Saturday June 16, 2012
Valuable living heritage
THE intangible heritage of the Unesco certified World Heritage site of George Town will soon be studied and documented by George Town World Heritage Inc (GTWHI).
The ‘Revitalising Intangible Cultural Heritage’ study is to help safeguard, preserve and conserve the site besides managing the living and built-up heritage of the area.
The study, funded by the state government at a cost of RM499,000, will commence next month and last until December.
In the first part of the study, some 40 GTWHI surveyors will be going from door to door, covering thousands of homes and shops, with questionnaires for the survey.
GTWHI acting general manager Lim Chooi Ping said that the study this year would focus on traditional performing arts as well as on traditional crafts and trades.
“What makes intangible heritage particularly special is that it involves living individuals and their traditional practices, beliefs, rituals and livelihoods,” she told a press conference.
The study consist of three parts with the first part representing the inventory of intangible forms of heritage contained in both the core and buffer zones of the area.
The second part will be a cultural survey of intangible heritage.
The third part, that will commence next year, is a series of pilot development activities that includes oral history projects, artisan development and working with the young, she said.
Lim also said that the results of the study would be applied for socio-economic development and livelihood enhancement programmes in the zone.
She added that the study results would also be useful for heritage planning, education as well as for community strengthening activities.
“It will also increase awareness among the stakeholders and the public,” she said.
She also hopes that the residents and shopkeepers in the area will cooperate when the surveyors come.
“They will make their rounds every day from 9am to 9pm.
“They will wear GTWHI T-shirts, tags and also carry a letter with the GTWHI stamp,” she said.
Project consultant Lim Gaik Siang said that this study would be a systematic inventory to record the intangible heritage.
Another consultant Khoo Salma Nasution said that it was also an opportunity to teach the young generation about their heritage.
Those interested in becoming the surveyors can call GTWHI at 04-261 6606.