Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

UNESCO Selects 34 Elements Marking Sudan's Intangible Cultural Heritage

UNESCO Selects 34 Elements Marking Sudan's Intangible Cultural Heritage

Thursday, 28 November, 2019 - 09:00
The UNESCO headquarters building, seen here, is located in Paris. (© Charles Platiau/Reuters)

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced the selection of 34 elements of the Sudanese intangible cultural heritage to make part the human cultural heritage, including "the cheese ritual, coffee, the Sudanese dress, and the Sudanese henna."

The selection came during a workshop in Khartoum aimed at developing strategies for safeguarding and developing intangible Sudanese cultural heritage and strengthening national capacities to carry out this mission in partnership with the UN and other global institutions.

In a keynote delivered during the opening of the workshop on Tuesday, Faisal Mohamed Saleh, minister of Culture and Information, said the partnership with the international community represented by the UNESCO, with the participation of the UAE, and the National Council for Cultural Heritage and Promotion Of National Languages, as well as the civil society organizations, is a good start for the development of strategies and indicators to safeguard the intangible cultural heritage of Sudan.

"The official institutions have been suffering from failure in managing cultural diversity, due to a lack of care and financial support," Saleh added.

For her part, Minister of Education and Scientific Research Intisar Saghiroun emphasized the important role of the heritage and unity centers in El Fashir and Blue Nile Universities and the Sinnar Regional Center for Dialogue and Cultural Diversity in this mission.

She also said her ministry's institutions are ready to assist and encourage studies in the field of "intangible heritage." The strategy for safeguarding intangible heritage is the first step in a project supported by the Heritage Fund and funded by the UNESCO and the UAE's Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority.

The project debuted in 2013 with the training and qualification of 164 administrators and researchers in heritage and culture. "There is little national capacity for heritage, so we signed the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage with the UNESCO in 2003, and 30 experts were invited to urge the safeguarding of heritage. We aim to highlight and preserve the rich Sudanese heritage, which gathers the African and Arabic cultures, as a symbol of national identity," Hassan said.

Editor Picks