Brazil sought clarity on the safeguarding plan in R.3 with regard to the State’s involvement in the measures listed, including museums, research centres and activities related to agrotourism. The delegation also sought clarity on the inventory, as it appeared that the inventory had been carried out, though it was not entirely clear from the wording in the nomination form.
The delegation of Albania also sought clarity on the inventory, particularly as countries in the region had typically worked on inventories a long time ago. The delegation of Indonesia also sought clarity on the inventory.
The delegation of Peru wished to have more details on how the Subsidiary Body concluded that the State Party’s safeguarding plans would lead to over-commercialization.
The delegation of Uruguay supported the request by Brazil and Peru since it would support inscription if convinced.
The delegation of Tunisia surmised that if the inventory had been done according to the norms, then the State Party could be asked to provide the inventory in a timely manner.
Thanking the Subsidiary Body for its thorough work, the delegation of Greece began by explaining the know-how of mastic cultivation, which produced the delicious gum and juices, adding that the shrub only grew on the southern part of the island. It explained that there is a long tradition of cultivating the shrub on the island, and every measure is taken not to extract more from the shrub than necessary, so there could not be any over-commercialization, particularly as production is built around the amount of resin it can obtain. With regard to State involvement in the safeguarding measures, the State recognized that farmers were taught informally in keeping with their system of beliefs and nature, and encouraged them to transmit their knowledge. In collaboration with an NGO, the State had thus created a museum and there were several other measures of this kind in the nomination file, which the State considered was sufficient. With regard to the inventory, the State held a substantial inventory in the Archaeological School of Arts within the Folklore Center of the Academy of Athens, but did not obtain a copy for the nomination file, hoping that the website and the updated inventory would be ready on time so as to meet the requirements of the Convention. Moreover, the General Director of Antiquities in Athens had addressed a letter to the Secretary explaining that the website would be ready by the end of February.
The Chairperson noted that Greece had responded to Peru’s question on over-commercialization and therefore did not seek further clarity from the Subsidiary Body. Additionally, the State considered that there was sufficient information in the file regarding safeguarding, though conceded that there was insufficient information on the inventory.
The delegation of Greece further explained that the translation of the inventory was a substantial task and the reason it had been unable to create the website on time.
Having heard the explanations, the delegation of Spainconsidered that R.5 on the inventory was satisfied and approved the inscription of the element.
The Chairperson remarked that Spain, as member of the Subsidiary Body, was contradicting its own recommendation in the draft decision.
Having heard Greece, the delegation of Uruguayalso supported inscription of the element.
The delegation of Spain wished to clarify that it had not violated any rules of procedure as the submitting State had provided relevant information that had not been made available to the Subsidiary Body at the time of its examination.
The Chairperson noted however that the inventory website would only be ready at the end of February. He reminded the Committee that the Subsidiary Body could only make decisions based on the information contained in the file, and he was therefore unable to decide favourably given that information was lacking. The delegation of Belgiumsupported the Chairperson’s conclusion that there was a problem in R.5.
The Chairperson turned to the draft decision and paragraph 1, which was duly adopted.
Having heard the State Party, the delegation of Brazil was convinced that R.3 was satisfied, and drew attention to the language of the Operational Directives on safeguarding measures that state ‘may’ protect and promote the element. The delegation thus fully concurred with the State Party that the measures listed may indeed protect and promote the element. It therefore wished to propose an amendment in this regard.
The Chairpersonnoted Brazil’s recommendation that R.3 was satisfied, and read out the amendment: ‘The safeguarding measures proposed aim at ensuring availability and sustainability of the know-how of cultivating mastic’. The Chairperson noted support from Indonesia, Japan, Uruguay, Peru, China, Kirgizstan, Tunisia and Uruguay.
The delegation of Belgium returned to its earlier point regarding the dramatic summer fires that had destroyed some of the shrubs, which had placed these families in a difficult situation. The delegation therefore wished to take this specific issue into account in R.3.
The Chairperson noted Belgium’s concern with regard to safeguarding measure and the particular issue of fires. However, with no further comments of objections to sub-paragraph R.3, the paragraph as amended by Brazil was duly adopted. The Chairperson then turned to sub-paragraph 4, which was also adopted. Consequently, the reference to R.3 in paragraph 3 was deleted. The Chairperson then turned to paragraph 3 and the sub-paragraph on R.5.
The delegation of Brazil reiterated that it believed R.5 to be satisfied, adding that although the information was not available online, the element was indeed registered in an inventory that was currently being translated.
The delegation of Uganda agreed with Brazil, adding that the State Party fulfilled Art. 12, which reads, ‘the State Party may draw up, in a manner geared to its own situation, an inventory’. In this case, the inventory was a formal book albeit it was not yet available online, and consequently satisfied criterion R.5.
The delegation of Belgium called for consistency with regard to decisions taken last year, recalling a number of nominations that had been referred, notably India, based specifically on criterion R.5.
The delegation of Nicaragua supported Brazil and Uganda in that the physical inventory existed and therefore satisfied R.5.
Although a member of the Subsidiary Body, but as Spain had previously intervened, the delegation of Burkina Fasowished to comment on the question of inventory. The Chairperson intervened, as he did not wish to open up a precedent in this regard, inviting members of the Subsidiary Body not to intervene as they already conveyed their consensual recommendation to the Committee.
The delegation of Czech Republic spoke of its uncomfortable position in that while it respected the interventions by Committee members and Greece, it valued the work of the Subsidiary Body and its decision that the two criteria had not been met, despite the explanations by Greece. The delegation conceded to the consensus, but believed that further reflection was necessary. Moreover, it also regarded the referral as an occasion for the State to better revise its nomination, particularly as the value of the element was not in question, adding that the Committee may be faced with the same situation when examining the other nomination files.
The delegation of Grenada was convinced that the State had been involved in safeguarding measures in R.3, even though the State Party did not specifically mention the fact in the nomination file. However, it agreed with the Czech Republic that insisted on information being contained in the file. The delegation recalled that five files had been referred to the submitting States Parties in Bali owing to a lack of information in R.5, adding that the Committee should remain consistent with decisions taken by previous committees and advisory bodies, regardless of any sympathy held for the nomination.
The delegation of Indonesia supported the proposal by Brazil, adding that the proof of an inventory in this case was a technical issue. Moreover, the Committee should not refer to the rejected files in Bali, as every file had to be carefully considered based on its own characteristics.
The Chairperson noted the divergent positions.
The delegation of Japan associated with the remark by Indonesia that the Committee should judge on a case-by-case basis, and it supported Brazil in this regard.
The Chairperson noted that there was an absence of consensus, and therefore asked the Committee whether it supported the view that R.5 was supported by evidence in the file. The following delegations believed that this was indeed the case: Brazil,Nicaragua, Uruguay, Japan, Peru, Uganda, Indonesia, Madagascar, China, Kirghizstan and Tunisia. However, as a change to the draft decision proposed by Brazil required support from the majority, i.e. 13 delegations, the Chairperson pronounced the original paragraph 3 adopted. With no comments or objections to paragraph 4, it was also adopted.
The delegation of Brazil regretted that the nomination file had been referred, but agreed that it gave Greece the opportunity to improve its file. It also found relevant the remarks by Belgium on the fires, and recommended a new paragraph 5, which read: ‘Recommends the State Party to give consideration to additional safeguarding policies aimed at mitigating fire damage to the trees’. With no objections, paragraph 5 was duly adopted.
With no further comments or objections, the Chairperson declared adopted Decision 7.COM 11.14 to refer Know-how of cultivating mastic on the island of Chiosto the submitting State for additional information.
The delegation of Greece fully respected the decision of the Committee, expressing thanks to members for their show of solidarity.
The Chairperson thanked Greece, adding that it appreciated its comments.
The Chairperson of the Subsidiary Bodypresented the next nomination on Folk art of the Matyó, embroidery of a traditional community [draft decision 7.COM 11.15] submitted by Hungary. The folk art of the Matyó community around the town of Mezőkövesd in north-eastern Hungary is characterized by floral motifs that are found in flat-stitch embroidery in interior decoration and architecture. The national popularity of Matyó embroidery has made it into a form of auxiliary income, enabling women to buy the fine fabrics and supplies necessary for making elaborate costumes. Most often practised as a communal activity, embroidery strengthens interpersonal relationships and community cohesion, while allowing for individual artistic expression. The Subsidiary Body found that the nomination satisfied all the criteria. It noted the symbolic role of the Matyo embroidery within the community, and the nomination file had shown how the transmission of knowledge helped strengthen relationships and cohesion within the community. Awareness of this traditional craft could encourage human creativity and contribute towards greater visibility of intangible cultural heritage. The Subsidiary Body also noted the strong commitment of the State, local authorities, groups of artisans, and cultural associations in safeguarding the element. The Subsidiary Body therefore recommended the inscription of the element on the Representative List.
With no comments or objections, the Chairperson declared adopted Decision 7.COM 11.15 to inscribe Folk art of the Matyó, embroidery of a traditional communityon the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The delegation of Hungary introduced the Director of Intangible Cultural Heritage, Ms Eszter Csonka-Takács, who on behalf of the country and the bearers thanked the Secretariat and the Subsidiary Body for their work that led to the element’s inscription, as well as the Committee for its support. The international recognition was an honour for Hungary, which was committed to the continued practice and transmission of the folk art, and that would enable further awareness of intangible cultural heritage in general.
The Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body presented the next nomination on Buddhist chanting of Ladakh: recitation of sacred Buddhist texts in the trans-Himalayan Ladakh region, Jammu and Kashmir, India [draft decision 7.COM 11.16] submitted by India. In the Ladakh region, Buddhist lamas (priests) chant sacred texts representing the spirit of the Buddha. Chanting can be accompanied by dance and is undertaken for the well-being of the people, for purification and peace of mind, to appease the wrath of evil spirits or to invoke the blessing of various deities. Acolytes are trained by senior monks in the monastery where they pray daily for world peace, and for the personal growth of the practitioners. The Subsidiary Body found that the nomination satisfied all the criteria. It recalled that the nomination had been referred to the submitting State in 2011 for additional information on criterion R.5. As with the Subsidiary Body in 2011, it found that the first four criteria were met, and that criterion R.5 had now also been satisfied, as the inventory had been elaborated and updated with the participation of the communities concerned. The Subsidiary Body therefore recommended the inscription of the element on the Representative List.
With no comments or objections, the Chairperson declared adopted Decision 7.COM 11.16 to inscribe Buddhist chanting of Ladakh: recitation of sacred Buddhist texts in the trans-Himalayan Ladakh region, Jammu and Kashmir, Indiaon the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The delegation of India thanked the Committee Subsidiary Body and the Secretariat for the successful inscription, which was a source of pride and would invariably strengthen the government’s commitment towards safeguarding the element.
The Chairperson commended India’s dedication and commitment in ensuring the element’s inscription with a nomination file that had initially been referred.
The Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body presented the next nomination on Qālišuyān rituals of Mašhad-e Ardehāl in Kāšān [draft decision 7.COM 11.17] submitted by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Qālišuyān rituals are practised in Iran to honour the memory of Soltān Ali, a holy figure among the people of Kāšān and Fin. According to legend, he was martyred and his body found and carried in a carpet to a stream where it was purified. Today, the Qālišuyān takes place at Soltān Ali mausoleum where a carpet is washed in the holy stream by a huge gathering. The people of Xāve gather at the mausoleum to sprinkle rosewater on the carpet, which is then delivered to the people of Fin who rinse the carpet in running water and sprinkle rosewater drops with decorated wooden sticks. Qālišuyān rituals are thus part of the socio-cultural life of several communities who gather together in a spirit of cooperation and sharing. The Subsidiary Body found that the nomination satisfied criteria R.1, R.4 and R.5, but that criterion R.2 and R.3 required additional information. It found that there was insufficient information in R.2 about the contribution of Qālišuyān rituals to visibility and awareness of the importance of intangible cultural heritage in general, nor how it promoted dialogue among communities, groups and individuals. In criterion R.3, the information given was not sufficiently specific on how the community participated in the implementation of the safeguarding measures. The Subsidiary Body was concerned that the measures had not been developed in keeping with the need for mutual respect and tolerance that respected the dynamics of transformation characterizing intangible cultural heritage, as they were formulated in terms of protecting the element against evolution and external influences. The Subsidiary Body therefore recommended a referral of the file to the submitting Party, which would enable it to provide the additional required information.
The delegation of Nicaragua spoke of the element as important, as it encouraged a sense of belonging in the participating communities, and its significance as intangible cultural heritage was without doubt. However, the delegation sought clarification on three points: i) how would the element promote dialogue among the communities concerned; ii) how would communities participate in the safeguarding measures; and iii) how were the safeguarding measures to be implemented.
The delegation of China thanked the Subsidiary Body for its observations and recommendations, and noting the divergent opinions, requested the submitting State to elaborate on the how the community representatives collaborated in the preparation of the nomination file and the safeguarding measures.
The delegation of Japan also congratulated the Subsidiary Body on its excellent observations and found the safeguarding measures interesting, though requested the submitting State to elaborate on how the methodology of the measures intended to preserve the dynamic character of the element.
The delegation of Azerbaijan drew attention to the importance of the element as a rare example of true dialogue among communities, ethnicities and religions, as stated in page 6 of the nomination, which contributed towards the visibility of the element at both national and international levels. The delegation invited the submitting State to explain on how the issue of awareness-raising of intangible cultural heritage in general had been elaborated. With regard to community participation in the safeguarding measures, the delegation associated with the remarks by Japan to request the submitting State to elaborate on the proposed measures that would not freeze the element to a fixed form.
The delegation of Latvia congratulated the submitting State for its file, which was noteworthy for its deep roots in the Asian-Iranian mythological worldview that created a platform for peaceful interaction of communities with different ethnic and religious backgrounds. Considering the principle of R.2, the delegation believed that the element would add value to the Representative List for the diversity of its expressions. With regard to the Subsidiary Body’s draft decision, the delegation noted the important role played by NGOs in safeguarding the rituals. It also noted that the file encompassed a list of 18 proposed safeguard activities, and sought clarification from the State on how the communities would take part in the activities.
The delegation of Brazil remarked on previously noted difficulties in interpretation of R.2 with regard to ‘will contribute to visibility’, as one could not predict how it could contribute to visibility in the future.
The delegation of Indonesiashared the view expressed by Azerbaijan, and also requested clarification from the submitting State on criteria R.2 and R.3.
The delegation of Uruguay endorsed the remarks by the previous speakers.
The Chairperson reiterated the importance of adhering to the information contained in the nomination file, adding that by inviting a submitting State to elaborate on its nomination was in fact an invitation to provide additional information not contained in the file. Thus, the Chairperson would not give the Islamic Republic of Iran the opportunity to elaborate, but specifically respond to the three questions posed by Nicaragua: i) how would the element promote dialogue among communities; ii) how would communities participate in the safeguarding measures; and iii) how were the safeguarding measures to be implemented.
The delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran began by thanking all those involved the organization of the meeting, agreeing to adhere to the information contained in the file. With regard to the visibility of intangible cultural heritage in general, the delegation explained that the file stated the element as constituting an outstanding example of East-West Asian traditional knowledge on astronomical and astrological calendars, and an example of water rituals worldwide. It constituted a constructive dialogue between ancient Islamic and modern rituals and thereby encouraged peace and mutual understanding among different ethnicities and religions. With regard to the safeguarding measures and methodology, the delegation explained that the drafters developed a range of general to specific measures with special attention given to awareness-raising at local, national and international levels. More opportunities were provided for local communities to empower traditional safeguarding methods, which had successfully guided the element in its journey of recreation throughout the various epochs. Thus, the element was not endangered and fully active and representative in its own domain. The delegation added that the language and content of the form was fully in line with previous successful inscriptions. With regard to community participation, the delegation drew attention to the consent documents signed by the councils of the villages concerned, as well as the trustees of the mausoleum – representatives of the local communities who were actively involved throughout the nomination process and the development of the safeguarding measures. Moreover, the nomination was motivated and decided upon by the strong will of the community, which was outlined in the nomination form.
The Chairperson then turned to paragraph 1 of the draft decision, which was duly adopted.
Reiterating its earlier comment on the difficulty to define R.2, the delegation of Brazil added that the element clearly promoted dialogue between the different communities concerned, while raising awareness on water resources, as demonstrated in the file. In this regard, the delegation submitted an amendment to paragraph 2 on criterion R.2.
The Chairperson read out the amendment: ‘The inscription of the Qālišuyān rituals on the Representative List could contribute to greater visibility of intangible cultural heritage and awareness of its significance by encouraging dialogue and cooperation among the different communities, groups and individuals’. The following delegations supported the amendment: China, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Japan, Uruguay, Peru, Uganda, Nicaragua and Namibia.
The delegation of Burkina Faso remarked that the Subsidiary Body had not been given the floor to answer a specific question addressed to it and express its position. Given the floor by the Chairperson, the Chairperson of the Subsidiary Body did not recall the specific question.
The Chairperson proceeded with the adoption of sub-paragraph R.2, as proposed by Brazil. With no objections, it was duly adopted. The delegation of Brazil drew attention to the wording for R.2 that ‘may’ protect and promote the element, adding that the element was constantly recreated with the communities concerned and as such the safeguarding measures ‘may’ protect the element, which suggested that criterion R.3 was satisfied. The