Writer : Jingi Cheon
Year : 2015

Welcome to Volume 10 of the International Journal of Intangible Heritage. I am very glad to send my greetings to readers as we present a new volume. The Journal is published annually and celebrates its 10th anniversary this year since we began publishing it in 2006, inspired by UNESCO's 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and the Seoul Declaration of ICOM on the Intangible Heritage in 2004.

Along with the publication of the Journal, the National Folk Museum of Korea has documented and collected evidence of the vivid daily lives of local communities during its field research into folk culture. The museum also makes constant efforts to expand the field of ICH within the museum by providing ICH resources and archival materials such as photographs and audio and video recordings for visitors. The museum’s field research aims to help people understand the cultural diversity of local communities, and covers not just the external features and functions of each object belonging to a particular neighbourhood, but also the ‘internal’ characteristics which have been formed by the way people recognise, use and preserve items and even establish relationships with them. In this way, the National Folk Museum of Korea’s research, exhibitions and education programmes combine both tangible and intangible heritage and resonate with visitors from around the world.

Volume 10 presents ten selected manuscripts which tackle various aspects of ICH - the value of Serbia’s important cultural heritage, the historical background to funerary customs in Pomuch, Mexico, the meanings of and changes to ritual performances in Cebu, in the Philippines, the value and importance of traditional architectural techniques as part of the intangible heritage of Turkey’s historical buildings, the linguistic diversity and the threat of its extinction in Arunachal Pradesh, India, an examination of a method for digitising UNESCO’s list of ICH, and the understanding and implementation of UNESCO’s 2003 Convention in the People’s Republic of China, among others. This volume therefore encourages debate as it provides a platform for deeper discussion about intangible cultural (and indeed, natural) heritage.

This edition introduces a wide range of subjects from basic studies exploring both the historical and current values of cultural heritage to the transformation of ICH in today’s changing society and political and practical approaches towards cultural heritage. It also takes stock of the growth and development of the Journal with the presentation of its first index, increasing its accessibility and potential for the future. The Journal thus provides a valuable forum for introducing a variety of topics and deepening discussion about ICH.

The Journal has played a successful role as a platform for presenting meaningful and effective research results in the field of intangible heritage. The International Journal of Intangible Heritage has consolidated its position as an academic journal. It was indexed by the International Bibliography of Social Sciences (IBSS), the Arts and Humanities Citation Index (A&HCI) and the Korean Citation Index (KCI) in 2010, and by Scopus, the Modern Language Association International Bibliography (MLAIB) and the Bibliography of Asian Studies (BAS) in 2011. Along with growing international recognition of the Journal, numbers of submissions continue to increase and the topics under review come from every continent of the world. This year, especially, we received and reviewed the largest number of manuscripts we have had at any time over the past decade.

In recognition of the tenth anniversary of publication we have taken stock, and we will seek not only to enhance the Journal by rectifying problems we have identified so far, we will also ensure higher quality by planning ten years ahead. I, as publisher, will make persistent efforts to encourage submissions from academic associations, international organisations, museums, research institutes and universities so that awareness of the Journal keeps expanding at the international level and citation rates for the articles increase. To commemorate the tenth year of publication we will hold an international symposium entitled ‘Future Challenges: Museums, Intangible Heritage and Local Communities’ in July 2015. This academic gathering will provide a forum for participants to review and examine the role museums should play in encouraging local communities to recognise and appreciate different cultural values so that they can safeguard intangible heritage elements that are in danger of disappearing due to rapid modernisation and urbanisation.

In conclusion, as one of the publishers, I would like to acknowledge all those who have been so committed to producing this important publication; first of all, the authors who were eager to submit their papers, then the advisory committee and the editorial board members, including text editor, Dr Pamela Inder, the publication secretariat and, last but not least, the editor-in-chief Ms Alissandra Cummins for her unwavering support and dedication. I look forward to your generous comments, advice and continued collaboration on future editions of the International Journal of Intangible Heritage.