Celebrations of the European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH) have started and will continue throughout 2018, putting shared histories and culture under the spotlight. As dedicated events and projects fill up the calendar, it is important to ask ourselves…
What is cultural heritage?
It can be challenging to decode what ‘culture’ is, without sounding too broad or pretentious, whilst the definition of ‘heritage’ is often narrowed down simply to ‘something old’ or ‘monuments and museums’. Yet this struggle to describe ‘cultural heritage’ might just indicate how present and influential it is in our daily lives.
The EU Commissioner for Culture, Education, Youth and Sports, Tibor Navracsics said: “It defines who we are and creates a sense of belonging. Cultural heritage is not only made up of literature, art and objects but also by the crafts we learn, the stories we tell, the food we eat and the films we watch.”
From language to digital technology, cultural heritage shapes our identity as individuals and communities. Passed from generation to generation, it conveys a sense of belonging to a common place and history. Finally, by adapting to today and foreseeing tomorrow, cultural heritage becomes a space for the past to meet the future.
How can you get involved?
The Erasmus+ 30th anniversary was an opportunity to celebrate how the programme has been shaping the future of hundreds of thousands of UK participants whose stories and achievements are as much part of cultural heritage as any archaeological artefact.
Every international exchange that builds bridges between countries, cultures, customs, or practices has cultural heritage at its core. Perhaps you have been collaborating with partner organisations in other countries? Or participants on a placement gained deeper understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity?
Get involved in the EYCH celebrations by:
Applying for the EYCH label; and
Checking the EYCH UK agenda to see what’s on near you.