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Korea’s lantern festival becomes UNESCO intangible cultural heritage

Source: The Korea Times

Yeondeunghoe, the Lotus Lantern Festival, held every year to celebrate Buddha’s Birthday, was listed by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage, Wednesday, becoming Korea’s 21st intangible cultural heritage recognized by UNESCO.

According to the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA), the lantern festival was included on the list during the 15th session of the Intergovernmental Committee of the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage, the same day. The event was held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris as well as online due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is with great pleasure that the evaluation body highly commends Yeondeunghoe for its function in encouraging dialogue among communities and cultures, which lead sto enhancing the visibility of intangible cultural heritages in general,” Chung Jae-suk, an administrator of the CHA, said.

“I do anticipate that the spirit of dialogue of Yeondeunghoe will be widely shared, offering inspiration in addressing conflicts between countries.”

The Lotus Lantern Festival is held around Buddha’s birthday, which falls on the eighth day of the fourth month on the lunar calendar. The festival, which consists of a Buddhist ceremony, a lantern procession and memorial service, symbolizes lighting up the world to make it an abundant and fair place for everyone.

The history of Yeondeunghoe dates back some 1,200 years, first appearing in the “Samguk Sagi” (History of the Three Kingdoms). In the book, under the reign of the 668-935 Unified Silla Kingdom, King Gyeongmun and Queen Jinseong visited the Hwangnyong Temple to observe lanterns on the occasion of the first full moon of the year in 866 and 890, respectively.

The tradition of lantern lighting continued in the 918―1392 Goryeo Kingdom, when Buddhism flourished. Directions for hosting Yeondeunghoe were included in “Hunyosipjo” (The 10 Injunctions) compiled by Goryeo’s first King Taejo for his successors. In the early Goryeo era, the lantern festival was held to observe the full moon of the first or second month in the lunar calendar and was later moved to the fourth day of the fourth month, to commemorate Buddha’s birthday.

The Lotus Lantern Festivals of Silla and Goryeo were primarily a Buddhist event, but the event became a folk event during the 1392-1910 Joseon Kingdom. As the authorities discontinued the official Buddhist lantern festival, the tradition continued as Gwandeung-nori, or the lantern celebration, in the Joseon era.

In the modern day parade, participants hold lanterns symbolizing Buddha’s wisdom. The shape and size of the lanterns varies, with each design symbolizing different cultural meanings ― a turtle shaped lantern symbolizes longevity, while fruit represents prosperity and fecundity.

Yeondeunghoe was designated as Intangible Cultural Heritage no. 122 in 2012 and the Yeondeunghoe Safeguarding Association is in charge of transmitting and passing down the tradition.

“Yeondeunghoe began as a Buddhist event, but it evolved into a spring festival anyone can participate in. People regardless of faith, age and gender take part in the Lantern Lighting Festival now and such traits correspond to the UNESCO’s guidelines for the Intangible Cultural Heritage list emphasizing community involvement,” an official of the CHA said.

This year’s Yeondeunghoe was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Next year’s event is scheduled from April to May, with the main lantern parade on May 15.

The CHA first nominated Yeondeunghoe for the UNESCO list in 2018 and amended it in 2019. It received a recommendation for inclusion on the list from the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in November.

Other Korean intangible cultural heritages recognized by UNESCO include ssireum (traditional Korean wrestling), Jeju haenyeo (women divers), nongak (community band music), kimjang (the making and sharing of kimchi) and the folk song Arirang as well as Jongmyojerye (royal ancestral rituals in the Jongmyo shrine and its music) and pansori (musical storytelling).

Heritage Matters 12 | Heritage and Values | 12 December 2020 | 7:30-9 PM IST

Date: 12th December 2020, Saturday

Time: 1930-2100 Indian Standard Time (7:30 – 9:00 PM)

Recording Link: Click Here

Research and evaluation of Heritage Matters Webinars reveal that COVID 19 has opened up opportunities to: address inequities in the system to embed sustainable in SDGs; transform education and workplaces to rebuild the way we do things; rethink leadership as transformative, inclusive and collaborative; scope with immediacy new approaches to the climate crisis; and address culture as an integral part of UN Agenda 2030. To sustain these aspirations, especially from the younger generations, how well can we focus revealing the values of the built environment and reshaping urban conservation, and consequently enabling cities to develop towards more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable environments? Could we address the inDivisibility of heritage and values to build future possibilities and normalities – yes in plural, multivocal and pluri-praxis to respect global cultural and linguistic diversity? Eminent panellists will address these and more questions and contestations to stimulate thinking.

Panellists: Prof Dr Ana Pereira Roders, UNESCO Chair in Heritage and Values, TUDelft, Delft; Prof Rabindra Vasavada, Architect FRAS, Former Head, Centre for Conservation Studies, CRDU CEPT University, Ahmedabad; and Ritika Khanna, Heritage Consultant and Researcher, MA in World Heritage, New Delhi.

Host: Prof Dr Amareswar Galla, Professor of Inclusive Cultural Leadership, Anant National University, Ahmedabad and Executive Director, International Institute for the Inclusive Museum, Australia.

Heritage Matters 11 | Writing Architecture | 21 November 2020 | 7:30-9 PM IST

Date: 21st November 2020, Saturday

Time: 1930-2100 Indian Standard Time (7:30 – 9:00 PM)

Recording of Session: Audio | Video

The triangulation of COVID 19, Climate Crisis and continuing gross inequities formed the challenge for launching Heritage Matters Webinar Series. The underlying conviction is that heritage in all its manifestations is critical for our resilience to build post pandemic futures. It is the ethos of sustainable development. In this webinar we will interrogate the extent to which writing on architecture is accessible, relevant, and contextual. What is the state of the art with writing architecture? Has it been limited to the specialists? Can it become more interdisciplinary and accessible across specialisms, including tourism and journalism? What are the potentials and possibilities? What kind of capabilities and capacities do we need to embed in professional and educational agencies? How do we assess the layers of significance in architecture to communicate place making in contextual places, diachronically and synchronically? Could we promote a genre of writing architecture that is decolonised? The practice of writing architecture in local languages in a postcolonial context is much wanted. These are some of the contestations of this Webinar to stimulate thinking.
Panellists: Dr Wiendu Nuryanti, Professor in Architecture and Planning, Gadjah Mada University and former Vice Minister of Education and Culture, Indonesia (2011-2014); Nandini Somaya Sampat, Architect/ Solicitor and Director, SNK Somaya & Kalappa Consultants; and Ar Neha Nair, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Architecture, Anant National University.
Host: Dr Amareswar Galla, Professor of Inclusive Cultural Leadership, Anant National University, India and International Institute for the Inclusive Museum, Australia

International Conference “Innovative methods of organising exhibitions: lessons for Vietnam” | 8 October 2020 | 7-3:30 PM IST

∎ Venue: Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, Hanoi, Vietnam

∎ Primary language: Vietnamese (with English interpretation)
∎ Organizer: Vietnam Museum of Ethnology (VME)
VME was established in 1995 and officially opened to the public since 1997. The museum carries out the mission of scientific research, collecting, inventorying, preserving artifacts, organizing exhibitions, performing and operating educational activities to contribute to the preservation of cultural diversity of ethnic groups in Vietnam, Southeast Asia and around the world.

CONFERENCE PURPOSE
Exhibition is one of the most important aspects of museum’s work, promoting other works. Therefore, exhibitions always require high scientificity, aesthetics and updates with the development level of science and technology in each country. Museum’s exhibitions are a bridge connecting the public and museum artifacts. Without exhibits, a museum is just a storehouse, an archive of systematized collections. The development of ideas and exhibits as well as the renovation of exhibitions play a significant role in museums, especially in the context of modernization and international integration. Therefore, VME plans to organize an international conference on “Innovative Methods of Organizing Exhibitions: Lessons for Vietnam”.
The Conference is a scientific forum aiming at exchanging and updating the concepts, methods and new trends in exhibition work of museums among national and international experts in Vietnam as well as around the world in the direction of modern approaches and international integration. Thereby, it will make an important contribution to improving the Museum’s staff capacity, drawing lessons for Vietnamese museums in general and for the VME in particular to appropriately and effectively apply to the renovation of museums for a future sustainable development.

The Conference focuses on three key themes as follows:

Firstly, approaches in developing exhibitions
(museological/ethnological/anthropological approaches, community-participatory approach, community-based approach, educational exhibitions, artistic/aesthetic value featured exhibitions, exhibitions using 4.0 technology and multimedia, virtual exhibitions, etc.).
Secondly, new trends in organizing exhibitions in the world and in Vietnam.
Thirdly, lessons learnt for the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology.

Click here for the detailed schedule

 

NEP 2020: It’s Implications for Promoting Indian Art, Culture and Heritage | 27th September, 2020 | 03:00 PM IST

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Heritage Matters Webinar 10 | Urban Futures & Historical Urban Landscapes | 5th September 2020 | 7:30-9:00 PM IST

Date: 5th September 2020, Saturday

Time: 1930-2100 Indian Standard Time (7:30 – 9:00 PM)

Recording of SessionAudio | Video

Urbanism as a process and the city/town as an artefact are constructs that are being reassessed during the Pandemic. De-urbanisation, rethinking public spaces, design, and built environment are on the agenda. Urbanism is at once a complexity of synchronous present that must intersect with diachronic layers of history and heritage. Countering cultural amnesia, can civic spaces such as museums become reflexive to reveal urban formations and their future manifestations? Can socio-museology of built environment help us better understand urbanism? How do we reanimate urban centres and their contextual historical cultural landscapes as part of post-pandemic futures and new normalities? And what of our sense of place and identity? Can interdisciplinary approaches to architecture, engineering, economics, anthropology, design, interior architecture, and environmental safeguarding improve our preferred urban futures? These and many other questions will be addressed by a panel of interdisciplinary experts during the Webinar.
Panellists: Professor Dr Uta Pottgiesser, Department of Architectural Engineering + Technology, Delft University of Technology (DelftTU), The Netherlands. Joana Sousa Monteiro, Director of the Museum of Lisbon and Chair of ICOM – CAMOC, the International Committee for the Collections and Activities of the Museums of Cities. Dr Mário Moutinho, Rector, Architect and Senior Researcher, Lusophone University of Humanities and Technologies, Lisbon. Assoc Prof Dr Ashima Sood, Anant National University and PhD in Economics, Cornell University.
Host: Prof Dr Amareswar Galla, Professor and Director, International Centre for Inclusive Cultural Leadership, Anant National University, Salzburg Global Fellow and Chairperson Museums and Historical Urban Landscapes Research Network meeting, Lisbon, September 2021.

Heritage Matters 9 | Valuing Modern Heritage | 22 August 2020 | 7:30-9 PM IST

Date: 22nd August 2020, Saturday

Time: 1930-2100 Indian Standard Time (7:30 – 9:00 PM)

Link to the Recording: Audio | Video

The focus of this Webinar is on the lesser represented and largely unprotected architecture heritage of early 20th century India. The panellists will present perspectives on how Modern Heritage of India is yet to be recognised for its true value and given the status of statutory protection. They will discuss as to how international organisations like UNESCO, ICOMOS, WMF, Getty Foundation and others are advocating for the recognition of Modern Heritage in India. They will interrogate the role of government bodies, status of protection and community awareness that will determine the fate of modern heritage in future. What is the nature and quantum of Modern Heritage in India? How is it different from other parts of the world? Who owns and who values this heritage? What is the representation of Modern Heritage on the World Heritage List of India? What is the protection status of Modern 20th-century heritage considering the fact that ASI Act only recognises heritage structure more than 100 years old? Does the general public associate with Modern Heritage?

PanellistsEric Falt, Director, UNESCO South Asia Office; Amita Baig, India representative for the World Monuments Fund; Dr Shikha Jain, Past Advisor and multiple grantee for the Keeping It Modern initiative of the Getty Foundation; and Nishita Kedia, Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, Anant National University.

Host: Prof Dr Amareswar Galla, Professor and Director, International Centre for Inclusive Cultural Leadership,
Anant National University and Jury Member, World Monuments Fund, New York. 

Heritage Matters 8 | Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage | 9-10th August 2020 |4-7 PM IST

Recording Link: Day 1 | Day 2
Heritage Matters Webinar 8 – takes you on the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples to Arna Jharna: The Thar Desert Museum, Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Join us for blended Webinars and festival on Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage. A virtual celebration includes indigenous performances and exhibitions of artworks and crafts from the Langa, Kamad, Kalbelia, and Mangariyar communities. Versatile singers ‘Mr Chanan Khan and Mr Kutla Khan’ will be remembered.

Panellists Day 1:

Keynote Speaker: Prof. Dr. Amareswar Galla, Anant National University, Ahmedabad, India & International Institute for the Inclusive Museum, Australia/USA.

1. Dr. Shubha Chaudhuri, Associate Director General (Academic), Archives and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology, American Institute of Indian Studies, India;

2. Prof. Dr. Sarit Kumar Chaudhuri, Professor and Director, Department of Anthropology, RG University, Arunachal Pradesh;

3. Dr. Subhra Devi, Assistant Curator, Department of Cultural Studies, Tezpur University, Assam; and

4. Dr. Anand Krishnan Plappally, Associate Professor, IIT Jodhpur.

Panellists Day 2:

1. Dr. Sachidanand Joshi, Member Secretary, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi;

2. Dr. B Venugopal, Honorary Director, Centre for Intangible Heritage studies, Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady, Kerala.

3. Dr. Madan Meena, Director, Bhasha Research and Publication Centre, Baroda;

4. Prof K.G. Suresh, Dean, School of Modern Media, UPES, Dehradun;

5. Prof. Ashok Ogra, Advisor (Mass Communication), Apeejay Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi;

6. Mo Diener, Artistic Director, Roma Jam Session art Kollektiv, Switzerland; and

7. Mr. Kuldeep Kothari, Secretary Rupayan Sansthan (Rajasthan Institute of Folklore), Jodhpur

Heritage Matters | Webinar 7 | Art, Ephemerality & Performance | 18 July 2020 | 7:30-9:00 PM IST

Date: 18th July 2020, Saturday

Time: 1930-2100 Indian Standard Time (7:30 – 9:00 PM)

Webinar Recording: Audio | Video

Topic: Art, Ephemerality & Performance
The visualisation of creativity through performance art is often transient. How does one document the atmosphere of the moment of performance? How does one capture performativity and iteration in different spaces? Is its capture in digital or any form an act of freezing the moment? Is that which is fluid frozen at the time of capture? How are the performances of Marina Abramovich, Nikhil Chopra and Anunaya Chaubey captured and through whose lenses? Is this documentation for the present or posterity or both? What methods are deployed? What is the atmosphere of such captures? What does the atmosphere mean in performance art? Lonnie Bunch III, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, appeals to the public to document the range of captures of Black Lives Matter movement through the eyes or lenses or smartphones of the protesters. There is an urgency to capture global resistance to racism, COVID 19 realties and Climate Crisis. In what ways does this dynamic collecting facilitate understanding contemporary history? Panellists in the Webinar include an art educator, art historian and an academic and artist. It is moderated by a historian and heritage action specialist.

Panellists:   Dr Ida Brændholt Lundgaard, Senior Advisor, Danish Agency for Culture and Palaces, Copenhagen & former Head of Education, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark. Dr Bindu Bhadana, Doctorate from Karl Jaspers Centre for Advanced Transcultural Studies, University of Heidelberg & Professor, Anant National University, Ahmedabad. Dr Anunaya Chaubey, Well known artist, Provost of Anant National University & Salzburg Global Fellow.

HostProfessor Dr Amareswar Galla, Director, International Centre for Inclusive Cultural Leadership, Anant National University, Ahmedabad, Founding Executive Director, International Institute for Inclusive Cultural Leadership, Australia/USA & Salzburg Global Fellow.

Remembering Dr. George F MacDonald (1938-2020)

Dr. Amareswar Galla (Amar), the then Chairperson of Asia Pacific Executive Board of International Council of Museums interviewed Dr George F MacDonald, the Chief Executive Officer of Museum Victoria, Australia’s largest public museums organisation, on 2 November 2000. The following are abridged reflections of Dr. MacDonald at the opening of the Melbourne Museum, the flagship of Museum Victoria. Transcribed text was approved by Dr MacDonald. Two decades on the museological wisdom in these reflections remains just as valid.

Dr MacDonald, Dr Joanne MacDonald and Prof Galla at the UBC Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, 2014.

Amar: What does the opening of the Museum Victoria mean to museum development and re-development in Australia and within the museum world in general? What does it mean to George MacDonald CEO who oversaw the foundation of a major national museum in the world, i.e. the Canadian Museum of Civilisation, Ottawa, and now another major museum development on the other side of the world?

George: The thing that did strike me is that dates and events are very important, and they galvanise thinking and create thresholds and so on. I think the opening of Victoria Museum of this magnitude at this point in time as we enter a new millennium certainly struck me as being an opportunity to make a statement – To try and balance things a little differently than had been previously done. The more I thought about it the more I realised that what I was doing in Ottawa was to respond to a generation of visitors, which covered 80 percent of the people who were coming to the museum, raised in the television age from their very earliest memory. That generation were looking at the world through a television screen which is very different than looking at the world as you move around a village or a town or within your own experience frame of reference. Suddenly you were in this bionic electronic world that was being shown to you through a window that was global, and people accelerated their sophistication very rapidly. Now it has been about 50 years that television has been current in North America and in that 50 years people have become very sophisticated in a whole series of things such as how things work and the long sequences of history consistently recapitulated in television series. I thought that’s it, we are doing a project for a whole new generation of people and we won’t re-do it for some time. Read the full interview here.

Read Here: In Memoriam George F MacDonald, 1938-2020

Read Here: The Museum is the Medium ’Remembering Dr. George F MacDonald'(1938–2020)