2nd Session of the SAARC Talk Series 2023

SAARC Cultural Centre (SCC) initiated the SAARC Talk Series 2023 (Virtual Mode) in the month of May 2023 with the objectives to provides opportunities for knowledge exchange across multiple disciplines allowing academics, researchers, educators and students not only from the SAARC region but across the world to initiate discussions and build professional networks and to provide informative and engaging series of lectures on relevant themes.

After the completion of the First Talk Series, SAARC Cultural Centre (SCC) successfully concluded the Second SAARC Talk Series 2023 (Virtual Mode) scheduled on Tuesday, 20th June 2023. The speaker of the Talk Series was Dr. B. D Nandadeva, Retired Professor, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. Dr Nandadeva spoke on Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage for South Asian Regional Cooperation.

The session started with a welcome address by Ms. Renuka Ekanayake, Director SAARC Cultural Centre (SCC). In her welcome address, the Director welcomed all the participants and once again reiterated the important role of the SAARC Talk Series in fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for the rich cultural heritage and diverse traditions that exist in the SAARC region.

Dr. Bina Gandhi Deori, Deputy Director-Research, SAARC Cultural Centre (SCC) introduced the Speaker to the audience and moderated the whole session.

Dr. Nandadeva delivered an informative lecture on Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage for South Asian Regional Cooperation. In his talk, Dr Nandadeva elaborated on the main components of the UNESCO Convention (2003) and its relevance for regional cooperation among the SAARC countries drawing examples mainly from Sri Lanka. In his lecture, he illustrated how the intangible cultural heritage of the South Asian region provides an excellent example of cultural diversity within ‘cultural unity’.
He further explained how descending through very long and complex histories, people of the region have been able to share across borders the beliefs, values, expressions, practices, and technical skills between each other and assimilate them to each one’s own cultural environments, thus creating a cultural syncretism, the hallmark of South Asian identity and how those heritages also added another dimension due to Western colonization that left its footprint in many parts of the region, making it one of the culturally most diverse parts of the world.

Dr. Nandadeva emphasized on the need to build greater awareness, especially among the younger generations, of the importance of the intangible cultural heritage and of its safeguarding at a time when the forces of globalization, competition, and geo-political tensions negatively impacting the regional harmony and unity. There were 28 participants present for the Second Talk Series. The lecture was followed by Q & A session in which the audience actively participated and gave their comments too. The session was concluded after the vote of thanks delivered by Dr. Bina Gandhi Deori.