The year 2013 was dedicated to cultural heritage in Estonia and also marked the 10th anniversary of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. This thematic year encouraged people to think more about the meaning of cultural heritage and to ask themselves if and how it concerns them. The Estonian Folk Culture Centre prepared an exhibition called "Heritage Lives!" for the occasion, introducing the Estonian inventory of intangible cultural heritage.
Intangible heritage is in many ways a matter of the heart - it is up to each and every person and community to define its own heritage, as only they know what is important for them. Intangible heritage as a living heritage is constantly changing and evolving. The aim of the exhibition is to encourage you to notice and to cherish intangible heritage - knowledge, skills, customs and traditions that give people a sense of belonging and have been passed on through generations. Hopefully it is a good opportunity to think for a moment about the knowledge and skills that you have learned at home and also about those that you would like to pass on to your loved ones.
The exhibition presents ten different cultural expressions included in the Estonian inventory of intangible cultural heritage. The practitioner communities cherish these traditions, skills, customs and knowledge. So much so, that they have decided to compile an entry in the Estonian inventory of intangible cultural heritage - a web-based environment introducing living heritage (www.rahvakultuur.ee/vkpnimistu). Approval by Estonia of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2006 provided a motivation for creating the inventory. Every entry is based on the research study prepared by the representative of a given community.
Some of the introduced cultural expressions are unique to the given community. Others help to value and to see the power of tradition in ordinary, everyday activities, such as hanging out washing on a clothesline. Hopefully the exhibition provides you with the pleasure of discovering something new as well as the pleasure of recognizing something familiar.