Inter-City Intangible Cultural Cooperation Network (ICCN), cooperating with the association of Cachtice-Kopanice, Slovakia, held the 2015 7th ICCN Workshop from October 2 to 6 under the theme of “ICH Policies to Transmit a Community’s Identity Between Generations.”
Thirteen countries including Algeria, China, Czech Republic, France, Hong Kong, Italy, India, Iran, Kuwait, Palestine, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, and Spain participated in the ICCN workshop this year.
Distinguished members Ms. Alzbeta Tukova, the Mayor of Association of Cachtice-Kopanice, Mr. Nam-dae Kim, Director of Culture-Tourism bureau, and two section chiefs of Trencin region gave a welcome speech for the ICCN workshop. The host city organized the opening and closing performances by the Cosariska Bell Performance Team to make this workshop active and lively.
The Workshop session was held on October 4th from 11:00 to mid afternoon. Dr. V. Jayarajan from Folkland, India started the workshop with his outstanding keynote speech and for the morning session was led by two moderators Mr. Natale Giordano and Mrs. Floriana Copoletta. Mr. Lubomir Tuka from Slovakia gave a presentation briefly introducing the Association of Cachtice-Kopanice with historical background. After that, Mrs. Yeon-jung Cho gave a presentation about the Gangneung Danoje Festival and how the organizing committee is preserving this festival. Ms. Maribelle Bimohya from Ifugao, Philippines gave a presentation with the theme “Transmission of a community’s identity from one generation to another” using Ifugao as an example. Mr. Monjed Alhawwash, the Deputy Mayor of Beit Sahour Municipality, Palestine also gave a presentation in connection with this year’s theme showing their municipality’s case. For the last presentation in the morning, Mr. Sbia Amine from FACM, Algerie gave a presentation regarding an overview of the Algerian policy on ICH.
The afternoon session was led by moderator Ms. Maribelle Bimohya. First, Ms. Xie Lei from Yiswind, China gave a presentation with the theme “Revitalize the village by becoming the real village” and introduced their new village plan connecting with ICH and how transmitting is important by putting the utmost effort on this project. Next, Dr. Waleed Alsaif gave a presentation giving us examples of Kuwait Sailors community. Mr. Julio Blasco from Algemesi, Spain also gave a presentation connecting the theme and the mayor of Algemesi gave a short speech and briefly introduced the “Festivity of La Mare de Deu de La salute” by video. After this session, Doctor Jayarajan from Folkland, India gave a presentation of “Ethnic Identity and Intangible Cultural Heritage – A study on Koragas tribes” emphasizing on how Koragas tribes are conserving their culture and how are they dealing with obstacles such as disease. After this session, three different cities showed video and presented short introduction of their cities and activities – Nayshabur, Iran by Dr. Mehdi Kosari, Jeongseon, Korea by Deputy Mayor of Jeongseon, Dea-soon Jang and Mr. Yeon-kyu Choi, and Danoje Festival in Gangneung, Korea by Ms. Han-gyeom Choi and Mr. Dong-chan Kim. For the last session, Mr. Seok-je Lee presented ICCN’s long-term plan and accepted the agenda from the ICCN board meeting the day before.
On the second day, October 3rd, we had a board meeting and there was a local event called the Apple Festival held in Jablonka region. In the afternoon for the board meeting, there were few main agendas to be approved. First was the approval of new candidate members to temporary members. The candidate members were from three countries/five cities and four countries/four associations. Noto, Palermo, Cattania from Italy, Kashan municipality from Iran, Bethlehem municipality from Palestine, Integrated Music Company Limited of Ghana, Barnabas Trust International from Nigeria, Culture-Watch Zambia from Zambia, and Gangneung Danoje Preserving Society of Gangneung, Korea. The final decision to be official ICCN members will be made in 2016 General Assembly next year. And secondly, another agenda is to decide the next host city for future ICCN meetings from 2016 to 2019. Since the ICCN secretariat finds it difficult to process ICCN meeting every year, it would be convenient and stable to have candidates to be the host city in the next five years. The same agenda will also be determined in the 2016 General Assembly. Also, we have discussed the importance and necessity of strengthening membership and membership fee. The ICCN Secretariat and network are going to focus on not only broadening number of members, but also at the same time to reduce down the members who are not actively participating in ICCN events or activities. Further, since ICCN is getting big and necessity of financial support is increasing high, paying the membership fee is one of the important responsibilities of ICCN members. For ICCN to give actual benefit to members and to keep promoting and making good event for ICCN. In this regards, it is a must to formulate regulations to address strengthening collection of ICCN annual membership fee.
A Cultural Dialogue Night took place in Agropenzion Reception Hall last Oct. 4, 2015. The event started with the traditional Slovakian wedding performance and complete with a banquet dinner. The presenters from Italy, Vlcnov, and Hong Kong gave brief introduction of their cities and associations and shared their roles in safeguarding ICH. The following day, was spent going around Cachtice-Kopanice region for a cultural tour. Among the sites that were visited are the Artistic House in Jablonka, Museum of Stephanic General, Museum in Vadovce, and Cachtice Castle. After cultural tour, a closing ceremony was held in the amidst the ethnic and manificent view of the Cachtice castle. A fire performance regarding Queen Alžbeta Bátoriová (Elizabeth Bathory) who was believed to bathe using young girls’ blood after killing them to maintain her youth and beauty. Stories were told that she kidnapped hundreds of young girls and killed them one by one. The closing ceremony concluded, with the reading of the 2015 declaration and handover the flag from Slovakia to ICCN Secretariat and passed on to Italy where 2016 General Assembly and festival will be held.
The workshop ended leaving a realization of how important the role everyone has in working on and continuing the efforts in the path of ICH that we have walked through so far. The 7th ICCN workshop was another great event that we could draw our roadmap to determine the future that will confront us in achieving our common goals. Next year, the 2016 General Assembly and festival will be a significant ceremony to build our relationship, discuss our thoughts and ideas, and painstakingly take the time to make new policies. It is as well another opportunity for everyone to learn to accept and adopt the things we will discuss to further improve and develop our work on ICH.