Want to keep learning?

This content is taken from the Nankai University's online course, Culture and Tourism. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 13 seconds So in this section, I’m going to talk about another very important concept, intangible cultural heritage. Intangible culture Heritage is a very critical issues in the UNESCO heritage system. But this course mainly focus on the cultural heritage and focus on the object. So I only use this section to talk about this concept. 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.

Skip to 0 minutes and 58 seconds 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. The importance of intangible cultural heritage is not the cultural manifestation itself but rather the wealth of knowledge and skills that is transmitted through it from one generation to the next. The social and economic value of this transmission of knowledge is relevant for minority groups and for mainstream social groups within a State, and is as important for developing States as for developed ones.

Skip to 2 minutes and 5 seconds Well, Traditional, contemporary and living at the same time: intangible cultural heritage does not only represent inherited traditions from the past but also contemporary rural and urban practices in which diverse cultural groups take part; Well, we may share expressions of intangible culture heritage. There are similar to those practice by others whether they are form the neighbouring village from a city opposite side of the world, or have been adopted by people who have migrated and settled in a different region. Well, they all are intangible cultural heritage.

Skip to 2 minutes and 52 seconds They have been passed from one generation to another, have evolved in response to their environment, and they contribute to giving us a sense of identity and continuity, providing a link from our past, through present, and into our future. Well, intangible cultural heritage does not give rise to question or whether or not certain practice are specific to a culture. It contribute to social cohesion, encouraging a sense of identity and responsibility which helps individuals to feel part of one or different communities and to feel part of society as a large.

Skip to 3 minutes and 39 seconds Intangible Culture Heritage is not merely valued as a culture goods, comparative basis for its exclusively all is exceptional value. It’s thrives on its base in communities. And it depends on those whose knowledge of traditions, skills and custom are passed on to the rest of the communities from generation to generation or two and other communities. Intangible culture heritage can only be heritage it is recognized as such by communities, groups or individuals that create, maintain and transmitted without their recognition. Nobody else can decide for them that a given expression or practice is their heritage.

Skip to 4 minutes and 39 seconds So there are several types of the intangible culture heritage. First. It is about Oral traditions. The second it is about Performing arts, The third is the Social practice routines, festivals events. And the fourth is about knowledge, practice concerning nature and the universe. And the fifth, the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts. So this section I’ve talked about the concept of intangible cultural heritage, about its concept, but I did not give several examples about this, because it is not the main concern in this course. Because this course will mainly concern about cultural heritage linking to object linking to heritage sites. But now we’re talking about sometimes there’s a linkage between cultural heritage and intangible cultural heritage.

Skip to 5 minutes and 41 seconds It is the future to combine these two together. So we will explore these issues in the future.

Intangible cultural heritage

By the end of this video, you will have a good understanding of Intangible Cultural Heritage from Dr. Rouran Zhang.

Intangible cultural heritage is a very important category of heritage. Can you share with us one intangible cultural heritage that you are familiar with?

Please feel free to leave some comments in the comments section below, let’s talk about the interesting intangible heritage.

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Culture and Tourism

Nankai University