Module: Sustainable Development of Living Heritage

Our approach to Sustainable Development of Living Heritage, centered around heritage interpretation, is rooted in over a decade of experience working directly in the field with the ”Custom Martinki”. This Balkan tradition involves the exchange of handmade amulets on the 1st day of March mostly in Macedonia, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldavia and other regions and countries.

In 2017, UNESCO officially recognized the ‘Custom Martinki’ by inscribing it on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This designation established HAEMUS as a legal guardian of this cherished tradition. Since 2013, we have curated the traditional event “Grandma March Day” a UNESCO-recognized program dedicated to nurturing, educating, and promoting the ‘Martinki Custom’. Our efforts to preserve this cultural heritage were honored with the prestigious “Best European Heritage Story in 2020” award by the Council of Europe and the European Commission.

HAEMUS team was part of the implementation of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage at the national level (Skopje, 2016)

Our project ‘Grandma March Day’ is a very successful example that shows how we can manage, visualize, interpret, promote and save the world intangible heritage.

Living heritage not only adds significance to our lives but also reinforces resilience and contributes to overall well-being. The close association between intangible cultural heritage and sustainable development is evident. The international community, in its commitment to safeguarding living heritage, adopted the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2003. Additionally, with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, ambitious goals were set. This module facilitates the understanding of the intricate connections between these two crucial aspects.

In this module, we will develop a deeper meaning of intangible cultural heritage and its close connection with sustainable development. We will explore global examples and insights from various communities to enhance your knowledge.

Our collaborative interpretive panel for the ‘Custom Matinki’ within our traditional manifestation ‘Grandma March Day’

The one full working day module includes:

  • Types of heritage and how an interpretive approach enhances them all.
  • Understanding Intangible Cultural Heritage and its deeper meaning.
  • Exploring Communities and Their Intangible Cultural Heritage.
  • How to protect intangible cultural heritage.
  • How to create a successful UNESCO application for Intangible Cultural Heritage.
  • Intersection of Intangible Cultural Heritage and Gender.
  • Leveraging Intangible Cultural Heritage for Sustainable Livelihoods and Inclusive Social Development.
  • Using Intangible Cultural Heritage for resilience, environmental sustainability, and peacebuilding.
  • Individual and group exercises, as well as teamwork on interpretative proposals for Intangible Cultural Heritage.
  • Stories from our tradition in the service of tourism, tourism in the service of intangible heritage.
  • Application of Storytelling in Tourism with the emphasis on Intangible cultural heritage.
  • Heritage Interpretation of intangible cultural heritage and visitor engagement.
  • Interpretation thought Gamification of Intangible Cultural Heritage Trainer: The module ‘Sustainable Development of Living Heritage’ is developed and led by Vasilka Dimitrovska, the director of HAEMUS, a certified interpretative trainer, the national coordinator of Interpret Europe for Macedonia and direct legal holder of the “Custom Martinki’ in UNESCO.


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