Law 26/2008 concerning the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage is the main relevant legislation. Under this, a National Commission for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage was established to coordinate the safeguarding and promotion of intangible cultural heritage based upon the cultural policies of the Ministry. Specifically, it is responsible for drafting and implementing a National Programme for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (National Programme) and for establishing the National Intangible Cultural Heritage Inventory. The main body responsible for management of the Inventory and the implementation of programmes concerning the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage is the Centrul Naţional pentru Conservarea și Promovarea Culturii Tradiționale (CNCPC, National Centre for the Conservation and Promotion of Traditional Culture) (under the Ministry of Culture). The latter is a cultural institution that develops scientific and methodological approaches in the field of intangible cultural heritage, as well as administering the National Register of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. The mission of the CNCPC is to synthesize, safeguard, disseminate, promote and emphasize contemporary traditional culture and intangible cultural heritage through rigorous research, safeguarding, transmission, assessment and appraisal activities. County centres coordinate the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage at the regional level with other specialized institutions.
Training in aspects of intangible cultural heritage safeguarding is offered by the Centrul de Pregătire Profesională în Cultură (Centre for Professional Training in Culture). This is now incorporated into the Institutul Naţional pentru Cercetare şi Formare Culturală (INCFC, National Institute for Cultural Research and Training), which is subordinated to the Ministry of Culture, the only national institute that aims to study, research and provide statistical data in the field of culture as well as training professionals who choose to pursue a career in this field. Relevant training is also provided at the University of Bucharest and the Department of Hungarian Ethnography and Anthropology of Babeş-Bolyai University.
Documentation of intangible cultural heritage is held at the National Centre (CNCPC), which maintains an intangible cultural heritage database accessible to visitors to its website. This includes audio-visual recordings and photographic images and all items collected from relevant field research and monitoring activities. In addition, the Institutul de Etnografie și Folclor “Constantin Brăiloiu” (C. Brăiloiu Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies) of the Romanian Academy, the Folklore Archive from Cluj-Napoca, the National Museum of Romanian Countrymen, the Institute for Cultural Memory, the Ethnology Department of Babeş-Bolyai University and the Department of Philological and Cultural Studies of the North University Centre at Baia Mare all hold relevant collections.
According to Law 26/2008, inventorying takes place in the context of a National Register of Intangible Cultural Heritage, which is administered by the CNCPC and published in print and on its website. The first volume was published in 2007 to 2009 with a second volume underway at the time of reporting; additional documentation constituting the inventory itself is made accessible on the CNCPC website. In conformity with that law, the intangible cultural heritage register includes: (a) the list of now-disappeared elements; (b) the list of endangered elements; (c) the list of living elements. It is being compiled according to domains. These include: traditional music, dance, games and cuisine; knowledge and practices relating to man, nature and the universe (e.g. astronomy, meteorology, mythology, geology, minerology, traditional representations of the human body and traditional plants and animal knowledge); habitat; traditional occupations; customary law; traditional knowledge of measures; and the intangible cultural heritage of ethnic minorities. Each subject will have specific criteria for inclusion. The inventory will be updated over the next few years, through a cultural network comprising the County Centres for Conservation and Promotion of Traditional Culture, research institutes of the Romanian Academy, specialized university departments and local certified non-governmental organizations.
In order to promote the function of intangible cultural heritage in society, the CNCPC, together with Regional Centres, supports specific local events and public demonstrations of intangible cultural heritage rituals and contemporary traditional creations, in close cooperation with other organizations and bodies from the tourism and economic sectors. An example is the Reinvigoration of the Traditional Crafts and the Promotion of the Artistic Creativity programme, which targets the promotion of the techniques connected to traditional crafts and contemporary popular performers. It also offers monetary grants, both to regional public institutions and to non-governmental organizations. The CNCPC also maintains close relations with several Ministries, such as Tourism, Agriculture and Rural Development, Environment and Forests, continuing a series of development programmes such as cultural tourism and rural development.
Among other measures to ensure the recognition of, respect for and enhancement of intangible cultural heritage, ethnographic museums support educational programmes to raise awareness of intangible cultural heritage as a component of society, with a particular emphasis on the bearers (creators, craftspeople and performers). They develop specific promotional and training activities (exhibitions, craft training activities, meetings with creators), educational programmes (classes and camps) and scientific activities (workshops, symposiums, conferences). The CNCPC issues a monthly calendar of the activities and events related to intangible cultural heritage elements, which is available to its partner institutions, through the mass media and online. A national programme concerning Living Human Treasures was implemented with good results, as intangible cultural heritage bearers and the communities they belong to were encouraged to safeguard and transmit their living heritage.
Teachers and other educationalists have made great efforts to raise youth awareness as well as to identify and promote talented young people as future practitioners of traditional culture. These educational activities were developed within schools as a fundamental framework; optional classes have been incorporated into their curricula and several extracurricular activities have been promoted. In-school efforts are complemented by those offered in the form of non-formal education (children’s clubs and culture centres). Various institutions promote learning programmes with support from specialists and leading community exponents. In addition, specific projects of the CNCPC include: the transmission of techniques connected to intangible cultural heritage elements to the public, especially young people; the revival of traditional craftsmanship; and the promotion of artistic creativity, exhibitions, practical demonstrations and creation camps.
Two Romanian elements are on the Representative List, namely: the Căluş ritual (incorporated in 2008, having originally been proclaimed a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2005); and Doina (inscribed in 2009). The inscription of these elements has encouraged their communities to take actions to ensure the transmission of the tradition to younger generations and to revive or initiate local cultural events and regional and national festivals and shows for the promotion of the element. In order to create alternatives to communist-era festivals, the National Commission and the CNCPC have encouraged local communities to revive traditional village contests of Căluşari dance troupes, as well as holding commercial rural fairs in the public squares of smaller towns. Research and documentation activities geared specifically towards the element have been conducted, including monitoring aspects of the symbolic areas of performance. In both cases, the present report was prepared by the National Commission for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage on the basis of the information supplied by the communities’ bearers.