Development of the National Inventories

Development of the National Inventories

In Hungary the guiding principle for implementation is that nomination must be initiated by the relevant communities in all cases. Communities must also play a primary role in preparing the bulk of the documentation as well as in developing and implementing effective measures for protecting the element.

The procedure and guidelines for nomination are similar to those of inscription on the UNESCO lists – a form is to be filled out detailing the element and how it meets the criteria for inscription, and prescribed documents and materials are to be attached. In preparing the nomination, the wide-scale involvement of experts, local NGOs and relevant groups is greatly encouraged. Nomination materials are then submitted to the institution charged with implementing points of the convention nationally which in Hungary is the Directorate of Intangible Cultural Heritage at the Hungarian Open Air Museum. Here the nominations are reviewed for form and content by two independent experts of the particular field. The Directorate of Intangible Cultural Heritage then prepares a summary report on the findings of the experts and determines the nomination’s compliance with requirements for inscription on the National Inventory. The material is examined by the National Committee for Intangible Cultural Heritage, who then recommends to the Minister the inscription of the particular element.

Since nomination documents are compiled by members of the community, we may declare that community participation is a key factor and a basic criterion in the process of inscription. During the evaluation of the nominations the Directorate of Intangible Cultural Heritage, the independent experts and the Expert Committee specially check and highly appreciate the broadest possible involvement and contribution on behalf of the community, without which it would be extremely difficult to make any decisions or implement any safeguarding measures.

Criteria for the National Inventory:

N.1. The element must be compatible with the definition of ICH element as described in Article 2. paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Convention.

N2. Inscription on the Inventory provides for greater visibility of and public access to the intangible cultural heritage, as well as increased awareness of its significance. Thus the Inventory and the elements inscribed thereon reflect the cultural diversity of the nation and serve as examples of human creativity.

N.3. General policies and programs are in place to facilitate the safeguarding, viability and sustainability of the element.

N.4. The element was nominated for inscription with the widest possible participation, involvement and prior informed consent of the communities, groups and, where applicable, individuals who are the bearers/practitioners of the element.

Criteria for the National Register of Best Safeguarding Practices:

J.1. The programme, project or activity serves the objective of safeguarding as described in Article 2.3 of the Convention

J.2. If already completed, the programme, project or activity has demonstrated effectiveness in contributing to the viability of the intangible cultural heritage concerned. If still underway or planned, it can reasonably be expected to contribute substantially to the viability of the intangible cultural heritage concerned.

J.3. The programme, project or activity has been or will be implemented with the participation of the community, group or, if applicable, individuals concerned and with their free, prior and informed consent.

J.4. The programme, project or activity is potentially suited to serve as a national model for safeguarding activities.

Hungarian National Commission for UNESCO
Elemér Muharay Folk Art Assosiation
Assosiation of Hungarian Folk Artists
Institute of Ethnology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Kriza János Ethnographic Society
Hungarian Ethnographic Society
Museum of Ethnography
Hungarian Heritage House
National Cultural Institute