kuse-gardi’, are enacted by shepherds in Kaburān village, Tafresh, and are usually performed in midwinter, traditionally the period of drought to seek blessings and abundance for the village. Male performers and musicians, robed in costumes and masks, weave their way through the village, dancing and singing melodies. In return, the shepherds receive foodstuffs, agricultural products and money to help them secure their living. In its evaluation, the Subsidiary Body found that criteria R.1 and R.2 were satisfied, but felt the nomination lacked technical details to enable it to position itself on criteria R.3, R.4 and R.5. The Body took the view that the rituals had been properly characterized as living practices that have a symbolic significance for the entire region of Kaburān that continued to be transmitted by the older to the younger generation. The nomination also satisfactorily demonstrated that the inscription of the element would contribute to greater awareness of the importance of certain practices of intangible cultural heritage such as these that enabled better adaptation to difficult environments and promote dialogue between bearer communities. However, the Body also encountered serious difficulties in ascertaining whether some of the proposed safeguarding measures, including tourism promotion, had been prepared with the necessary precautions to help ensure the viability of the element without altering the meaning or purpose of the ritual for the community concerned. Measures such as ‘building a new hotel, and the other needed facilities to welcome tourists’ or ‘allocation of a permanent site in Tafresh for exhibitions on Iranian, even world, Rain-seeking Rituals’ struck the Body in particular. The Body therefore concluded that additional information was needed to evaluate R.3 and determine if all the proposed safeguarding measures were appropriate to safeguard and promote the element without affecting its nature or viability. Regarding R.4, there was evidence that the villagers of Kaburān were aware of the submission of the nomination and were in favour of the inscription of the element on the Representative List. However, the nomination must also demonstrate it is the result of the broadest possible community participation, which was not apparent in the description, and therefore the active participation of the community in the elaboration of the nomination, including the design of safeguarding measures, could not be determined. Additional information was also required on the groups and individuals who, in the village of Kaburān, actually practice and transmit the rain-seeking rituals. Finally, with regard to R.5 and the inscription of the element on an inventory, the Body suggested that the submitting State be given the opportunity to provide technical details in a subsequent resubmission. Indeed, it was noted that although the nomination made reference to the inscription of the element on the national inventory of intangible cultural heritage of the Islamic Republic of Iran from February 2014, the date was posterior to the deadline of 31 March 2013 on which the Secretariat received all the nominations currently under examination. On further investigation, it was noted that the original nomination submitted by Iran in 2010, which had not been treated in a previous cycle, contained proof of registration dated August 2010 on the same inventory, but under a more generic title, namely ‘rain-seeking rituals’. The Body thus required additional information in order to understand the relationship between the evidence of the two registrations in the inventory. Thus, the Body could not conclusively determine whether the element had been inscribed in an inventory before the deadline for submission of nomination for this cycle, i.e. 31 March 2013. The Subsidiary Body therefore recommended to refer the nomination to the submitting State for additional information for resubmission in a subsequent cycle.
634.The Chairperson thanked the Vice-Chair for the detailed explanation of the various issues raised in the evaluation of the nomination file, opening the floor for comments.
635.The delegation of Afghanistan wished to see the Islamic Republic of Iran be given the chance to comment on the observations and remarks regarding the lack of technical detail and the inadequate safeguarding measures. The delegation remarked on the joy and celebration that came with the inscriptions of elements, but also noting that human beings were also subject to moments of distress, which meant that they sought fervour and spirituality. The delegation spoke of the its own country, adding that at times it was in a similar situation such that if Iran managed to inscribe this element, it would be encouraged to respond to the need that existed in its own country. The delegation further remarked that this way of expressing spirituality in times of distress was part of human nature and society, and probably often occurred in the village of Kaburān as well as other villages. It was noted that Iran suffered from drought that had lasted for five years, adding that as a boy he had witnessed these moments of calling the rains in all its various aspects in order to address a social need. This was seen as an opportunity to bring people and the different elements of society together. Moments of distress thus brought about moments of joy. Remarking the country’s important spiritual past in its poetry and arts, the delegation sought clarification from the submitting State so as to examine the nomination more thoroughly.
636.The delegation of Egypt thanked the Subsidiary Body for its close examination of the nomination, as well as the Subsidiary Body for its comments. The delegation endorsed the remarks by Afghanistan, adding that the Islamic Republic of Iran was entitled to provide answers and clarification in response to the questions raised. It spoke of how it learned much about the ritual and the element, adding that that in relation to other files, criteria R.3 and R.4 were satisfied.
637.The delegation of Bulgaria fully understood the proposal by the Subsidiary Body to refer the nomination because, out of five criteria, they were unable to agree on three criteria owing to a lack of information that would enable to reach a positive decision. Nevertheless, it sought clarity from the Delegation of Iran on criterion R.3 in particular.
638.The delegation of Greece also sought clarifications from Iran, remarking that rain-seeking rituals was a very old tradition in all civilizations, making it a very interesting file. It also wished to know more on how the management of water was connected to the reality of today and to the rituals, as clearly there were water problems in the region. It also sought clarity on criterion R.3, particularly the cited tourist attractions.
639.The delegation of India thanked the Subsidiary Body for its examination of the file, requesting Iran to provide more information that would enable the Committee to determine that the element was submitted with the widest possible participation of the community.
640.The delegation of Brazil also wished to hear from the delegation ofIran on the issue of community participation in the preparation of the nomination file, as well as an explanation on the tourist aspect of people going to the village of Kaburān to see these rituals. It also sought more information on the safeguarding measures that would ensure that tourism did not interfere in the life of the people in this village. The delegation of Brazil knew about a number of very interesting measures in place, but wished to have more details about these measures to safeguard the expression. With regard to criterion R.5, although it understood that there was some delay in presenting evidence of the national inventory, it noted that the documents had been delivered to UNESCO and was thus a minor point. The delegation thus concentrated its attention to the two other criteria on community participation and the safeguarding measures, and looked forward to hearing explanations.
641.The delegation of Turkey remarked that Bārān Khāhi or Kuse-gardi or rain prayers was a tradition as old as human civilization, with Iranian communities widely exercising this ritual for millennia. The delegation explained that its national experts were of the opinion that the file submitted would be acceptable in criteria R.3 and R.4, but would very much like the submitting State to provide additional information to help understand the links between its national inventory and this particular element, adding that Iran had broad experience and established practice of national inventories with other already inscribed elements.
642.The delegation of Republic of Korea appreciated the Subsidiary Body’s report and took note of the opinions on the nomination in terms of R.3 and R.4 criteria. After analysing the file and consulting with the Iranian delegation, it considered that the file contained more information than described by the Subsidiary Body in the draft decision and during this session. It therefore wished to invite Iran to further explain its effective set of safeguarding measures and its efforts in ensuring free, prior and informed consent from the community concerned.
643.The delegation of Uganda appreciated the work of the submitting State in its nomination on an element that was similar to one of the rain-making practices among one of the communities in north-western Uganda, which it was considering nominating in the future to the Representative List. Thus, the element, if favourable by the Committee, would provide Uganda with an added impetus to consider nominating its element on rain-making in the future. Noting the comments made by the Subsidiary Body, the delegation found that R.3 on safeguarding measures and R.4 were clearly met. However, under the section 3.a. on safeguarding measures, it was indicated that greater measures were being taken to control the possible negative effects of commercialization and tourism. It thus sought clarification on how that would be done and reflected in the file.
644.The delegation of Algeria thanked the Subsidiary Body for its work and recommendations, congratulating Iran for the excellent nomination presented, particularly in criterion R.2, one of the few delegations that had appropriately met this criterion. Regarding criterion R.3, it wished to hear the Iranian delegation on the measures taken to safeguard the element in light of what was said on the museumification and folklorization of cultural property. A balance must therefore be found between museumification and the sanitization of cultural property to be shown to the world. The delegation was convinced that Iran had managed to find the right balance, adding that it also wished to hear from Iran about R.4 and R.5.
645.The delegation of Tunisia remarked that in R.3, which was linked to safeguarding measures, it was noted that a new hotel had been built, and it wished to know the underlying reasoning behind the construction of the hotel, particularly as Kaburān village was close to a big city where there were hotels. Regarding R.5, the delegation wished to know why it felt that this element concerned two elements on the Representative List.
646.The delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran remarked that it was in 2001, at the 31st session of the General Conference, that the Director-General was authorized to organize the drafting of this Convention, giving shape to the enthusiastic process of intangible cultural heritage welcomed by so many nations. The delegation thanked the efforts of the Committee, the Subsidiary Body, and the Secretariat, adding that it would respond to the questions raised in criteria R.3, R.4 and R.5. Concerning R.5, the delegation noted that it had being asked to clarify the relation between the nomination submitted in February 2014 and that of 2010, when the nomination was initially submitted. It explained that its first submission in 2010, ‘Rain-seeking rituals in Iran’, was said by the Committee to be overly inclusive. It therefore revised the file to reduce the scope to a representative village, Kaburān, which required an update in the national inscription document for 2014. This was done in accordance to the advice of the Committee, as per Article 11.b and Article 12 of the Convention. The original file covered this heritage in the Iranian desert area, while the revised file of 2014 focused on this small village of 150 families. Thus, the 2014 file came from the file of 2010, i.e. it was the updated version of the already submitted file. With regard to R.3, it was said that the file focused on Bārān Khāhi as a decontextualized performance for tourists, and thus additional information was required to demonstrate the suitability and adequacy of measures for enhancing the viability of the element. The delegation further explained that in 2008, at the time of drafting the first submission, the local community expressed its will to be open to tourists, researchers, artists, and so on. On the one hand, their wishes had to be respected, but on the other, it was important to prevent any risk of decontextualization so as to safeguard the originality of the event from the possible negative effects of public visits. Thus, it was considered that visitors should not reside in the village but in a hotel in the nearby city of Arak, around 150 km from Kaburān. In this way, the original context of the ritual would remain undisturbed. The delegation highlighted the sections in the nomination file where this was clearly described and explained, including: section 1. (iv); the opening paragraph of 3.b. (i); paragraph c, 3.b. (i); and section 4.c. In addition, the opening paragraph of 3.b (i) clearly described the uniqueness of this culture and the attitude of the people that resulted in successful safeguarding of the element. Moreover, the ten proposed safeguarding measures, described in section 3.b. (i), would allay any fears of decontextualization. With regard to R.4, the delegation explained that around 50 signatures had been collected from mostly the shepherds, who were the real performers of the ritualistic march and dance, from the 150 households that comprise the village. It was also noted that a group of 15 representatives of the local community also closely cooperated in drafting the nomination text, as could be seen in section 4 of the nomination, especially section 3.b and section 4.a. In addition, of the six members of the drafting team, four were from the village. The delegation believed that this clearly demonstrated the widest possible participation of, what was effectively, a small community. The delegation hoped that the explanations would enable the Committee to reconsider its decision to inscribe the element.
647.The Chairperson proceeded with the adoption of the draft decision on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis, pronouncing paragraphs 1 and 2 adopted.
648.The delegation of Brazil understood that there were some forthcoming amendments to paragraph 3 that should be inserted in paragraph 2, and therefore asked the Chairperson to keep paragraph 2 open to verify if this was indeed the case.
649.The Chairperson thanked Brazil for its comment.
650.The delegation of India supported Brazil’s request that paragraph 2 remain open, as it had submitted an amendment to R.4 in paragraph 3, and if accepted, would be in paragraph 2.
651.The delegation of Belgium noted that paragraph 2 had already been adopted, adding that this was becoming a new procedure to adopt and then reopen paragraphs, which was a strange practice.
652.The delegation of Brazil remarked that it had raised its flag trying to ask for the floor before the paragraph was closed.
653.The Chairperson confirmed that the Secretary had informed him that Brazil had requested the floor before the decision, requesting that Brazil present its amendment to paragraph 2.
654.The delegation of Brazil explained that it did not have an amendment, but knew of other Members wishing to present amendments.
655.The Chairperson asked the Members to make known their amendments.
656.The delegation of Egypt had submitted an amendment in writing to the Secretariat.
657.The Secretary began by citing the amendment in paragraph 2 for R.3 submitted by Egypt, which read: ‘Reliable and practical safeguarding measures have been proposed aimed at transmission, identification, documentation, research, preservation, protection and promotion, while considering the eager spirit prevailing in Kaburan and respecting the will of the bearers to guarantee constructive cooperation among the State, the local authorities, and especially the local community, and to sustain the viability of the element.’
658.The Chairperson solicited support from the Committee for the amendment by Egypt.
659.The delegation of Afghanistan supported the amendment by Egypt.
660.The Secretary turned to the amendment in paragraph 2 for R.4, as proposed by India, which read: ‘The practitioners of Bārān Khāhi rituals, several bands composed of 3 to 5 shepherds, the rest of the local community, the people of Kaburan village, as well as the local authorities, took part in the drafting of the nomination file, participated in the related research and documentation activities, and have annexed the documents of their free, prior and informed consent, the widest possible participation of the community concerned has been achieved.’
661.The delegation of Brazil supported the amendment proposed by India.
662.The Chairperson asked those Members wishing to support the amendment by India to raise their flags. Noting that India’s amendment did not receive sufficiently broad support, he declared the original text would remain. The Chairperson then moved to paragraph 3.
663.The delegation of Turkey asked the Chairperson to provide the numbers of support received and counted, as it wished to know who and how many supported the nomination.
664.The Chairperson replied that this was not a vote but an overall assessment of the support, which did not receive sufficient support. He then turned to paragraph 3.
665.The delegation of Brazil acknowledged the point raised by Turkey, adding that there were 24 Committee Members of which about half, i.e. 11 or 12 had raised their flags in support of the amendment. It asked for a count in the future whenever there was a very close number.
666.Thanking Brazil for its remark, the Chairperson moved to paragraph 3, and with no comments or amendments in the sub-paragraphs to criteria R.3, R.4 and R.5, paragraph 3 was adopted as a whole. The Chairperson then moved to paragraph 4, which was duly adopted. With no objections to the adoption of the decision as a whole, the Chairpersondeclared adopted Decision 9.COM 10.20 to refer Bārān Khāhi, rain-seeking rituals of Kaburān village, Tafreshto the submitting State for additional information and invites it to resubmit in the following cycle.
667.The delegation of Islamic Republic of Iran agreed with Turkey and others that it would have been good for the Committee to count the votes so that it could see who was in support of the file, adding that it was not difficult to count the votes.
668.The Chairperson then turned to the examination of draft decision 9.COM 10.21.
669.The Vice-Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body presented the next nomination on Traditional agricultural practice of cultivating the ‘vite ad alberello’ (head-trained bush vines) of the community of Pantelleria [draft decision 9.COM 10.21] submitted by Italy. The traditional practice of cultivating head-trained bush vines (vite ad alberello) is transmitted through generations of vine growers and farmers of the Mediterranean island of Pantelleria. The technique consists of several phases: the ground is prepared by levelling the soil and digging a hollow to plant the vine, pruning, and then harvesting. The knowledge and skills of bearers and practitioners are handed down in families through oral and practical instruction in the local dialect. In addition, rituals and festivals organized between July and September allow the local community to share this social practice. In its evaluation, the Subsidiary Body found that all the criteria were satisfied. It found that the nomination adequately described the element as a set of skills that were linked to the environment and agricultural practices passed down from generation to generation. The nomination convincingly demonstrated how inscription would contribute to greater awareness of creative adaptation of intangible cultural heritage to a specific and challenging environment. Similarly, the nomination provided a series of safeguarding measures that were well articulated and coherent to ensure the viability of the element, reflecting significant and coordinated national, regional and local efforts, as well as the Pantelleria community. Community participation in the elaboration of the nomination and inscription of the element in an inventory of intangible cultural heritage had been convincingly demonstrated. The Subsidiary Body thus concluded by recommending the inscription of Traditional agricultural practice of cultivating the ‘vite ad alberello’ (head-trained bush vines) of the community of Pantelleria on the Representative List.
[The Vice-Chairperson from Belgium replaced
the Chairperson of the Committee in his absence]
670.With no forthcoming comments or objections, the Vice-Chair proceeded with the adoption of the draft decision as a whole, and declared adopted Decision 9.COM 10.21 to inscribe Traditional agricultural practice of cultivating the ‘vite ad alberello’ (head-trained bush vines) of the community of Pantelleria on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
671.The delegation of Italy was happy to note the Committee’s decision to inscribe the element on the Representative List. It thanked the Italian Ministry of Agriculture and the Pantelleria community that enabled the completion of the file. Its inscription would certainly play an important role in increasing knowledge about this cultural practice, which preserved the landscape and its biodiversity. It is an ancient agricultural technique, dating back to the Phoenicians who managed to maintain its specificity and original rituals through the centuries thanks to the commitment of local communities. Over time, despite difficult natural and climatic conditions and the different populations on the island, the culture of ‘vite ad alberello’ had maintained its strong symbolic identity for the communities that transmitted this knowledge through the generations, sometimes acting as a bridge between cultures. The delegation was convinced that all the practices encompassing sustainable development could help raise awareness among populations of their heritage, thus ensuring intercultural dialogue. The link between culture and sustainable development was the message that emerged from the 3rd UNESCO World Forum on Culture and Cultural Industries (also known as FOCUS) held in Florence in October 2014, and was one of the important elements of the Convention. These themes would also be the mainstay of the World Expo in Milan between May and October 2015.
672.The Vice-Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body presented the next nomination on Washi, craftsmanship of traditional Japanese hand-made paper [draft decision 9.COM 10.22] submitted by Japan. The traditional craft of hand-making paper, or Washi, is practised in three communities in Japan. The paper is made from the fibres of the paper mulberry plant and is used not only for letter writing and books, but also in home interiors to make paper screens, room dividers and sliding doors. Families and their employees work and learn under Washi masters, who have inherited the techniques from their parents. The communities play different roles in keeping this craftsmanship viable, ranging from the cultivation of mulberry, training in the techniques, and the creation of new products. It was noted that this was the first time that the Committee had to deal with a broader nomination submitted by a single country. Indeed, in 2009, the Committee had already inscribed the element ‘Sekishu-Banshi: papermaking in the Iwami region of Shimane Prefecture’. The nomination put before the Committee would extend this inscription to other communities, namely Hon-minoshi and Hosokawa-shi communities. In its evaluation, the Subsidiary Body found that all the criteria were satisfied, and that the nomination demonstrated with clarity and precision that washi satisfied the definition of intangible cultural heritage. Indeed, the extended nomination manages to satisfactorily describe the technical features common to the traditional practice, while specifying the cultural and social functions for each community concerned. The submitting State had also shown that inscription would help raise awareness of the importance of safeguarding know-how linked to traditional crafts and the establishment of mutually supportive links between artisans from Japan and other countries. The Body also found convincing information on the full participation of the three associations of washi paper manufacturers both in the elaboration of the proposed safeguarding measures and in the preparation of the extended application for which free, prior and informed consent had been given. With proof of inclusion of the three manufacturing techniques comprising this nomination in the national inventory maintained by the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan, the Subsidiary Body thus concluded by recommending the inscription of Washi, craftsmanship of traditional Japanese hand-made paper on the Representative List.
673.The Vice-Chair noted that the new nomination was the first case for the Committee of an extension in scope of an already inscribed element by a State. With no forthcoming comments or objections, the Vice-Chair proceeded with the adoption of the draft decision as a whole, and declared adopted Decision 9.COM 10.22 to inscribe Washi, craftsmanship of traditional Japanese hand-made paperon the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
674.The delegation of Japan thanked the Committee, the Chairperson, the Subsidiary Body, all the States Parties, and the Secretariat, adding that it was a great honour to express its gratitude for the inscription of the element on the Representative List. The process of creating Washi placed importance on the sustainable use of natural elements such as the fibres of the mulberry plant or the clean and cool water of rivers, while the techniques of creating Washi have been handed down through generations. Washi had united all the people involved and given them a common identity. With this inscription, the delegation was confident that the dialogue within and among concerned communities would be further enhanced. It would continue to lend its full support to the communities and their efforts to safeguard the craftsmanship of Washi.
675.Congratulating Japan, the Vice-Chair turned to the next nomination.
676.The Vice-Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body turned to the next nomination on Kazakh traditional art of Dombra Kuy [draft decision 9.COM 10.23] submitted by Kazakhstan. The art of Dombra Kuy refers to a short solo composition performed on a traditional pear-shaped, long-necked, two-stringed, plucked musical instrument. The music aims to connect people to their historic roots and traditions through classical and improvised pieces. It is performed at social gatherings, holidays and festive celebrations and is usually accompanied by narrated stories and legends. It serves an important role in strengthening social cohesion among Kazakhs, while giving them a sense of identity and belonging. In its evaluation, the Subsidiary Body found that all the criteria were satisfied. The nomination adequately demonstrated that Dombra kuy constituted intangible cultural heritage as an art form passed on from teacher to student but also through formal educational institutions, and was considered by the Kazakh as a means of communication and social integration. The nomination also convincingly demonstrated that inscription would lead to greater awareness of the ability of the intangible cultural heritage to serve as a vehicle for integration and solidarity. Similarly, the proposed safeguarding measures were precisely detailed and were deemed appropriate for ensuring the viability of the element, especially since they seem to benefit both the efforts of the State and the participation of the community and practitioners of Dombra kuy. The nomination described in detail the process of its elaboration and the participation of the bearers and the general public, providing adequate evidence of their free, prior and informed consent as well as the inscription of Dombra kuy in the National Register of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Kazakhstan. The Subsidiary Body thus concluded by recommending the inscription of Kazakh traditional art of Dombra Kuy on the Representative List, while suggesting that the Committee recall in paragraph 4 of the draft decision that expressions such as ‘pure nature’, ‘essence’, ‘true meaning’ and ‘true beauty’ had no place in the framework of the Convention.
677.With no forthcoming comments or objections, the Vice-Chair proceeded with the adoption of the draft decision as a whole, and declared adopted Decision 9.COM 10.23 to inscribe Kazakh traditional art of Dombra Kuy on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
678.The delegation of Kazakhstan spoke of the truly historic moment to have the country’s first element inscribed on the Representative List, thanking the Committee for endorsing this decision. Given that the country ratified the Convention in late 2011, this inscription represented a big step towards the world’s knowledge of the intangible cultural heritage of modern Kazakhstan with its history of Central Asian, Turkic and nomadic civilizations. It expressed its deep gratitude to UNESCO and its partners from other countries, particularly Norway, Republic of Korea and the ICHCAP6 centre for supporting activities aimed at capacity-building, inventory-making and the popularization of intangible cultural heritage of Kazakhstan and Central Asia. Equipped with knowledge and the principles of implementing the Convention, the delegation was determined to ensure further viability, safeguarding and the transmission of the element in the future.
679.The Vice-Chair congratulated Kazakhstan on its inscription and welcomed the Kazakh musicians.
[Performance of Dombra kuy]
680.The Vice-Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body presented the last nomination of the day on Traditional knowledge and skills in making Kyrgyz and Kazakh yurts (Turkic nomadic dwellings [draft decision 9.COM 10.24] submitted by Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The yurt is a nomadic dwelling used among the Kazakh and Kyrgyz peoples. It has a wooden circular frame covered with felt and braided with ropes, and can be easily assembled and dismantled. Men and their apprentices make the wooden frames by hand, while women make the interior decorations and exterior coverings, ornamented with traditional zoomorphic, vegetative or geometric patterns. All festivities, ceremonies, births, weddings and funeral rituals are held in a yurt. As such, the yurt remains a symbol of family and traditional hospitality, fundamental to the identity of the Kazakh and Kyrgyz peoples. In its evaluation, the Subsidiary Body found that all the criteria were satisfied, which was unanimously agreed by all the Members of the Body before the evaluation meeting. Indeed, the Body found that the submitting States demonstrated in a pedagogical way how the knowledge and traditional know-how related to the manufacture of yurts were constitutive of intangible cultural heritage shared by Kyrgyz and Kazakh communities who were devoted to its transmission to teach the younger generation about the harmonious connection between nature and human creativity. The explanation given on the contribution of its inscription to increasing awareness of the importance of intangible cultural heritage in the sustainable management of natural resources was also convincing. In addition, the safeguarding measures included a long list of events and activities to ensure the viability of the traditional manufacture of yurts in both countries. Moreover, the Body congratulated the two submitting States for the quality of their descriptions concerning the participation of the communities in the nomination process. The element was also inscribed in both the National Intangible Cultural Heritage Register of Kazakhstan and the National Inventory of Kyrgyzstan. The Subsidiary Body thus concluded by recommending the inscription of Traditional knowledge and skills in making Kyrgyz and Kazakh yurts (Turkic nomadic dwellings) on the Representative List.
681.With no forthcoming comments or objections, the Vice-Chair proceeded with the adoption of the draft decision as a whole, and declared adopted Decision 9.COM 10.24 to inscribe Traditional knowledge and skills in making Kyrgyz and Kazakh yurts (Turkic nomadic dwellings) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
682.Speaking in Kyrgyz, the delegation of Kyrgyzstan remarked that this was its first Kazakh-Kyrgyz joint nomination, which demonstrated not only an understanding of the union of basic cultural values but a deep mutual understanding and will to cooperate, including in joint work on safeguarding shared heritage between the two nations. The unique architectural construction of the Kyrgyz and Kazakh yurt was not only a hearth, but a symbol of the State as well. Despite urbanization and changes in lifestyles, the meaning of the yurt remained at the centre of the traditional mode of life, along with other demonstrations of traditional culture and living in harmony with nature. The delegation was proud that the international community recognized the yurt as intangible cultural heritage of humanity, and it expressed its appreciation of the support by the Committee and the communities concerned in keeping the yurt alive.
683.The delegation of Kazakhstan expressed special regards to Kyrgyzstan for initiating this multinational nomination, and all the partners involved in the process of its preparation. It believed that the Turkic nomadic lifestyle existed in full harmony with nature, and that the inscription of the traditional knowledge and skills in making a yurt would help promote rational management of natural resources, and an ecological awareness among people as a contribution to sustainable development at a global level. Moreover, such multinational projects played an important role in strengthening intercultural dialogue by raising awareness of common historic and cultural heritage. The delegation believed that this would gain momentum in the future, particularly during the current International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013–2022). It expressed deep gratitude to the Committee for endorsing the decision to inscribe the element, and was happy to invite everyone to see the yurt demonstration model exhibited in UNESCO’s courtyard.
684.The Vice-Chair adjourned the session.
[Thursday, 27 November, morning session]
685.The Vice-Chair [Mr Dries Willems, also from Belgium] greeted the Committee, thanking the Republic of Korea for offering the coffee, and reminding the Committee that of the 39 nominations submitted, it had examined 21 and inscribed 18 elements on the Representative List. So there were 18 nominations left to complete before continuing with item 11, and the other agenda items.
686.The Vice-Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body presented the next nomination on