On the first of November the Workshop on the Ratification and Implementation of the 2003 Convention for Pacific States was opened at China Cultural Centre in Sydney. The Workshop aims to conduct international training activities in the domain of the intangible cultural heritage while also proactively building up a regional and international exchange and cooperation platform.
Co-hosted by China Cultural Centre in Sydney as well as International Training Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region (CRIHAP), the Workshop promotes the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and the implementation of the Convention in the Asia-Pacific Region.
“Intangible cultural heritage is the soul of a nation. With modern technology rapidly advancing and the world becoming more globalised, it becomes extremely urgent to protect intangible cultural heritage for each nation and pass it onto our next generation”, said Mrs. Zhao Li, Director of the Centre.
She also expressed her hope that this Workshop “will provide opportunities for experience-sharing in regards to how to safeguard intangible cultural heritage for each country, and influence more organisations and institutions to join this mission.”
Established in 2012, CRIHAP has been playing a significant role in enhancing the capacity of the Asia-Pacific Member States of UNESCO to protect intangible cultural heritage.
“This Workshop is a good platform for sharing recent achievements made by global society to safeguard intangible cultural heritage. We hope that more countries will ratify the Convention and get involved in this work”, said Niu Genfu, Vice President of the Chinese National Academy of Arts.
“Urbanisation, globalisation, natural disasters and climate change have brought a huge challenge to the ways by which traditional Asia-Pacific culture is expressed”, said Gao Qiaoxiao, Cultural Project Officer of the Asia-Pacific Region Office of UNESCO. She also expressed her gratitude to the generous support from UNESCO, and hoped this Workshop would help more people understand the goals of the Convention.
Joined by Quanzhou Marionette Drama, Jinjiang Hand Puppet Art Heritage Protection Centre, and Zhangzhou Puppetry Troupe, the opening ceremony also included their excellent performances, showcasing the achievements in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in China. Appreciated and applauded by the present guests and participants, the puppetry performances achieved a great response from the audience.
Lasting from 1st to 7th November, the Workshop explores main concepts from the Convention, the benefits of ratification, responsibilities of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage, recognition and sustainable development of the intangible cultural heritage project, establishment of the list of intangible cultural heritage.
In addition, China Cultural Centre in Sydney will organise and arrange the Fujian Puppetry Troupe to perform in Australian local schools, bringing and introducing Chinese culture to young students in Sydney.