[Yap State News Brief] UN Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization To Hold Workshop In Yap

Resource:  Yap State News Brief/ February 7, 2013

COLONIA, Yap (Yap HPO) — It is indeed an honor to announce that Yap State has been chosen to host a capacity building workshop for UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Program. This will be a three day event that will be held March 26th, 27th, and 28th, 2013. The workshop is the first effort within the FSM to organize support for UNESCO’s prestigious program and its goals to identify, document, and promote cultural diversity around the world. The FSM government has recently begun finalizing the process of becoming a member of this program that will facilitate obtaining international support and promotion of our valuable cultural heritage.


Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) can be many things, including traditional knowledge, craftsmanship, songs, dances, languages and numerous other elements of culture that are not passed down through buildings, artifacts or monuments. Yet, because these performances and other cultural expressions do not have a tangible, objective form, they can also be easily lost when not practiced over time. This is what UNESCO’s program addresses by identifying forms of ICH which societies value and desire to maintain and protect for future generations. This program also specifically assists in efforts and projects that focus on those particular forms of intangible cultural heritage that are quickly disappearing.


This event will be for Yap State and will only have one or two experts from outside the region—including the regional UNESCO representative. Details will be provided at a later date, but it is envisioned that the event should be a “grassroots” process, instead of one planned and managed by outsiders—since it is our cultural heritage being considered, we should take ownership and responsibility over how it is managed. Furthermore, this participatory and collaborative approach should help to foster a sense of ownership by all through empowering everyone in the process. Only when everyone feels invested in honoring their culture can a truly successful effort to do so be realized.


An ultimate goal would be to apply for inscription and recognition of specific forms of intangible Yapese culture to be on UNESCO’s prestigious ICH lists. With inscription, Yap would not only receive much needed international recognition for its rich culture, but will also be able to seek outside assistance to help manage its cultural heritage more effectively. The goal of the workshop is “capacity building” and one result we hope to achieve with the workshop is to begin s process of widespread public support and involvement in managing our valuable culture.


For more information on UNESCO’s ICH program, please visit their very educational and informative website: www.unesco.org/culture/ich.


Resource:  Yap State News Brief/ February 7, 2013


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