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What is World Heritage Day?
The UNESCO, in the year 1983 officially declared April 18th as “International Sites and Monuments Day”, the day meant to recognize monuments and heritage buildings of importance. The day was then famously called as ‘World Heritage day’.
The main aim of celebrating the day lies on the two point agenda that the ICOMOS (International council for monuments and sites) recognized. The first point or agenda discusses about the rich diversity across cultures spanning the whole world.
The second point talks about these sites of importance prone to destruction from many significant factors if not properly maintained.
So, in general the ICOMOS laid the foundation of the significant day by discussing the beauty of our monuments, at the same time making a point about preserving their beauty and serenity.
World Heritage Day 2020
Saturday, the 18th of April 2020 will be officially celebrated as the world heritage day. Every year a new theme is set up by the UNESCO to draw people’s attention towards the day.
The aim of this day is to bring together people and raise awareness about the rich cultural heritage that we are a part of and the move to preserve them in good form for generations to come. This year’s theme is based on ‘sustainable tourism’.
The day will be celebrated by spreading the word about the importance of our monuments, establishing a link with history and finding deeper connections through knowledge transfer between one or more generations. The ICOMOS plans a twofold activity to carry out the celebrations of the day.
The first activity will be the knowledge transfer activity, wherein member nations and global partners will be called in to participate, to understand the importance of spreading the rich cultural heritage from one generation to another.
This agenda is to keep up with the organization’s motto of preserving monuments plus our rich cultural heritage. Knowledge transfer happens best through awareness.
So, in short the day conducts many awareness programs globally to spread information to various corners of the world.
The second program that will also be part of the celebrations will be the youth involvement program. Any key program needs information to be gathered, to be talked about and raise global quotients.
The youth are considered best ambassadors for carrying out such events, because they are full of implementable ideas and they work wonders. So involvement of youth on a very large scale will be the second part of the celebrations.
World Heritage Day celebration
In general, the UNESCO and the ICOMOS discuss with key heads and national committees of member nations about carrying out celebrations on the day. Some of the key celebrations would be:
Suggesting national committees to hold planned visits to monuments that need attention. For example, there are many national monuments in our country that have lost the sheen and have faded away in history.
They need attention; they need one’s collective efforts to be restored. So, restoration and beautification programs for those monuments that are in a not-so-healthy condition are one of the ways to celebrate the day.
The second way of celebrating the day is by spreading word about great monuments that every nation can boast of.
Publishing information about these monumental buildings and sites in national dailies, magazines, publishing ads in newspaper, showcasing on television and radio programs are also part of the celebration.
The third and most important way to draw the common man’s attention towards preserving monuments would be by displaying placards and putting up big hoardings and banners at prominent places in cities and towns.
The day is also celebrated by holding national level conferences, debates and discussions with celebrities and concerned officials in higher authoritative ranks.
Releasing stamps that have one or more national monuments etched on them is another great way of celebrating the day.
Releasing publications and books on our cultural heritage, taking to social media to publish articles based on the topic also marks the activities of the day.
Participation of youth via cultural exchange programs that highlight the rich cultural diversity that we are a part of. Encouraging school children to come up with ideas to promote national awareness about the day.
Importance and Significance of World Heritage Day
If we happened to visit a local monument near our place, we would find a large piece of information etched on stone that may have the official protection mark received from the government.
Likewise, the UNESCO has also recognized various monuments across the world, termed them as world heritage sites and has come forward to protect them, preserve its identity and promote tourism on an international level.
This explains the importance of world heritage day. Some of the significant points in this regard are:
- Without spreading the word and creating awareness, the general public would be in dark about the diversity of our rich cultural heritage. So, it is important to celebrate the day in this regard.
- Monuments are prone to human damage. If we happen to visit any unpreserved monument, we may find the place strewn with garbage and littered with dust particles. It calls for action and restoration.
- Monuments also face the forces of nature. The effects of acid rain can be seen clearly on the Taj Mahal structure. The color of the marble is reported to have been turning to a pale yellow color on account of natural activities. Pollution, dust and other man made factors also contribute significantly to the damage. Hence action needs to be taken appropriately.
- It is definitely a challenge to preserve and maintain the glory of these monuments. It is not a simple task of cleaning and looking after them. Sometimes, the restoration works consume many years together. Beautification may involve a rich contribution in terms of monetary aspects, so funds need to be collected and pooled in for various kinds of restoration works.
World Heritage Day quotes
- “Preserve cultural heritage, it defines the national identity of a country”.
- “Monuments and heritage sites are the rich essence of diversity and reflection of our culture”.
- “World heritage day aims to identify the beauty of monuments and preserves their identity from the roots”.
- “Love your monuments, they are part of a rich civilization and speak volumes about a bygone era”.
- “A rich cultural heritage depends on the ability of people to maintain their distinctiveness and unique identities”.
World Heritage Day slogans
- “Celebrate your culture, preserve your cultural diversity”.
- “Imbibe values to youth; involve them in cultural exchange programs”.
- “Take interest in national monuments, they are a matter of pride for the entire nation”.
- “Cultural diversity is not a mere word; it describes the very essence of our civilization”.
- “The youth is an important aspect of spreading cultural diversities across global borders”.
World Heritage Day speech (400 words)
Respected dignitaries on stage, our beloved principal, staff and students, a very good morning and a warm welcome to all of you. Today we have gathered here to discuss about an important event of global importance, it is the world heritage day.
We have all come from a rich cultural past, our ancestors taught us to be cultured in our ways, to lead our lives truthfully and in a dignified manner.
They echoed their words through various national monuments; it was an important part of their creative life. Kings and rulers of the past built monuments to commemorate special days, events, win over enemies etc. these monuments, of late, have faded down in history and lost their true essence.
They look pale and dull from outside; they are waiting to be heard. On the occasion of world monument day, the UNESCO in association with ICOMOS (International council for monuments and sites) aims to spread awareness globally about maintain rich monumental heritage.
It aims to bring about a change in people’s attitude. A shift in thinking would lead one to actively participate in restoring and beautifying lost glories of the world.
Many of the monuments that we have visited may be in a bad shape owing to various factors. We can volunteer to clean up the monuments by indulging in simple tasks such as cleaning and asking people to maintain cleanliness.
Preserving national monuments is not an easy task. The higher authorities of the concerned departments receive grants from the UNESCO to aid in preserving the beauty of national monuments.
Member nations receive guidelines from the UNESCO about different ways and ideas to celebrate the day. Circulation of messages over social media, publication of related articles, highlighting the need to preserve monuments in national dailies- all form part of the mission.
The specific goal of the day is to involve school children and youth in general to take part actively in helping the working organizations spread the word.
Preservation is an important part of maintaining rich sites of cultural heritage. The next generations should be aware about our cultural past and this transfer of knowledge should happen from one generation to the other.
For this, the youth need to contribute by coming up with new ideas, promoting their ideas on social media circles, putting up banners and hoardings etc.
We can also hold rallies to exhibit the rich cultural heritage that we are a part of and the necessary task of preserving our monuments, which is a matter of national pride.
Why we celebrate world heritage day?
The world heritage day should be celebrated to spread awareness among general public about world famous monuments, historical sites of significance and their preservation.
We need to treat national monuments as treasure of our nation. They would have been an integral part of our history, so we should take them forward and respect their dignity. Places that are in a bad state need to be restores cared for and looked after as a matter of national pride.
The world heritage day calls for participation of the younger generation by taking proper steps to restore monuments that have been in a very bad state, owing to non-maintenance from authorities over a matter of many years.
Contributions and participation from youth is key to bringing in a change and shift in people’s attitude and realize the need to restore and beautify our lost monuments.