Flamenco

A Spanish dance

UNESCO

UNESCO is an abbreviation for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. It's a specialised agency of the United nations (UN). The purpose of this organisation is to contribute peace and security by advertising international collaberation through education, science and culture. It encourages communities around the world to talk together to try to help communities to have good human rights behaviour, alleviate poverty and encourage dialogue through education, information and positive communication.

Intangible Cultural Heritage

Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) or what some call “Living Heritage” encompasses many traditions, practices and customs. These include the stories we tell, the legends handed down from generation to generation, the family events we celebrate, our community events, the languages we speak, the songs we sing, knowledge of our surroundings and how that culture has survived and lived with their environment, any traditions of medicines and healings, the recipes and food eaten within a cultures, the holidays that are celebrated and the beliefs and practices for that culture.

Flamenco Dance

Flamenco is a dance originating in Spain, that is highly-expressive and very emotional. It is generally a dance undertaken by an individual alone and involved hand clapping, detailed and musical footwork, and intricate hand, arm and body movements. Flamenco is a genuine Spanish art, which is known to come from the Southern Spanish area. The dance exists in three forms: Cante, which is the song; Baile, which is the dance itself and Guitarra, which is the guitar playing.

Flamenco is considered to the symbol of the Spanish Culture. Although the dance on its own is called Sevillanas, Gypsies are very often thought to be the original instigators of the Flamenco and it accepted that they definitely played a very important part in its creation. The popular and known songs and dances of the Andalucia region of Spain influenced early Flamenco considerably. Many of the songs reflect the spirit of desperation, struggle, hope and pride of the people who were persecuted during the Spanish Inquisition of 1492, when the Moor, Gitano and Jewish people were harrassed, ill-treated and expelled. The Gitanos were key to maintaining the Flamenco art form and in particular, as they liked singing, sp their songs were passed on to generations who continued to perform them. There are questions of the origin of Flamenco as it goes back many hundred of years in various forms. Some have said it was just songs, others say just dance with clapping and stamping of feet without the guitar, while others say all was included particularly when instruments came about.

My Judgement

Since many areas of the world continue to be at war with each, over control of land and rights of people, I believe that UNESCO is a vital part of trying to maintain peace in certain parts of the world and to help bring peace in other areas. It is important that as we grow up as individuals, we learn about other peoples cultures, history, religions and beliefs and respect these. We may not agree with these beliefs, many of which are ingrained in many hundreds of years of a culture, however, we must each learn to gain an understanding of why a culture acts as it does. It is very important, that even though a culture may act and treat others based upon their history, that they are also educated that change can be made to ensure every human being has a right to be treated fairly, without fear of being persecuted, and to hopefully be able to express their thoughts and feelings without being ill-treated. Genocide is not acceptable just because someone has a different belief or religion. Corrupt governments should not be allowed to wallow in wealth through pure greed, when their people starve and are dying due to dis-respect and poverty. UNESCO is helping to break down the cultural barriers and trying get different cultures and religions to respect that others are able to have alternative opinions and beliefs and that we can all still live together in peace, with a right to be able to be fed and have shelter for themselves and their family.

The major programmes that UNESCO run are Education, Natural Sciences, Social & Human Sciences, Culture and Communication & Information and they provide a huge range of special themed programmes that help commities worldwide e.g. Climate Change, Gender Equality, Dialogue among civilisations, HIV & Aids, Youth and many more. These programmes help provide education, knowledge and the skills for cultures and communities to change for the benefit of their people.

I therefore feel that Helen Clark, as head of UNESCO and all those involved around the world, have a valuable role within world society and this orginsation and its members should be supported and congratulated.

In the words of the UNESCO Director-General, “Peace is more than the absence of war, it is living together with our differences – of sex, race, language, religion or culture – while furthering universal respect for justice and human rights on which such coexistence depends”.