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Environment created for 'blossoming' of culture
Update: 2019-06-11     Source: chinadaily.com.cn

Artists get ready for a performance showcasing musical heritage along the Grand Canal during a concert in Beijing on Sunday. ZOU HONG/CHINA DAILY

An intangible cultural heritage fair - which showcases 40 items on UNESCO's World Intangible Cultural Heritage List - started in Guangzhou on Friday.

The fair includes exhibitions, shows, lectures and forums to highlight the protection and development of intangible cultural heritage in China.

Colorful activities

Since 2006, China has celebrated cultural heritage day on the second Saturday of June. In 2017, it was renamed Cultural and Natural Heritage Day.

More than 3,200 activities were scheduled across China to celebrate this year's Cultural and Natural Heritage Day, which fell on June 8.

Aiming to raise the public's cultural confidence and awareness, the "open course on intangible cultural heritage", an educational television show that invites experts to tell stories about such heritage, was broadcast on Friday evening.

An exhibition of guqin, the Chinese zither, a Kunqu Opera performance and a photo exhibition of intangible cultural heritage are also scheduled.

A concert featuring traditional Chinese music and poems was held in the National Library on Thursday to commemorate the Dragon Boat Festival. Artists performed classical poems and dance and played traditional instruments including the pipa.

The National Library will hold another five events in June and July to showcase intangible cultural heritage and study its protection.

Saving techniques

As of 2018, Henan province had 127 national-level intangible cultural heritage inheritors, and 832 provincial-level ones, covering all fields.

To ensure these exclusive techniques are not lost, the province has undertaken a series of measures to preserve and carry them forward.

Some inheritors of wood painting, paper cutting and porcelain production have been sent to higher education institutes to learn about changes in social needs.

China has spent 300 million yuan ($43.5 million) protecting the intangible cultural heritage of the Tibet autonomous region over the past 13 years.

According to the regional people's art museum, from 2006 to 2018, the central government spent 195 million yuan and the regional government spent over 80 million yuan on the protection of intangible cultural heritage.

Tibetans in poverty-stricken areas now have a chance to advance themselves through traditional craftsmanship. Ten workshops were set up in March to promote employment and shake off poverty as local residents are taught to make handicrafts, such as Tibetan incense and Buddhist prayer flags.

Nationwide network

China has set up a nationwide intangible cultural heritage protection network comprising 2,467 institutions and 17,308 personnel as of the end of last year, according to a government report.

These institutions sponsored about 65,500 related performances and over 16,800 folk culture activities in 2018, attracting 98 million people to watch, said the report from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

In 2018, a total of 1,082 individuals were newly recognized as artists with the responsibility of carrying forward the country's intangible cultural heritage.

The additions brought the total number of national-level inheritors of intangible cultural heritage in China to 3,068.

China has 1,372 representative intangible cultural heritage programs under State protection. And it has 40 programs on the UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage List.

The government earmarked 201 million yuan last year from the central budget to build 26 national facilities for the protection and utilization of intangible cultural heritage.

China has, in recent years, continued to promote regulations, capacity building and international exchanges concerning intangible cultural heritage, said Li Jinzao, vice-minister of culture and tourism.

"The environment to inherit and develop intangible cultural heritage has significantly improved, and colorful intangible cultural heritages are blossoming in the garden of Chinese culture," Li said.

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