Training of Chinese Trainers Workshop on Implementing the Convention

Workshop in China

Workshop in China

The Training of Chinese Trainers Workshop on Implementing the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage was held in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province over eleven days, from 17 to 27 April 2017. The workshop was planned as a part of the ICH safeguarding training program that the Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage under the Ministry of Culture of P.R.China has operated since 2015. It was co-hosted by the UNESCO Office in Beijing; the International Training Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region under the auspices of UNESCO (CRIHAP); the Jiangsu Provincial Department of Culture; the Suzhou Art & Design Technology Institute; and the Suzhou Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television, Press, and Publication. This year’s workshop, which followed the successful implementation of the first Training of Chinese Trainers Workshop (2016) in Shanghai, was attended by eighty-two professors, instructors, and researchers who lecture at seventy-eight universities and other educational institutes.

At the opening ceremony on 17 April, Mr. Wang Chenyang, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage, promised full cooperation, saying that this workshop hopes to help participants understand the nature of the 2003 Convention and spread its spirit and contents at their universities and institutes. Mr. Liang Bin, Director-General of CRIHAP, said that China needs to promptly respond to the newly added chapter on sustainable development in the Operational Directives for implementing the Convention. He also added that the workshop aims to review the Convention and China’s related laws as well as to distribute the spirit and key concepts of the Convention to ICH communities and bearers.

The plenary sessions presided by Ms. Paritta Chalermpow Koanantakool and Ms. Zhang Min (UNESCO facilitators) provided an overview of the 2003 Convention and discussed efficient implementation methods, including inventorying, safeguarding, and nomination. The workshop was full of lively communication and discussion among the facilitators and participants, which helped bring creative ideas to the table.

Ms. Himalchuli Gurung, Programme Specialist for Culture of the UNESCO Office in Beijing, said at the closing ceremony that the workshop served as an opportunity to deliver the key concepts of the Convention to ICH stakeholders, expressing expectations that all participants would continue to spread them after returning to their universities and institutes.

ICHCAP joined the workshop to strengthen cooperation, ahead of co-hosting the Korean Workshop (organized by the Cultural Heritage Administration) with CRIHAP in July 2017. The Korean workshop themes will include an overview of the 2003 Convention, identification and inventorying, community participation, ICH and sustainable development, nomination, and ICH policy development and developing safeguarding plans.