“Luck and Misfortune comes in turn.” Citing the famous dictum of Laozi, a legendary Taoist philosopher, Tian Qing, a revered Chinese expert on intangible cultural heritage(ICH) commented that the devastating earthquake which struck Sichuan last year may actually serve as a catalyst to boost the protection of ICH.
He was one of the experts who shared their knowledge on the theme of “Disaster and the Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage” at the International Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection Forum, which was convened in Chengdu on June 2.
"The Forum is aimed at exchanging experience between delegates from different parts of the world and their Chinese counterparts. Disaster can result in great damage not only to human beings but also to the intangible cultural heritage, which can not be replaced or reinvented. If you lose values and traditions you cannot bring them back. That's why we focus on the protection of such precious things from natural disasters," said Mr. Awadh, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Committee for Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage during the session.
Ambassadors, Permanent Delegates and Deputy Permanent Delegates to UNESCO from 31 nations all attended the forum, and unexceptionally acclaimed the valuable contribution made by the Chinese counterparts in protecting the ICH.
“China has made remarkable strides in ICH protection and I really admire it. The Chengdu forum provides a great platform for us to build momentum in this area, which is very important and fruitful,” Ms. Ina MARČIULIONYTĖ, Permanent Delegate of Lithuania to UNESCO told ChinaCulture.
The commitment and determination shown by China in holding the forum was also highly commended by many delegates.
Mr. Hassan Omar Gumbo KIBELLOH, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Tanzania to UNESCO
“We appreciate and recognize the efforts China has made to hold the forum. No other countries bother to hold such a specific forum on ICH protection. The great importance China has attached to the ICH protection should be learned by all of us. I believe China will continue to play the leading role in saving and protecting ICH,” commented Mr. Hassan Omar Gumbo KIBELLOH, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Tanzania to UNESCO, in an exclusive interview with ChinaCulture during the interval of the forum.
To strengthen international cooperation and reinforce efforts in safeguarding the ICH, the forum culminated in the signing of ‘the Chengdu Consensus’, an international consensus on the protection of intangible cultural heritage.
According to Wang Li, organizer of the international forum, the Consensus will be inscribed on a tablet at the Chengdu National intangible Cultural Heritage Park.
The sculptured promise will be hard to break.
By Hu Zhicheng