15.COM 8.B.30

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Indonesia and Malaysia have nominated Pantun (no. 01613) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

Pantun is a form of Malay verse used to express intricate ideas and emotions. It is the most widespread oral form in maritime Southeast Asia and has been used in many parts of the region for at least 500 years. Pantun has a clear a-b-a-b rhyme scheme. The four-line variety is the most common. Pantuns may be transmitted in music, song and writing. Seventy per cent of verses are devoted to expressing love of a romantic partner, family, the community, and the natural world. Verses can be recited at weddings, customary rituals and official ceremonies. Pantun offers a socially acceptable way to express oneself indirectly in a polite way. It is also an instrument of moral guidance as verses often contain religious and cultural values such as restraint, respect, kindness and humility. Pantun has also been used as a diplomatic form of conflict resolution as it offers a way to gently evoke important issues. Harmony with nature and flexibility in human relationships are also lauded ideals. Pantun is formally taught in schools, artistic workshops, and through informal means.

  1. Considers that, from the information included in the file, the nomination satisfies the following criteria for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

R.1:   The States Parties have described the social functions and cultural meanings Pantun holds for its communities nowadays. The element emphasizes balance, harmony and flexibility in human interactions as well as the harmonious relationship between human beings and the natural world. The file demonstrates the character of the element as a forum for expressing ideas, entertaining, and communicating between people, regardless of their origin, nationality or religion. It is transmitted both through daily activities and through more formal channels related to rituals and customs. This poetic expression is present in the everyday lives of people in Indonesia, Malaysia and other countries in Southeast Asia; it finds its place in the family and community, as well as in official ceremonies and the media.

R.2:   The nomination demonstrates that the inscription of the element will raise awareness of intangible cultural heritage and the Convention at the national level in Malaysia and Indonesia. It further states that the inscription will enhance the visibility of Pantun as well as of other shared forms of oral tradition and intangible cultural heritage in Indonesia and Malaysia. Moreover, the inscription is expected to strengthen the ties between transnational Pantun communities and draw attention at the international level to examples of oral traditions that are being adapted as part of the process of globalization.

R.4:   The initiative for and preparation of the nomination was overseen by the administrative structures of the two countries. The States have described the involvement of the communities concerned with the tradition as well as of most of the different stakeholders in the planning and preparation of the nomination file. This involvement took the form of workshop sessions, meetings, and briefing programmes to produce the nomination documents.

  1. Further considers that, on the basis of the information included in the file and the information provided by the submitting States through the dialogue process, the following criterion for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity is satisfied:

R.5:   The nomination states that Pantun, as practised in different locations in Indonesia, was included in the Indonesian Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2014, 2016 and 2018, respectively. The Inventory is maintained by the Ministry of Education and Culture. Pantun in Malaysia was listed in the Registry Book under the National Heritage Act 2005 in 2009, which is maintained by the Department of National Heritage. The inventory information related to Pantun will be updated according to the latest information obtained from all parties concerned, including government agencies, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, the communities and individuals.

  1. Decides that based on the information provided by the States Parties to the Committee at its present session, the following criterion for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity is satisfied:

R.3:   Despite being rather general and abstract, the safeguarding measures proposed are presented in a structured way, with a focus on the institutions responsible for their implementation in each State as well as non-governmental organizations and relevant community. The proposed measures are also aimed at promoting the element to create awareness about Pantun and adequately address the transmission of knowledge as one of the safeguarding measures. The information on the safeguarding measures aimed at mitigating the threats to the element has been stated including inventory work; documentation and research; safeguarding under a legal instrument; encouraging community involvement in pantun safeguarding measures as well as international dialogue and promotion. Furthermore, the file has clearly demonstrated how the relevant communities, groups and individuals participated in the preparation of the past, current and future safeguarding measures including several programs such as Focus Group Discussion that was organized by both State Parties.

  1. Decides to inscribe Pantun on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;

  2. Reminds the States Parties of the importance of ensuring the most active possible participation of the communities concerned in every aspect related to the implementation of the safeguarding measures;

  3. Encourages the States Parties, when submitting nomination files in the future, to avoid standardized letters of consent and to provide up-to-date letters of consent;

  4. Recalls the importance of using vocabulary appropriate to the spirit of the Convention.

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