Terceira Carnival should integrate Intangible Cultural Heritage soon

The dances and “bailinhos” of Carnival of the island Terceira will soon be integrated into the inventory of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Portugal, according to the regional direction of the Culture of the Azores.

“This process is already in its final version to be recognized and authorized to be part of this national inventory. The only question that is pending is the opinions of the two municipal councils of Terceira Island,” said the Regional Director of Culture Susana Goulart Costa.

For four days more than 30 concert halls on the island of Terceira receive hundreds of amateur musicians and actors, who perform free of charge, at dawn, at popular theatre shows with social criticism, which they call carnival dances, “bailinhos” and comedies.

In September 2013, a resolution was adopted unanimously by the Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region of the Azores, presented by the PSD, which recommended to the Regional Government that it take the necessary steps to classify these traditional manifestations as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Portugal.

The regional directorate of Culture submitted an application for the inclusion of Carnival dances and “bailinhos” in the Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage in June 2016 and the delay in approval has already led the PSD to request justifications, by request, in the Azorean parliament.

The Third-Party Carnival is a living example of the creativity of our people, a popular tradition that crosses and infects the generations and, if we want, a cultural banner of third-generation citizens,” said Social Democrat Representative César Toste, recalling that “three years have passed since the application of the Regional Directorate for Culture”.

According to the Regional Director of Culture, the temporary gap between the application and the formalization was linked to the need to “gather information” from all the entities that “promote, publicize and shape the manifestations of Carnival.

I believe that, very soon, we can say that the “bailes” on the island of Terceira will be part of the inventory of the national intangible heritage,” he said, adding that in the case of intangible heritage, unlike real estate and movable property, there is no classification, but the registration of an inventory.

For Susana Goulart Costa, the importance of this recognition is mainly due to the need for “valorization, dignification and dissemination” of Carnival dances and dancing, and not so much with its preservation.

We are not worried about the disappearance or the drowsiness of this cultural manifestation, our concern is to value – to have a record that is shared with all institutions and people that are linked to the issues of culture and cultural tourism – and to divulge this third-party identity which is very specific, “he said, claiming that the Terceira Carnival is” very lively.

The Municipality of Angra do Heroísmo has already given a positive opinion to the integration of the popular theatre manifestations in the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Portugal.

According to Alderman Guido Teles, the approval of this request will be “essential” for a possible candidacy for the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).

Carnival dances, dancing and comedies are undoubtedly a living testimony of the Portuguese cultural diversity, which resulted from the many contacts and exchanges that were made with people around the world,” he said.

The municipality of Praia da Vitória is still considering the proposal, but should also give a positive opinion.

We have other popular manifestations around the country that have this classification and this also allowed us to have another visibility, another protection and another potentiality. I think it will be a very positive thing for the Carnival of Terceira Island,” defended the president of the municipality, Tiberius Dinis.

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