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Trainers enhance their capacity in community-based inventorying of intangible cultural heritage in Viet Nam

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ich tot2Ha Noi, 16 May 2016 – In coordination with the Department of Cultural Heritage (DCH) and the Viet Nam National Institute of Culture and Arts (VICAS) under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MoCST), UNESCO organized a training workshop on community-based inventorying of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) from 9 to 15 May 2016 in Ha Noi, Viet Nam.

The Training of Trainers (ToT) was attended by 25 participants, including 22 trainers from relevant institutions under MoCST, including DCH, VICAS and the Viet Nam Institute of Musicology (VIM); selected provincial Departments of Culture; Universities of Culture in Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City, and three NGO representatives and independent researchers.

The training was facilitated by Frank Proschan, former Specialist in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Section, and Duong Bich Hanh, Culture Programme Coordinator at the UNESCO Ha Noi Office. The primary objectives of the workshop were to build capacity to a network of future trainers in community-based inventorying and to make the UNESCO curriculum available to Vietnamese organizations.

During the workshop, the participants had the opportunity to intensively discuss a number of key topics concerning community-based ICH inventorying, such as the safeguarding-oriented purpose of inventorying, the importance of local community involvement, the prior, free and informed consent of local communities, ethics in inventorying and other safeguarding measures, as well as the techniques and methods in ICH inventorying.

During discussions and practical exercises, the participants drew upon their own experiences and activities working within the Vietnamese policy framework and the Convention. The workshop also opened the floor for discussion and reflection, so that participants could strengthen their knowledge and awareness in addressing the challenges in safeguarding ICH in Vietnam.

During the seven-day workshop, a one-day field work practicum took place in Duong Lam Village, a cultural site inscribed as the National Heritage, allowing the participants the chance to work in groups and to practise inventorying, which required the participants to work in groups, to document and interview locals on a number of ICH elements.

In the coming months, the Department of Cultural Heritage (MoCST) expects to collaborate with UNESCO and localities in the provinces to carry out pilot trainings at the district, communal and community levels to carry out inventorying ICH and adapting the training materials prepared by UNESCO to the MoCST circular on “The work of inventorying ICH and making scientific dossiers on ICH to be included on the National List of ICH”.

The expert and UNESCO staff also met with the Viet Nam Institute of Cultural Studies (VASS) to orient their research team about possible directions on their current research on the safeguarding situation of elements on UNESCO Lists. A round table was also organized to update responsible officials from DCH, VICAS and the Institute of Musicology on the latest developments regarding the 2003 Convention.

For further information, contact Mr. Nguyen Duc Tang, National Program Officer in Culture, UNESCO Ha Noi Office, at nd.tang(a)




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