What is intangible cultural heritage?
Intangible cultural heritage is a designation used in cultural policy. It is closely linked to the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage that was adopted in 2003. In this international agreement the field of intangible cultural heritage is explained as follows:The “intangible cultural heritage” means the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith – that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage. This intangible cultural heritage, transmitted from generation to generation, is constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and their history, and provides them with a sense of identity and continuity, thus promoting respect for cultural diversity and human creativity.
Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, Article 2
At the international level the implementation is coordinated by UNESCO’s Living Heritage Entity. In Estonia the Folk Culture Centre has been designated the national focal point for the implementation.
Additional information can be found on the webpage of the Estonian National Commission for UNESCO which serves as a coordinative unit between UNESCO and Estonian organisations, institutions as well as private persons related to the work of UNESCO.