Shandong sees major benefits from intangible cultural heritage law

NPC inspection tour finds traditions strengthened, but legal revisions may be needed

By Cao Yin in Heze, Shandong | China Daily | Updated: 2024-06-21 07:23
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Actors from the Shandong Bangzi Opera Troupe perform a wooden clapper opera during a temple fair in April in Tai'an. LIU SHUI/XIE JIUJIANG/FOR CHINA DAILY

Enjoying and learning about numerous intangible cultural heritage items, including wood carving, opera and dough sculpture in just one venue, exceeded national lawmaker Liu Lili's expectations.

"Many other venues only focus on one kind of traditional cultural heritage. But to my surprise, in this building I found almost all local living heritages. I could also talk with inheritors and experience being a craftswoman doing paper cutting or carving on porcelain," said Liu, a deputy to the National People's Congress, China's top legislature.

She shared her experiences with China Daily while visiting the intangible cultural heritage exhibition hall in Heze, Shandong province, last month.

From May 8 to 12, a team led by the NPC Standing Committee toured Shandong to evaluate the effectiveness of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Law. The team visited spots including workshops, museums, cultural centers and libraries, and also exchanged ideas with local heritage inheritors to understand how they are preserving and developing their skills.

Liu, a Shandong performer of Liuqin opera, one of the country's intangible cultural heritage items, was one of the team members.

She gave a thumbs-up to the innovative measures taken in her home province to protect living heritage items, but expressed concern about the way some of them are passed on and spread.

"Problems such as some inheritors aging, and the single transmission method of traditional cultures are urgent issues that need to be solved," she said, suggesting the top legislature revise the law at an appropriate time to consolidate government duties, so that living heritage items can be strongly protected and effectively passed on.

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