Intangible cultural heritage (ICH) in its many forms such as festive events, dance, craft technique, ritual, and oral traditions, is a valuable gift passed down from person to person for many generations. It is not only the heritage of those living in the area now but also the common heritage of humankind. Why? Because it makes this world rich in cultural diversity.
In Asia and the Pacific, there are countless examples of such diverse heritage. Unlike tangible cultural heritage, in the forms of historical monuments or buildings and art objects, it is human bodies and souls which are the medium for transmitting intangible cultural heritage. Therefore, such heritage is vulnerable and susceptible to changes in life styles and values which globalisation brings.
Intangible cultural heritage is often the foundation of people's cultural identity and also a source for creativity. Cooperation across borders is necessary to recognise its values and to hand it down to the next generations.