Bahrain Authority
for Culture and Antiquities

ICH Periodic Reporting Survey

The Kingdom of Bahrain is currently preparing the periodic report of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage to be presented to UNESCO, which requires the state to research and investigate all efforts undertaken by the concerned authorities and stakeholders to preserve the intangible cultural heritage found within its territories.

What is intangible cultural heritage and its fields?
The “intangible cultural heritage” means the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith – that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage. This intangible cultural heritage, transmitted from generation to generation, is constantly recreated by communities and groups in response to their environment, their interaction with nature and their history, and provides them with a sense of identity and continuity, thus promoting respect for cultural diversity and human creativity.

The “intangible cultural heritage”, as defined in paragraph 1 above, is manifested inter alia in the following domains:
(a) oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage;
(b) performing arts;
(c) social practices, rituals and festive events;
(d) knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe;
(e) traditional craftsmanship.

What is the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage?
The Convention adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO in 2003 represents the first international document that lays down a legal, administrative and financial framework for safeguarding and respecting the intangible cultural heritage. It also aims to achieve rapprochement, exchange and understanding among different communities. The Kingdom of Bahrain ratified this agreement on March 07, 2014 and has so far succeeded in registering three elements on the list This agreement is: (The Date Palm, Fjiri and Arabic Calligraphy), through which the Kingdom of Bahrain seeks to achieve the following:

(a) safeguard the intangible cultural heritage;
(b) ensure respect for the intangible cultural heritage of the communities, groups and individuals concerned;
(c) raise awareness at the local, national and international levels of the importance of the intangible cultural heritage, and of ensuring mutual appreciation thereof;
(d) provide for international cooperation and assistance.

What is the periodic report?
The periodic report provides a measure of the state’s commitment to the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and an assessment of its capabilities to safeguard intangible cultural heritage. It also looks at the status of intangible cultural heritage inventories, and the effectiveness of the programs and initiatives proposed during the nomination of intangible cultural heritage elements to be inscribed on and update the status of elements in the Representative List.
What is meant by the term “element” of intangible cultural heritage?
According to the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, the term "element" of intangible cultural heritage means the components and types of intangible cultural heritage according to the field to which it belongs. For instance, the field of performing arts in the kingdom of Bahrain consist of a number of different types of performances, for example: Fjiri, which is also called (the element of Fjiri) and so on.


ICH Periodic Reporting Survey