National, News

South Sudan takes step on intangible cultural heritage

By William Madouk

South Sudan has taken a bold step towards preparing a 6-year report on safeguarding and shielding intangible cultural heritage in the Country.

The revelation came during a consultative review meeting organized by Ministry of Culture, Museums, and National Heritage, on Wednesday.

A review meeting was the first-ever periodic report for UNESCO Convention 2003, for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in South Sudan.

South Sudan ratified the 2003 convention in 2016, and it is yet to submit its report before the end of this year as a prerequisite to the convention.

Undersecretary at the Ministry of Culture, Kuac Wek Wol, said this is the first time the country is considering submitting a periodic report before the end of the calendar year.

“We should be able to prepare a 6-year report on the implementation of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in the Republic of South Sudan,” Wol said.

“This is the convention that builds on intangible culture (IC), which means it builds on intangible assets like our skills and knowledge,” he added.

He clarified that this would include the way South Sudanese tell their stories, folklore dances, skills for making traditional clothes, framing and cultivating skills, and how happiness or sadness is expressed.

“What is important here is that intangibles are owned and implemented by the community, and communities are part and parcel of the safeguarding and protection act,” he noted.

“The report is expected to contain the measures that the country has taken to safeguard and protect IC,” he continued.

Mr. Wol also cited that the report entails “secondarily, the impact that the implementation of safeguarding, promotion, and protection of IC has created for the beneficiary communities, individuals and groups.”

Intangible cultural heritage is defined as transmitted from generation to generation and constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, interaction with nature, and history.

And also provide them with a sense of identity and continuity, thus promoting respect for cultural diversity and human creativity, according to the experts.

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