Intangible Cultural Heritage

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The Intangible Cultural Heritage is an ancient practice, representation, expression, knowledge, or skill, which was preserved by continued or revived application. It complements the material (archaeological) heritage, as the observation of a traditional practice can give cues for the interpretation of material heritage.


The UNESCO drafted in 2003 the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, which officially recognises such traditions. Several practises relating to the maritime cultural heritage have already been - or are in the process of being - officially recognised. In 2019, the Nordic clinker boat tradition was nominated for inscription on UNESCO's representative list[1], and in the previous year, the Die Bewahrung und Nutzung der Zeesboote in der Mecklenburg-Vorpommerschen Boddenlandschaft (protection and use of Zees-boats in the Bodden landscape of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) was inscribed in Germany's national register of intangible cultural heritage.[2]

The Finnish Heritage Agency opened a national Wiki-inventory for Living Heritage in 2016 related to the UNESCO 2003 Convention. The Wiki-inventory now contains 175 submissions.

The Intangible Cultural Heritage is an important factor for coastal and maritime culture and tourist development. Thus, a Blue Growth strategy to the maritime cultural heritage ought to highlight the importance of the intangible cultural heritage.

Rum-Regatta 2016

Silakkamarkkinat 2020Small.jpg

The traditional Helsinki Baltic Herring Market in October 2020. Market has been held since 1743. Copyright: S.tikkanen.