Preserving and Promoting the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Timor-Leste

Fri. 07 of February of 2014, 14:58h
Lancamento do livro Patrimonio cultural e imaterial_1_PG

The Government of Timor-Leste, through the Secretariat of State of Art and Culture, launched the book “Living Heritage of the Communities in Timor-Leste” in collaboration with UNESCO and the National Geographic Traveler, at the Reading Room Xanana Gusmão, on February 4th, 2014. On the same day, related to the subject, it was inaugurated a photo exhibition, which can be seen at the Largo de Lecidere, in Díli.

One of the main purposes of the book was to place the communities at the centre of the preservation process of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the country.

At the book’s launching speech, the Secretary of State for Art and Culture, Isabel de Jesus Ximenes, referred that “since 2011, the Secretariat of State for Art and Culture has been working together with UNESCO, aiming to identify, Preserve and Promote the rich diversity of Expressions of the Intangible Cultural Heritage that comprises our country, by holding training sessions, study visits and production and translation of materials.

The Secretary of State still highlighted that “UNESCO’s office in Jakarta has played a relevant role in the capacity building of competent technicians and in the awareness of the relevant agents (Government, Public Servants, Non-Governmental Organizations and community members) on the importance of this kind of cultural heritage in the sustainable development of Timor-Leste”.

The director and representative for the office of UNESCO in Jakarta, Hubert Gizen, referred that “with this beautiful publication, Timor-Leste demonstrates that it owns a rich and diverse Intangible Cultural Heritage. This heritage is a precious asset for the communities, groups and individuals and only them can preserve it and pass it to future generations. This is the key-message of the ‘Living Heritage of the Communities in Timor-Leste’. It is a publication that gives voice to the people of Timor-Leste and provides them a platform to share with the world its rich and diversified traditions of the living heritage. I hope that this publication may provide to the communities in Timor-Leste, especially women and young people, the opportunity to express the knowledge on their living heritage, raising, this way, the awareness on the Intangible Cultural Heritage and its preservation, locally, nationally and internationally”, highlighted Hubert Gizen.

Present, at this launching ceremony and photo exhibition, were the representative of the President of the RDTL, Roque Rodrigues, the Minister for Education, Bendito dos Santos Freitas, as President of Timor-Leste NatCom (Timor-Leste National Commission for UNESCO), the Minister for Tourism, Francisco Kalbuadi Lay, the Secretary of State for Media, Nélio Isaac Sarmento, the Secretary of State for Institutional Strengthening, Francisco da Costa Soares, the Secretary of State for the Support and Promotion of the Private Sector, Veneranda Lemos, the Secretary of State for ASEAN Affairs, Rigoberto Soares, the Secretary of State for Land and Property, Jaime Xavier Lopes, the President of UNESCO in Timor-Leste, Kirsty Sword Gusmão, General and National Directors, heads of department and employees from the Secretariat of State of Art and Culture.