Merriam-Webster's definition:

1. property that descends to an heir

2a. something transmitted by or acquired from a predecessor 

2b. tradition

3. something possessed as a result of one's natural situation or birth 

What is cultural heritage? 

Cultural heritage is a broad concept that encompasses the various ways in which we express our experiences as humans in this world. Cultural heritage can be both tangible and intangible, and can include archeological sites, historical monuments, customs and social practices, sculptures, language, mosaics, drawings, photographs, books, musical instruments, music, dance, stories, films, national parks, etc.

[UNESCO: the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization]

"(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to 

share in scientific advancement and its benefits.

(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, 

literary or artistic production of which he is the author."

Examples of art and artifacts that represent past and present times and cultures:

Mayan Chichin Itza (Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico)

Great Wall of China (Ming dynasty) 

Berlin Wall (Germany 1961-1989)

Incan Machu Picchu (Peru)

Moai (Easter Island)

Grand Canyon (USA)

Great Barrier Reef (Australia)

Small group exercise

a. Identify examples of cultural heritage—tangible or intangible—that are meaningful to you: 

a painting, film, sculpture, monument, dance, song, book, music, photo, tradition, a place, etc. 

Your choices can be from any time and place, including here and now. 

You may want to consult the UNESCO world heritage list here.

b. Discuss the significance of the examples you identify: to you as an individual, to society, to humanity.

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