Second National
Intangible Cultural
Heritage Forum

Second National Intangible Cultural Heritage Forum

The Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities is organizing its second Intangible Cultural Heritage Forum. In light of the current circumstances and the Authority’s commitment to the precautionary and preventative measures implemented to limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), sessions of the forum will be conducted via Zoom on 22 and 23 of September 2020, while other sessions accompanying the forum will be broadcast via Bahrain TV on September 21 and 22.


Building on the success of the forum’s first edition, the second edition of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Forum oversteps national boundaries by witnessing participation at the regional level.


This forum comes within the framework of the Authority’s vision to inscribe elements of Bahraini intangible heritage on UNESCO’s representative list, and this second installment will highlight four elements of intangible heritage: Arabic calligraphy, Ardah, weaving and traditional attire.


The forum will address a number of topics including the importance of preserving and protecting intangible cultural heritage, how to enrich the scientific research movements along with ways to enhance interaction with the public regarding cultural heritage in general.


One of the most prominent objectives for the Second Forum for Intangible Cultural Heritage is to raise societal awareness on the importance of these intangible cultural heritage and what their current status is today — to list, preserve and revive elements of intangible cultural heritage confirms the Kingdom of Bahrain’s obligation towards the 2003 Convention. Furthermore, it give researchers and specialists in this field the opportunity participate in the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage in accordance to international mechanisms.


Intangible Cultural Heritage

Intangible cultural heritage is defined as the set of practices, expressions, knowledge and skills that communities and groups adopt for self-expression, and thus takes on the distinct characteristics of people belonging to a particular culture. In addition, people form a deep-rooted cultural identity stemming from their heritage’s long history that specialists in cultural affairs can analyze through social practices, traditional ceremonies, rituals and oral traditions, as well as other cultural considerations.


2003 Convention on the Intangible Cultural Heritage

Given the importance of intangible cultural heritage as a factor supporting cultural diversity, the UNESCO General Conference adopted the first international document in 2003, establishing a legal, administrative and financial framework for the preservation and respect of this heritage, as well as awareness of its importance in achieving rapprochement and exchange between human societies.


The 2003 Convention aims to safeguard intangible cultural heritage in line with other international agreements in support of sustainable development and mutual respect among human societies. At the national level, the Convention calls for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage present on the territory of the State Party to the Convention.