Islands and Suriname working to safeguard cultural heritage

More than twenty participants representing Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten and Suriname will gather in Curaçao from Tuesday to Saturday for a workshop on developing plans to safeguard their intangible cultural heritage, writes The Daily Herald.

Saba schoolchildren dancing the maypole.
Saba schoolchildren dancing the maypole.

Reflecting diverse communities and practitioners, as well as governmental and non-governmental organizations involved in the safeguarding of living heritage in the sub-region, participants are among the fi rst to benefi t from a newly- developed training combining the use of interactive scenarios and role-playing games that will be delivered by experts trained by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation UNESCO.

This activity builds on the community-based inventorying training and field exercises recently undertaken in the Dutch Caribbean.

Organized by the UNESCO Kingston Cluster Office for the Caribbean, in close cooperation with national partners across the islands, the workshop in Curaçao is part of a capacity-building project to reinforce safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage on the Dutch Caribbean islands and in Suriname.

The project has been made possible by a contribution from the Government of the Netherlands to the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund.

The term “cultural heritage” has changed content considerably in recent decades, partially owing to the instruments developed by UNESCO.

Cultural heritage does not end at monuments and collections of objects. It also includes traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed on to our descendants, such as oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe, or the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts, according to UNESCO.

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