Culture of society rarely looks like something united and holistic. The value of culture is in its diversity and versatility. Cultural diversity is not only the driving force for the economic development of the territory in an era of post-industrial economy, creating its added value. Intangible cultural heritage is a means of full-filling, intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual life. It is enshrined in conventions relating to culture, which are ratified by Ukraine and are the basis for promotion of cultural diversity.
Intangible cultural heritage may also be called «living tradition», which takes into account customs, shapes, knowledge and skills. These are the traditions that have been formed for many centuries. They are with no clear beginning, but they give an opportunity to observe stages of ethno cultures’ development and their influence on the progress of Ukrainian culture for centuries. Therefore, some scientists tend to compare culture with «a huge collection of patterns and pieces.» At the same time, acceptance and recognition of cultural diversity in the context of intangible cultural heritage helps to promote social dialogue, growing respect and mutual understanding. We must preserve this fragile heritage, ensure its viability and create conditions in order to achieve full potential, taking into account the interests of sustainable development.
In 2008 Ukraine acceded to the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. In order to implement the Convention, the Ukrainian Centre for Cultural Studies has been given the appropriate authority for scientific and methodological support of the implementation of the Convention in Ukraine.
The key to fulfil the obligations under the Convention's implementation is the identification, research and dissemination of information on elements of the intangible cultural heritage of Ukraine.
The project «Creating a Virtual Museum of ICH», which takes place with the support of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation, is an important step to popularize Cultural traditions of Ukraine. The bearers of the intangible heritage grow old, and traditions are transmitted extremely difficult. Within the framework of the project, employees of the Ukrainian Centre for Cultural Studies and scholars who were involved in the implementation of the grant, investigated, depicted and represented the heritage of Ukrainian culture – the elements that were inscribed on the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Establishment of a virtual museum is a conservation of methods, techniques, and skills. It is important for the further implementation and development of these traditions.
IRYNA FRENKEL, Director of the Ukrainian Center for Cultural Research; Merited Artist of Ukraine
A site that you want to review many times is a good site! Flipping through the pages of the site, I wondered what I still do not know about this or that element of the intangible cultural heritage of Ukraine, which was inscribed on the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. As a member and the Head of the Expert Council I read carefully every word of record cards of the elements that were submitted for our consideration. So, on the one hand, for me it's a story of filling the National Register, discussions, and sometimes a reproduction of my point of view about one or another element. And, on the other hand, looking at childly optimistic patterns of Kosiv ceramics, sophisticated, as a peacock’s tail, pictures of Petrykivka painting, mysterious and filled with eroticism ornaments of the Crimean Tatars, I reflect on how rich our Ukrainian land is and how bottomless, wise and philosophical our folk art is! Isn’t that an art to entice bees to a hollow of a tree and to get pleasant-smelling honey out of it?! And isn’t that an art to make a Karaite pie with lamb «at aiaklak» in which the main thing is cook’s hands and her sense of taste?!
The most important thing for us is that all the elements of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, which are included in this publication, live now! They live in people who practice them and transfer to others. These are living, ancestral traditions, that do not have authors, or the beginning and, I hope, they will never end.
Of course, Ukraine is behind many of its near and distant neighbours, since the number of elements of the intangible cultural heritage included in their national lists has already exceeded one hundred. But we strictly adhere to the principles set out in the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (art. 11b) - all the elements must be identified with the direct or indirect participation of their bearers. We have a lot of scholars, who spent many years studying the intangible cultural heritage of Ukraine, who could get together and make a list of perhaps a thousand elements that they are aware of in an hour. But these scientists can hardly answer such questions as: «Are these elements being practiced now?», «What is the state of the elements?», «How many of their bearers are there and who are they?», «Where exactly these elements are, and where do they no longer exist?». Therefore, the Expert Council of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, which operates under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, tries through a dialogue with the current bearers of the ICH, through expertise, and sometimes even through direct assistance in preparation of record cards, to fill in the National List not only with information, but with such information, so to say, «with a head, with hands and feet,» which will help to safeguard the element in case of threat to its viability.
We should show respect to those people who have become bridges between the Expert Council and the bearers, and prepared really interesting and informative record cards about the elements of the ICH. Based on the information contained in these cards, we have recommended to the Ministry of Culture inscription of 7 elements on the National List, but 6 more cards were returned to authors for revision.
Perhaps one of the reasons for such a slow filling of the National List is lack of awareness of local communities and individual bearers of their own right to submit elements to national and local lists. They wait for initiatives from the top down, out of habit, or they are uncertain about how to submit their element, which is also common in other areas. But the principle of territorial safeguarding established in the Convention (art. 11a) states that each country preserves the ICH in its territory.
If you are ready to protect the element of the ICH «on your territory», we wait for you. Let it motivate your neighbour to guard the same element and practice it with you!
So, read this site, contemplate the beauty that is in it, and dream of Ukraine, where each element of the ICH would not be a reference to the past, but actual present realities.
ILLIA FETYSOV, Head of the Expert Council of the Intangible Cultural Heritage under the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine
director of the Ukrainian Center for Cultural Research, Merited Artist of Ukraine
Head of the Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Ukrainian Center for Cultural Research
Head of Research Department of Innovative Technologies and Popularization of Culture of the Ukrainian Center for Cultural Research, Candidate of Philological Sciences, Associate Professor
leading researcher of Research department of Innovative Technologies and Popularization of Culture of the Ukrainian Center for Cultural Research, Candidate of Philological sciences, Associate Professor
leading researcher of Research department of Innovative Technologies and Popularization of Culture of the Ukrainian Center for Cultural Research, Candidate of Economic sciences
Head of Research department of Cultural Policy of the Ukrainian Center for Cultural Research, Candidate of Philological sciences
Head of the Expert Council of the Intangible Cultural Heritage under the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine
literary editor, Chief Specialist on Creative Industries Development of Department of Culture and Arts of Vinnytsia Regional State Administration
advisor to the Head of Vinnitsa Regional State Administration, Honoured Worker of Culture of Ukraine
acting Head of the Department of Analysis and Strategic Planning of Strategic Planning and Development Division of Ministry of Culture of Ukraine
chief specialist of the Department for Control over Displacing of Cultural Property of Ministry of Culture of Ukraine
the head of the National Union of Masters of the People art of Ukraine
Poltava oblast, director — General, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor — Poshyvailo Oles
director Nizhnik Halyna
Head of the public organization “ALIEM”
Head of the public organization “ALIEM”
board member of the National and Cultural Karaite Society "Jamaat" of Melitopol, vice-rector of Bogdan Khmelnitsky Melitopol State Pedagogical University
Honoured Master of Folk Art of Ukraine, member of the National Union of Artists of Ukraine and the National Union of Folk Art Masters of Ukraine
director of public utility “Sumy Regional Scientific and Methodological Centre of Culture and Art” of Sumy Regional Council
master of vocational training of Reshetylivka Art Professional Lyceum, master of hand embroidery, member of the National Union of Folk Art Masters of Ukraine
deputy director for Research of Kosiv Institute of Applied and Decorative Art of Lviv National Academy of Arts, Candidate of Art Criticism, member of the National Union of Artists of Ukraine
regional representative of the Ukrainian Center for Cultural Research, Kremenchuk
chief specialist of the Department of Culture and Tourism of Dubrovitskyi district, Rivne oblast
Leading Methodist of the Department of Cultural Development and creative industries Ukrainian Center for Cultural Research
leading researcher of the department “Volyn Institute of Expertise” of the Rivne Regional Museum of Local Lore
professor of the Department of Folklore Studies at the Institute of Philology of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, expert of the Kyiv Regional Center of Folk Art and Cultural and Educational Work
Leading Methodist on the Protection and Conservation of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Vinnytsia Regional Center of Folk Art, art critic, Honoured Art Worker of Ukraine
Head of the public organization "Bortnyky of Ukraine"
master of Petrykivka painting, teacher of the Department of Fine Arts and Design of Oles Honchar Dnipro National University
Head of the branch "Pysanka Museum" of the National Museum of Folk Art of Hutsulshchyna and Pokuttia named after I. Kobrinsky
Senior scientist of Research Department of Innovative Technologies and Popularization of Culture of the Ukrainian Center for Cultural Research
Design concept and infographics
Design concept and infographics