Documenting Efforts to Conserve India’s Living Tradition
The Living Heritage of India includes:
- oral literature
- craftwork know-how
- cultural spaces, where popular and traditional cultural activities take place (sites for story-telling, rituals, marketplaces, festivals etc.)
Cultural heritage includes not only monuments and collections of objects, but also traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed on to our descendants. These may be oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festivals, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe or the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts all of which is collectively termed as Intangible Cultural Heritage
ICH or what is also popularly referred to as "Living Heritage" also includes the stories we tell, the family events we celebrate, our community gatherings, the languages we speak, the songs we sing, knowledge of our natural spaces, our healing traditions, the foods we eat, our holidays, as well as our beliefs and cultural practices.
There is a need to identify, preserve and most importantly conserve India's rich intangible cultural heritage. This needs identification and promotion of groups and individuals, and even disciplines, actively involved in conserving India's Intangible Cultural Heritage. The Ministry of Culture has initiated an effort to develop innovative and appropriate databases for identification and recording of ICH, including in digital forms and represented on the internet.
Centre for Environment Education (CEE), through "Project Parampara" is carrying out a first level documentation of resource people, institutions, communities, practices, archival material, and existing inventories relating to the conservation of Intangible Cultural Heritage of India.
A website www.paramparaproject.org
has been launched to collate information on institutions, experts, government sponsored schemes, research projects, status reports, audio/video, web materials and specific conservation programmes relating to the Intangible Cultural Heritage of India.
Contributions are invited in the forms of write-ups, audio/video material/ etc. about the different kind of living traditions (ICH) that are found in India, and are being/ need to be conserved. The website is especially looking for information relating to those cultural traditions that strongly reflect environmentally sustainable character and which can be established or promoted as livelihood alternatives.
All users are requested to log on to the website and contribute relevant materials about any of India’s living tradition that you think should find mention on the portal.