When we speak of the definition of communication, we understand we are talking about a sender, a message and a receiver. We also know that communication is authentic if and only it occurs when we associate a meaning to the message. Aristotle, 2500 years ago, affirmed that man is a social being and this is because he creates relationships, communicating.
Communicating is one way of handing down tradition. If we think of the Geoffrey Chaucer Canterbury tales being told on the road to the Canterbury Cathedral by 31 pilgrims: the oral tradition of telling stories is exactly the transmitting of personal knowledge of what once was. That familiar story which, in some way, shapes not only one’s present but also one’s future.
Tradition and culture. Culture meaning the language, the territory, the arts, the techniques, the skills, food and drink, the values of a population that repeat themselves over generations. It is important to remember that culture embraces a broad spectrum of resources: tangible, intangible, natural and underwater.
Tangible means things we can touch or move for example castles, artefacts, ruins, portraits. Intangible means things we cannot touch with hand: songs, beliefs, rituals. Natural, of course means natural landscapes.
If we look at the Egyptian heritage, by looking at the tangible artefacts, for example, pyramids, gold jewelry, fancy headwear etc. all contribute to understanding their intangible qualities. Pride, status, collectivist views on putting others’ needs before personal ones are all qualities that prevail.
Cultural Heritage has been constructed and shaped over time. And this will continue if we put the right emphasis on teaching it to future generations. These have the right to know and appreciate their past to form, understand and safeguard their future.
We need to communicate to future generations that only by understanding, respecting, caring and enjoying our past and present, we put into practice the cultural heritage within us to then forward it to our future societies.
Teresa Platì – JUMP Trainer