PHILIPSBURG – Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications (Ministry TEATT) Hon. Claret Connor along with members of his Cabinet and representatives from the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, were informed recently about the Sint Maarten National Consultation on Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The Minister received a presentation from UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Secretary General for Sint Maarten Marcellia Henry.
The Sint Maarten National Commission for UNESCO vision is to contribute to the building of peace, sustainable development, and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information.
The Commission has undertaken to catalog St. Maarten’s Intangible Cultural Heritage. Tangible cultural heritage comprises of built environment, natural environment and artifacts. Intangible cultural heritage pertains to oral traditions and expressions; performing arts; festive events; knowledge and practices; and traditional craftsmanship.
The Minister and those invited were appraised about the information that has been collected so far from the National Consultation on Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) that was held in July, 2014, and the many meetings that have been held with seniors and various groups in the community that practice and safeguard aspects of the country’s cultural heritage.
“I was very pleased with the presentation. It was very informative and I am looking forward to the end result/product once the commission has completed its cataloguing process,” Minister Connor stated on Wednesday.
It is the intention of the UNESCO Office to continue meeting with other groups / stakeholders in the community from January throughout May, 2015 and to create and disseminate a survey to assist with the inventorying process, which will be distributed digitally and manually.
After this first inventorying phase, another National ICH Consultation will be held in September 2015 to review the data gathered and to update the draft St. Maarten’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Inventory List.
Sint Maarten has been an associate member of UNESCO since October 2011.