PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad — Take back schools and communities from so-called community leaders, chair of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO, Dr Kris Rampersad told educators last week.
She was addressing the closing ceremony of a joint initiative by UNESCO and the Ministry of Education in Port of Spain for pilot training of some 125 principals, school supervisors and teachers.
“For too long our children have been kidnapped and our society has been hijacked and held to ransom by bandits and criminals who are held up as community leaders and to whom, tragically, the society now seems to be turning for advice to address the very problems they create. You are the community leaders,” Rampersad told the graduates, before they were presented certificates of completion of the course, Leading for Literacy Now!
With Consultant Dr. Kris Rampersad facilitating, stakeholders at the workshop were able to map out a step-by-step process by which Guyana can safeguard its intangible cultural heritage. A key element will include involvement of community stakeholders where it is believed the wealth of knowledge about things cultural is guarded and the holders of that culture can be easily identified.
Dr. Rampersad, a media cultural and literary consultant, researcher and writer, who brought the good news to President Donald Ramotar, yesterday, said the community component is a principal element.
“We are all on board with what these conventions can do for Guyana… in terms of activating the communities to take charge of their cultures, knowing how in Guyana some of the communities are so remote and the fact that some of the cultures are disappearing so quickly, not just with erosion from outside influences, but just from the mere fact that the young people are no longer interested,” Dr. Rampersaud said.
The workshop was deemed a success as it was well attended, lively and informative, according to Director of Culture Dr James Rose, who joined Minister of Culture Youth and Sport Dr. Frank Anthony in yesterday’s courtesy call on President Ramotar.
The visiting team, which also included Programme Specialist in Culture at the UNESCO Cluster Officer in Jamaica Himalchuli Gurung, and Secretary General for the Guyana National Commission for UNESCO Inge Nathoo, engaged in meaningful dialogue with President Ramotar on the importance of preserving Guyana’s cultural heritage and the procedures and implications of ratifying the Convention.
In 2006, the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage came into force, with 149 member states as of January 2013 adopting.
It is based on the goals of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage, ensuring respect for the intangible cultural heritage of communities, groups and individuals concerned, raising awareness of and appreciation for the importance of the intangible cultural heritage at local, national and international levels, and providing international cooperation and assistance.
Intangible cultural heritage workshop very successful
FEBRUARY 16, 2013 BY
Intangible cultural heritage workshop very successful-Minister Anthony
Georgetown, GINA, February 15, 2013
The Ministry of Culture Youth and Sport and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO’s) two-day stakeholders’ workshop to raise public awareness of intangible cultural heritage has been deemed very successful by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Dr. Frank Anthony.
The ministry with support from UNESCO’s Kingston office launched the workshop at the Umana Yana on February 12, as part of this year’s Mashramani activities with the objective of creating public awareness of Guyana ratifying the 2003 Convention for safeguarding of the country’s cultural heritage.
Minister Anthony, Director of Culture Dr. James Rose, UNESCO, Programme Specialist in Culture, Himalchuli Gurung and Media/Literary/Cultural Consultant and Facilitator of the Workshop Dr. Kris Rampersaud this afternoon briefed the press on the result of the initiative.
Minister Anthony said it was an important workshop that helped the participants to understand and better appreciate what the convention is about, and its role in protecting intangible heritage.
“Now we are better able to appreciate the value of the convention to a country like ours,” Minister Anthony said. “We thought that it was important to bring various stakeholders in, because by making people a little more aware of what is taking place in the world and what can be done locally, will help us to move this forward.”
Minister Anthony said that the dialogue that took place during the workshop would have caused Guyana to seriously consider ratifying the convention.
He also expressed gratitude for the UNESCO partnership and said that the ministry looks forward to other such joint ventures including one towards making Georgetown a Heritage site.
As a result of the workshop the participants committed and formed themselves into a National Stakeholder Awareness group towards promoting the convention across Guyana. A National Action Plan towards this objective was also reached.
Dr. Rose described the workshop as “two days of excellent interchange. The workshop helped us to better appreciate all the implications of the ratification. It helped us to become more conscious of the value, variety, diversity of Guyana’s intangible cultural heritage and the workshop gave us an opportunity to recommit ourselves to safeguarding that rich legacy which we hope to pass on to generations to come,” he said.
He said, the ministry was pleased with the participants’ commitment to working steadfastly towards seeing that Guyana ratifies the convention and doing everything possible locally and where necessary networking with regional and international bodies to ensure that Guyana’s intangible culture heritage is protected, promoted, studied and valued.
Dr. Rampersaud, in going through what took place in those two-days said that it was very commendable of the Guyana Government to first seek to bring public awareness of the convention before signing on.
“Often times we find in the region that countries go into things, ratify and then the public hears about it,” she said.
“Kudos for your country and Government that it needed to bring this before the public and lay out what are the terms and conditions of it, the implications,” Dr. Rampersaud added.
Gurung said that as of January 2013, the 2003 convention has been ratified by 149 countries around the world. “It is really gaining popularity because of its significance for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage,” she said.
Gurung said that UNESCO defines intangible heritage culture as living heritage and intangible culture is culture manifested through various forms including rituals, practices, and performing arts.
FEBRUARY 13, 2013 BY
Stakeholders’ workshop seeks to raise awareness of intangible cultural heritage
Georgetown, GINA, February 12, 2013
The Ministry of Culture Youth and Sport in collaboration with the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO’s) Kingston office for the Caribbean, Jamaica and the National Commission for UNESCO Guyana, today launched a two-day stakeholders’ workshop to raise awareness on the 2003 convention for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage.
This workshop which is being held at the Umana Yana is part of this year’s Mashramani activities held under the theme, “Reflecting Creativity, Embracing Diversity”.
The convention is one of seven held in the field of culture and is intended to ensure respect for intangible cultural heritage of communities, groups and individuals, to raise awareness and appreciation of the importance of such heritage and to provide for international cooperation and assistance.
Prime Minister Samuel Hinds who declared the workshop open said that intangible things are of great importance in today’s society, and that the world today is truly coming together rapidly as one. “This is a good thing, this is something that many have been calling for all along, but there is the realisation that different cultures and languages may be dropped as the world becomes one,” the Prime Minister said.
The Caribbean with its four to five hundred years of turbulent history around slavery and indentured labourers has created a small area where the world has been coming together.
PM Hinds highlighted that Government realises that culture is an important aspect of nation building, and lauded the Culture Ministry for its effort to make cultural activities relevant to the country.
Facilitator Dr. Kris Rampersad said that the workshop will explore the interrelation between and among the conventions, particularly, what these conventions have in store for the people of Guyana, and work towards implementing them.
She explained that participants will have a chance to learn how these conventions could strengthen policies, infrastructure, legislations, and the policy framework.
“We have the knowledge and the experiences that we can share with the rest of the world and we can use these mechanisms that UNESCO offers to do that,” she said.
This programme started in 2006, and the domains covered by the convention include, oral expression and tradition, performing arts, rituals and festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe and traditional craftsmanship. At present, 149 countries have ratified this convention and 65 persons have been trained as facilitators.
“If you know what tangible culture is and how important it is, then you become more committed to it,” said Director of Culture Dr. James Rose. He encouraged persons to participate in this edifying workshop which will be of great benefit to them.
The work shop is being held under the theme, “Safeguarding our human treasure from generation to generation”.