New ICH & Society Series book “Ha Noi ICH in Contemporary Life” Released in Vietnam

Ha Noi Intangible Cultural Heritage in Contemporary Life ⓒ ICHCAP

A new book in the ICH & Society publication series, Ha Noi Intangible Cultural Heritage in Contemporary Life, was launched at the Hanoi Temple of Literature on 9 November 2018. The publication is the result from a two-year collaboration between ICHCAP and the Center for Cultural Heritage Research and Promotion of Vietnam.

Inspired from the outcome of a one-million dollar ICH inventorying project by Hanoi City from 2013 to 2016, the book is based on results from in-depth fieldwork research with significant contributions by local ICH communities.

During 2016 and 2017, a team of young researchers and collaborators worked with representative bearers of 24 elements among the 1,793 inventoried elements in Hanoi City to identify bearers’ values, to determine the threats to ICH viability, and to propose appropriate measures for safeguarding and promoting ICH. The participatory publication process respects the role of ICH bearers and their involvement in such representations, in light of the 2003 Convention and the Law on Cultural Heritage.

Delivered in two versions, in English and Vietnamese, the book includes twenty-two articles, more than a  hundred illustrative photographs representing twenty-four ICH elements, covering various domains as defined by the Vietnamese law, namely folk literature, folk performing arts, social practices and religious beliefs, traditional festivals, traditional handicrafts and folk knowledge.

More than eighty delegates attended the book launching ceremony, including representatives from the Hanoi People’s Committee, the Vietnam Association of Cultural Heritage, National Commission for UNESCO in Vietnam, UNESCO Hanoi Office, ICH researchers and managers, journalists, and especially representative members of the 24 ICH communities represented in the book.

In his remark at the ceremony, Kwon Huh, Director-General of ICHCAP, recommended to use the publication as an educational material and for the promotion of Vietnamese ICH. He also affirmed that the book contributes to raising awareness of Hanoi’s ICH, thus helps facilitate the transmission of precious heritage of Viet Nam to its public and future generations.

Dr. Le Thi Minh Ly, Director of CCH remarked that this book is a dream come true, a tribute to our ancestors, whose heritage is being manifested in their richness and diversity—viable yet extremely vulnerable. The book is also a reminder and a message conveyed to young generations on their responsibility to safeguard intangible cultural heritage for today and tomorrow.

The book is available as a free download on ICHCAP’s website.