Wednesday, 2 April 2014

April being observed as Heritage Awareness Month

By Linda Straker

THE Ministry of Culture will be observing April as Heritage Awareness Month as part of Government’s effort to foster a better understanding about the island’s tradition and customs as it pertains to both tangible and intangible heritage.

Senator Brenda Hood, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, said that the idea was already endorsed by the Cabinet and the month of activities will involve educational awareness in various communities as part of building an awareness about the richness of the island’s tangible and intangible heritage.

“The focus will be on everything, from our food and music to our architecture, cultural norms, just about everything that makes us who we are,” she said, while explaining that activities will be linked to the new tourism brand of Pure Grenada. “We have to embrace our pureness and protect it,” she said.

Focusing on the wider benefit of the island’s heritage, Hood said that Grenada is a signatory to the UNESCO Conventions on Tangible and Intangible Heritage and the Ministry will soon be embarking on taking an inventory of the island’s intangible and tangible heritage.

“Such a exercise will provide us the opportunity to know what we have and at the same time have access to funding from UNESCO to either preserve or maintain traditional activities that qualifies for assistance,” the Senator said.

Tangible culture is that which is touchable, whereas intangible culture includes song, music, drama, skills, cuisine, annual festivals, crafts, and the other parts of culture that can be recorded but cannot be touched and interacted with, without a vehicle for the culture.

According to the Convention, Intangible Cultural Heritage means the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith – that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognise as part of their cultural heritage.

This intangible cultural heritage, transmitted from generation to generation, is constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and their history, and provides them with a sense of identity and continuity, thus promoting respect for cultural diversity and human creativity.

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