Sheik Ali Lafi Zelabieh
Preserving intangible cultural heritage to combat the negative consequences of Globalisation.

“The elders are the books of the young,”

Bedouin Proverb


The importance of preserving intangible cultural heritage in combating the negative consequences of Globalisation.

Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), sometimes called “living heritage”, comprises those non-tangible or physical aspects of a culture that defines us. They can include traditional knowledge and skills, beliefs, oral traditions, customs, languages, music, dance and celebrations.

Living heritage is dynamic in that it is transmitted across generations and shaped anew as each generation innovates, experiments and adapts to changing social norms and values. ICH is at great risk around the globe due to increasing influences of globalisation and mass media.

Safeguarding living heritage is vital to sustaining a community’s innate creativity and sense of identity. Whereas all other forms of cultural heritage define WHAT a community creates, ICH answers the question, WHY, and therefore is critical to understanding what binds us together as human beings and how we express this uniquely through our culture.

“The bulk of the world’s current problems stem from a detachment from traditional cultures. This culture, knowledge and experience must be protected at all costs. It is the only hope for sustainability of cultural identity while allowing modern development.” UNESCO 2009

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