Report on the status of an element inscribed on the list of intangible cultural heritage in need of urgent safeguarding
A. Cover sheet
Name of State Party
Date of deposit of the instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession
This information is available online.
Date of deposit of the instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession
Element inscribed on the Urgent Safeguarding List that is the subject of this report
Name of element
Report of China on the status of the ICH element 'Meshrep'
Reporting period covered by this report
Please indicate the period covered by this report.
Other elements inscribed on the Urgent Safeguarding List, if any
Please list all other elements from your country inscribed on the Urgent Safeguarding List, together with the year of inscription; for multinational elements, please indicate the other States concerned.
Other elements inscribed on the Urgent Safeguarding List, if any
Hezhen Yimakan storytelling (2011)
Qiang New Year festival (2009)
Traditional design and practices for building Chinese wooden arch bridges (2009)
Traditional Li textile techniques: spinning, dyeing, weaving and embroidering (2009)
Watertight-bulkhead technology of Chinese junks (2010)
Wooden movable-type printing of China (2010)
Executive summary of the report
Please provide an executive summary of the report that will allow general readers to understand the current status of the element, any positive or negative impacts of inscription, the implementation of safeguarding measures during the reporting period and their possible update for the following years.
Contact person for correspondence
Provide the name, address and other contact information of the person responsible for correspondence concerning the report.
Title (Ms/Mr, etc.)
Division of International Organizations
Bureau of International Exchanges and Cooperation
Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China
+86 10 5988 1870
Other relevant information
B. Status of element inscribed on the Urgent Safeguarding List
Refer to the nomination file or to previous reports, if any, as the basis for reporting on the current status of the element, and report only on relevant changes since the date of inscription on the List or since the previous report. Nomination files, specific timetables and earlier reports, if any, are available at https://ich.unesco.org or from the Secretariat, upon request.
The State Party shall pay special attention to the role of gender and shall endeavour to ensure the widest possible participation of the communities, groups and, where applicable, individuals concerned as well as relevant non-governmental organizations during the process of preparing this report, and is asked to describe how it has done so in point D below.
Social and cultural functions
Please explain the social and cultural functions and meanings of the element today, within and for its community, the characteristics of the bearers and practitioners, and any specific roles or categories of persons with special responsibilities towards the element, among others. Attention should be given to any relevant changes related to inscription criterion U.1 (‘the element constitutes intangible cultural heritage as defined in Article 2 of the Convention’).
Social and cultural functions
Meshrep is a traditional cultural practice organized according to specific rules. It functions as a “classroom” where people can learn, transmit and carry forward ethics, traditional etiquette, natural knowledge, production experience, culture and art. It is also a “playground” for people to entertain themselves.
Meshrep takes various forms and shows strong regional characteristics and rich cultural connotations. It varies in its content, style and scale in different regions. It is held for different purposes, such as to mark the end of the past year and the beginning of the New Year, to honor the hunting life and bravery of the ancestors and to celebrate the rite of passage, harvest, festivals or weddings, etc. It provides community members with a wealth of traditional knowledge, rituals and customs and a continuous sense of cultural identity. The sense of identity and belonging of the communities has been maintained and enhanced through wide participation.
“Yigit Bexi” (hosts nominated by the masses), who are familiar with the rules, cultural connotations and regional style of the element, and virtuoso folk artists who frequently attend the performances of singing and dancing, folk art, oral literature and games, are the bearers of Meshrep. They learn the traditions either from older hosts and skilled folk artists, or by frequently attending the Meshrep events. They bear responsibilities towards the element for its inter-generational transmission.
Different types of Meshrep bear different cultural themes in different regions. Some of them are held in a specific cultural space with a prominent cultural theme; they are usually presided over by a host widely recognized by the local people. The host is familiar with the rules and customs and is endowed with the supreme power to preside over etiquette, singing and dancing, games and other affairs; he/she plays a central role in the transmission of the element. For other types of Meshrep, such as those held for harvest and festivals, the practice mainly includes songs and dances interspersed with some games. They are not as formal and has no specific procedure or a host.
All Uyghur people are the practitioners of Meshrep. There is no limit to the number of participants for each event. Everyone, man or women, young or old, is allowed to take part in the practice by singing, dancing, guessing riddles or playing games.
Assessment of its viability and current risks
Please describe the current level of viability of the element, particularly the frequency and extent of its practice, the strength of traditional modes of transmission, the demographics of practitioners and audiences and its sustainability. Please also identify and describe the threats, if any, to the element's continued transmission and enactment and describe the severity and immediacy of such threats, giving particular attention to any strengthening or weakening of the element’s viability subsequent to inscription.
Assessment of its viability and current risks
Meshrep is concentrated in Uygur communities in Xinjiang, mainly in Kashgar Prefecture, Khotan Prefecture, Aksu Prefecture and Kizilsu Kyrgyz Autonomous Prefecture in southern Xinjiang, where the Uygur population takes up 74.01% of the total (according to data of the 2021 white paper of Population Development of Xinjiang). It is also practiced in the Turpan Basin to the east of Tianshan Mountains and the Yili River Basin, Jimsar County and Qitai County to the north of the Mountains. During this reporting period, the viability of the element has been significantly enhanced, with increased frequency and expanded scope of practice.
Thanks to the improved mechanism for safeguarding bearers, and the increasing number of young practitioners, the population of bearers has been growing. Currently, there are 483 representative bearers. The traditional mode of transmission within families or from bearers to their apprentices still prevails.
The element is practiced by communities, groups and individuals concerned at specific times of the year, during traditional festivals or as needed in their production and life. It is usually practiced in the courtyard, in the square or in the field; no specific stage is required.
There are 21 folk clubs and associations engaged in the promotion activities all year round. For example, in Mori Kazakh Autonomous County, there are 2 Meshrep clubs with 38 active members, one in Shenjiagou Village of Dongcheng Town, the other in Hebayan Village of Zhaobishan Town. Since their inception, they have been organizing presentations and training workshops during festivals and slack farming seasons and promoted Meshrep by using social media like WeChat.
The content of the element and the forms it takes have been changing with the times. For example, Meshrep that used to be held to praise and recognize virtuous daughters-in-law and thus dominated by women has gradually become a form of entertainment for all with the participation of men and the elderly. It is also increasingly related to local festival resources. For example, in Keriya County of Khotan Prefecture, Meshrep is held during May and June when people from the same village or the same neighbourhood, men or women, young or old, come together to welcome the season of flower scented tea.
Risks and threats
The visibility of the element has been gradually raised thanks to the safeguarding efforts. However, in daily life, many songs and dances might be named after Meshrep; and the fragments of the element is often seen in Muquam and other art forms. As a result, Meshrep tends to be simplified to a plain form of singing and dancing performance. In particular, the young generation are not fully aware of the cultural meanings of the element. Therefore, promotion and research of the element still need to be strengthened.
Implementation of safeguarding measures
Please report on the safeguarding measures described in the nomination file, and previous report, if any. Describe how they have been implemented and how they have substantially contributed to the safeguarding of the element during the reporting period, taking note of external or internal constraints such as limited resources. Include, in particular, information on the measures taken to ensure the viability of the element by enabling the community to continue to practise and transmit it. Include the following detailed information concerning the implementation of the set of safeguarding measures or safeguarding plan:
Objectives and results
Indicate what primary objective(s) were addressed and what concrete results were attained during the reporting period.
Objectives and results
During this reporting period, following objectives and specific results have been achieved on the basis of previous achievements in the safeguarding.
1. Transmission mechanism has been improved. The number of bearers has increased due to intensified efforts on training of potential practitioners. As of June 2022, there are 483 representative bearers, an increase of 59 compared with the previous report. They have been financially supported to carry out various transmission and practice activities. New hosts and practitioners have been trained. 34 training workshops for bearers were held in various communities, benefiting 680 participants. Evaluation mechanism of bearers has been set up to assess the results of their practice and teaching activities.
2. Frequency and scope of practice have been constantly improved. In the communities where Meshrep is concentrated, practice and promotion activities have been held annually during such festivals and events like Cultural and Natural Heritage Day, 100-day Square Cultural Activities and Navruz, with a total of 810 events involving 160,000 participants.
3. Relevant Rules and regulations have been improved. Competent bodies of the element have worked out implementation opinions and management methods, and formulated specific safeguarding plans to guarantee the lawful and reasonable implementation of safeguarding measures in a larger scope. For example, in January 2020, the Publicity, Culture and Tourism, and Finance departments of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region jointly issued the Implementation Opinions on Further Promoting ICH Transmission and Development in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. In December 2020, the Department of Culture and Tourism of Xinjiang Autonomous Region formulated the Measures for the Identification and Management of ICH Representative Bearers in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. In 2020, the compilation of Meshrep Safeguarding Plan (2021-2030) was launched.
4. Investigation and documentation have been carried out continuously. Relevant communities, cultural authorities and competent safeguarding bodies have implemented supplementary field surveys on the element and its bearers, and have recorded and preserved 590 hours of videos, 180 hours of audio recordings, 21,000 pictures and more than 1,500 pieces of objects through on-site recording and objects collection to enrich the basic archival data.
5. Cooperation with educational institutes has been further promoted. The role of the institutions of higher education and vocational secondary schools have been given full play. They have made a positive exploration on training of talents through many approaches including offering Meshrep related courses.
6. Safeguarding facilities have been built, renovated or expanded. A new cultural center project in Yining County of Yili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture has been completed and one transmission base in Kara Tal Town of Aksu City renovated. These facilities have been improved to ensure enough space necessary for the practice and transmission of the element and facilitate related activities.
7. Promotion and publicity activities have been extended. The visibility of Meshrep has been constantly raised by virtue of TV, newspapers and social media platforms such as WeChat and Integrated Media. For feature courses, bearers are invited to teach in primary and sceondary schools to increase the adolescents’ interest and participation in the element. Institutions of higher education are also actively involved in the promotion process.
List the key activities that were carried out during this reporting period in order to achieve these expected results. Please describe the activities in detail and note their effectiveness or any problems encountered in implementing them.
Development of transmission mechanism:
Governments at all levels have provided financial aid for bearers to carry out transmission activities and purchase related tools. For example, each of the 60 members of the Dolan Folk Art Troupe in Awat County, Aksu Prefecture, receives subsidies of about 500 to 1,500 yuan per month. The Transmission Center of Korla City in Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture has been equipped with musical instruments and costumes needed for the practice.
Evaluation has been conducted on bearers. From 2019 to 2021, the Department of Culture and Tourism of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has evaluated the performance of nine Meshrep representative bearers three times, focusing on their practices, training of apprentices, preservation of relevant objects and materials, participation in promotion activities, and use of funds, with a view to encourage them to further fulfill their responsibilities for transmission.
Training workshops, various presentation and exchange activities have been organized for capacity building of bearers. For example, the ICH Safeguarding and Research Center of Mori Kazakh Autonomous County held seven Meshrep training workshops in April and October 2019, November and December 2020, September and December 2021, and June 2022 respectively and benefited a total of 143 participants accumulatively; the representative bearer Turson Azimaiti was invited as the facilitator for these workshops. In Makti County, a total of 63 performances and events were organized in Dolan Cultural Square, Dolan Cultural Park, Bazaar market of Gazikule Town and Yangtake Town. The Meshrep transmission centers in Makti and Awat counties also carried out regular activities including training, exchanges and presentations on its premises.
Research and documentation:
Local safeguarding agencies, folk clubs and bearers have made supplementary research and documentation efforts. Korla City, Ruoqiang County, Luntai County and Yuli County of Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture have collected over 1,000 photos, 30 hours of audio recordings and 60 hours of videos, including the documentary “One Hundred People of Meshrep” by Luntai County and “Wedding Meshrep” by Yuli County; the Meshrep Research Institute in Keriyang Town of Pishan County has collected 6 pieces of divertimento, more than 50 pieces of music and more than 700 lines of lyrics.
Incorporation with education:
“ICH on campus” activities have been proceeded. Meshrep bearers have been invited to teach in music class in primary and secondary schools in Akto County, Kizilsu Kyrgyz Autonomous Prefecture. The No. 4 Middle School of Hejing County, Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture has offered special Meshrep-related courses to its students and increased the involvement of the young generation in the practice of the element. The Dance Department of Xinjiang Arts University has set up Meshrep dance theory and practice course which is one of the compulsory courses for undergraduates and postgraduates, attended by more than 120 students during this reporting period. The Music School of Xinjiang Normal University has also been involved in “Xinjiang Dance Art Theory and Criticism Talents Training” program under 2020 China National Arts Fund to train young talents in art (including Meshrep) theory and criticism. The graduate students have chosen Meshrep as the topic for their graduation thesis, and have written the thesis about “the Investigation & Research on Dance Culture of Meshrep in Hami City”. From 2019 through 2022, Makti Vocational School has enrolled 2 classes of 50 students each every year to study culture and art, mainly Meshrep music and dance. 300 students have been trained accumulatively. Among them more than half of the graduates are engaged in music and dance teaching and training associated with Meshrep.
Frequency and scope of practice:
Meshrep practice held during festivals or as required by people’s daily cultural needs have attracted the participation of different ethnic groups and tourists. For example, in July 2020, a volunteer group for Kerikumu Meshrep of 25 people was set up in Kara Tal Town, Aksu City. The group made a performance tour around villages, applauded by an audience of about 580 people; villagers showed great interest and also joined them in the practice. Encouraged by the policy of integrated development of culture and tourism, virtuoso Meshrep bearers and their apprentices have come to scenic spots and cultural plaza to present a complete Meshrep event. This has not only generated more income for themselves and increased the practice frequency of the element, but also enriched the cultural life of local people, helped to raise the visibility of Meshrep, especially among the youth, and kindled people’s enthusiasm for the participation.
Promotion and exchange:
Media promotion has been expanded. In July 2019, the documentary “Dolan Meshrep in Xinjiang · Beauty from Life” was filmed by Makti Radio & Television and aired on the local learning website. In April 2021, the promotional film “Chinese Image Chronicle · Awat Celebration” was broadcast on CCTV Science & Education Channel, showing the scene of Meshrep practice. In April 2021, Changji Daily published a special report on “Meshrep in the Mountains”.
Creative methods have also been adopted. In October 2021, the men's group dance “Makti in the Sun”, choreographed and performed by the Dance School of Xinjiang Arts University, won the first place under the genre of folk dance in the 13th Lotus Award Chinese Dance Competition. The dance was based on the scene of Dolan Meshrep, performed by folk artists from Makti County, and was also integrated with Shandong yangko dance. It received postive reviews given its creative way of publicity.
Participation of communities, groups or individuals in the safeguarding activities
Describe how communities, groups or, if appropriate, individuals as well as relevant non-governmental organizations have effectively participated, including in terms of gender roles, in the safeguarding measures. Describe the role of the implementing organization or body (name, background, etc.) and the human resources that were available for implementing safeguarding activities.
Participation of communities, groups or individuals in the safeguarding activities
Communities, groups, individuals concerned and relevant non-governmental organizations have extensively participated in the implementation of safeguarding measures and a force of synergy has taken shape.
More than 30 communities, including those in Aksu City, Makti, Awat and Pishan counties, and Mori Kazakh Autonomous County, have actively participated in the safeguarding and transmission by organizing Meshrep, constructing transmission centers, purchasing tools for practice, and carrying out training, presentation and exchange activities. The frequency and scope of the practice have been improved. For example, the Cultural Center of Awat County in Aksu Prefecture holds performances, training and promotion activities every year. So far, it has provided a total of over 300 performances, benefiting more than 50,000 people.
The population of bearers has increased through family-based and master-apprentice mode of transmission. The content and ways of teaching practice vary with different cultural themes. Meshrep with prominent cultural themes is held in a specific space according to folk traditions, and hosts, as the core bearers, guide their apprentices and involve them together in the activities. As an assistant, the apprentice keeps learning and accumulating knowledge about the rules and procedures. He will become a host only after he has improved his comprehensive competence and obtained appreciation and recognition of the local masses. Some bearers teach their apprentices singing and dancing skills. Apprentices with good skills are allowed to perform and improve their skills through continuous practice. For example, 26 apprentices of the bearer Elias Garyti have participated in the recording of the promotional film “Chinese Image Chronicle · Awat Celebration”. The bearer Turson Azimaiti has trained 8 apprentices about Meshrep singing and instrument playing skills, and has led 20 members of the transmission club of Hebayan Village to participate in training and presentation activities.
Local people have actively participated in the safeguarding of the element, and their understanding of Meshrep and their sense of identity have been enhanced. For example, in Maralbexi County, Kashgar Prefecture, Meshrep is practiced when people of all ethnic groups come together to celebrate the Spring Festival, Lantern Festival, farmers' art festival, Apricot Flower Festival, among other traditional and modern festivals.
Associations and folk art groups have carried out a large number of promotion and exchange activities. For instance, Dolan Folk Artists Association of Makti County that has 26 members (7 of them are female), with the oldest being 82 and the youngest 32, holds regular training and promotion activities every year. Meshrep Research Institute in Keriyang Town of Pishan County, Khotan Prefecture, has conducted 65 training and promotion events, involving 14,900 people. The Meshrep Transmission Club of Hebayan Village, Zhaobishan Town of Mori Kazakh Autonomous County has 20 members (including 12 women) of 52 years old on average. It is composed of Uyghur people who love Meshrep and participate in transmission activities every year.
Experts and scholars have actively supported the transmission and promotion of Meshrep. Since March 2021, Cui Bin, a retired professor from the Music School of Xinjiang Normal University, has given academic lectures entitled “Song and Dance in Tianshan · Eternal Meshrep” in 24 universities including Yangzhou University, Ningbo University and Nanjing University of Arts. He talked about Meshrep and its ecological culture, and referred to Meshrep as the wisdom of farming people in oasis, and the platform of traditional festivals. His detailed introduction has increased the exposure of the element to the public.
In addition, relevant bearers and experts have also engaged in the preparation of Meshrep Safeguarding Plan (2021-2030); they have put forward valuable advice and suggestions.
Indicate in a timetable when each activity was implemented.
1. Financial support for transmission activities by bearers
From 2019 to June 2022, governments at all levels provided financial support to representative bearers on a regular basis.
From 2019 to June 2022, each of the 60 members of the Dolan Folk Art Troupe in Awat County, Aksu Prefecture, received a monthly subsidy ranging from 500 yuan to 1,500 yuan.
In 2020, the Shenjiagou Villagers’ Committee of Dongcheng Town, Mori County financed the purchase of musical instruments and costumes for Meshrep Transmission Club of the village.
In 2021, the ICH transmission center in Korla City of Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture was financed the purchase of musical Instruments and costumes by the city government.
2. Training workshops, presentations and exchanges activities
From April 2019 to June 2022, 35 Meshrep training workshops were held in Aksu City, Awat County, Makti County, Poskam County, Mori County and Maralbexi County respectively.
From 2019 to June 2022, more than 810 Meshrep events were held in relevant communities on Navruz in March, Cultural and Natural Heritage Day in June and as part of the 100-Day Square Cultural Activities.
3. Evaluation of representative bearers
From March 2019 to March 2022, evaluation of 9 Meshrep representative bearers was carried out on their overall contribution to transmission of the element.
4. Field study, recording and documentation
From 2020 to 2021, Korla City, Ruoqiang County, Luntai County and Yuli County of Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture carried out field study and collected text files, pictures and audiovisual recordings of the element and its representative bearers.
From 2020 to 2022, preliminary research was conducted to prepare for the recording of representative bearers.
5. Facilities Construction
In July 2020, the Kerikumu Meshrep Safeguarding and Transmission Center in Kara Tal Town, Aksu City was expanded and upgraded.
In September 2020, a new comprehensive cultural center in Yining County, Yili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture was completed and put into use.
In 2021, construction of the safeguarding and transmission bases centering on Meshrep practices of regional-level was launched.
6. Meshrep safeguarding plan
From 2020 to 2022, the compilation of Meshrep Safeguarding Plan (2021-2030) was launched and further pushed forward.
7. Promotion and dissemination
From March 2021 to August 2021, a professor from Xinjiang Normal University gave academic lectures entitled “Song and Dance in Tianshan· Eternal Meshrep” in 24 colleges and universities.
In April 2021, the mass media carried out publicity on Meshrep.
In October 2021, the men's group dance “Makti in the Sun”, choreographed and performed by the Dance School of Xinjiang Arts University, won the first place under folk dance genre in the 13th “Lotus Award” Chinese Dance Competition.
Provide the detailed amounts of the funds used for the implementation of each activity (if possible, in US dollars), identifying the funding source for each (governmental sources, in-kind community inputs, etc.).
The safeguarding activities of the element are mainly funded by the central government and local governments at different levels.
1. Financial aid about 2,905,000 yuan was allocated in terms of subsidies for bearers’ transmission and practice and purchase of practical tools, including:
Annual financial subsidies for bearers’ transmission and practice, accumulatively 2,768,000 yuan;
Monthly subsidy from 500 yuan to 1500 yuan for each of the 60 members of Dolan Folk Art Troupe of Awat County, Aksu Prefecture;
Purchase of musical instruments and costumes for the Meshrep transmission club in Shenjiagou Village, Dongcheng Town of Mori County in 2020; and
Purchase of musical instruments and costumes for the Meshrep transmission center in Korla City of Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture in 2021.
2. Training workshops and exchange activities (3,457,700 yuan)
35 workshops held in Aksu City, Awat County, Makti County, Poskam County, Mori County and Maralbexi County from April 2019 to June 2022;
Meshrep events in relevant communities on Navruz in March, Cultural and Natural Heritage Day in June and as part of the 100-Day Square cultural Activities from 2019 to 2022.
3. Evaluation of bearers (30,000 yuan)
Evaluation of 9 Meshrep representative bearers on their overall performance from March 2019 to March 2022.
4. Field study, recording and documentation (939,400 yuan)
Field study in Korla City, Ruoqiang County, Luntai county and Yuli county from 2020 to 2021;
Field study to prepare for the recording of Meshrep representative bearers from 2020 to 2022.
5. Facilities Construction (700,000 yuan)
In July 2020, Kerikumu Meshrep Safeguarding and Transmission Center was expanded and upgraded in Kara Tal Town, Aksu City;
A new cultural center was completed in September 2020 and put into use in Yining County, Yili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture;
Construction of the safeguarding and transmission bases of regional level centering on Meshrep practices was launched in 2021.
6. Preparing the Meshrep Safeguarding plan (365,000 yuan)
Compilation of the Meshrep Safeguarding Plan (2021-2030) was started in 2020.
7. Promotion and dissemination (257,000 yuan)
A professor of Xinjiang Normal University lectured on Meshrep in 24 colleges and universities from March 2021 to August 2021;
Mass media coverage on Meshrep in April 2021;
The Dance School of Xinjiang Arts University choreographed and performed the man’s group dance “Makti in the Sun” in October 2021.
In addition, the communities concerned provided the venues needed for the practice of Meshrep, such as the courtyard and personal showrooms, and other in kind resources such as personal musical instruments, clothing, food (candy, fruit, dried fruit, meat products, etc.) and self-made props.
Overall effectiveness of the safeguarding activities
Provide an overall assessment of the effectiveness of the activities undertaken to achieve the expected results and of the efficiency of the use of funds for implementing the activities. Please indicate how the activities contributed to achieving the results and whether other activities could have contributed better to achieving the same results. Also indicate whether the same results could have been achieved with less funding, whether the human resources available were appropriate and whether communities, groups and individuals could have been better involved.
Overall effectiveness of the safeguarding activities
During this reporting period, the overall results of the safeguarding activities are consistent with the results as expected in the previous report. The following measures were adopted and the expected results were achieved. First is to improve policies and regulations to ensure lawful and reasonable safeguarding in a larger scope. Second is to improve safeguarding facilities such as training and practice centers to expand the frequency and scope of practice and ensure venues necessary for training, exchanges and demonstration. Third is to conduct field study, recording and archiving to provide basic support for theoretical research. Fourth is to improve the supporting mechanism for bearers. Governments at all levels has provided financial support to facilitate representative bearers to take apprentices and carry out presentation and exchange activities. Fifth is to carry out promotion and performances through local associations and folk art troupes, and to explore ways to train talents in colleges and universities. Sixth is to strengthen communication and enhance the visibility and recognition of Meshrep.
Research and documentation and promotion of the element still need to be strengthened. The safeguarding measures described in this report, such as development of policies, laws and regulations, the construction of safeguarding facilities, recording and documentation, the supporting mechanism for the bearers, the activities of folk clubs, cooperation with educational institutions, and communication and exchanges, will still be the priorities of the safeguarding plan for the next four years. Based on that, the investigation, documentation and research of the element should be further strengthened, and the dissemination be intensified to better cope with the major risks and challenges faced by the element.
The element is mainly funded by governments at all levels; funds are mainly used for investigation and documentation, research and publication, safeguarding plan preparation, demonstration and performances, promotion and dissemination; they are also used for supporting bearers’ activities such as taking apprentices, teaching and communication, as well as the recording of representative bearers. Effective capital input enables transmission and practice and various activities, and ensures more engagement of communities, groups and individuals concerned.
C. Update of the safeguarding measures
Updated safeguarding plan
Please provide an update of the safeguarding plan included in the nomination file or in the previous report. In particular provide detailed information as follows:
- a. What primary objective(s) will be addressed and what concrete results will be expected?
- b. What are the key activities to be carried out in order to achieve these expected results? Describe the activities in detail and in their best sequence, addressing their feasibility.
- c. How will the State(s) Party(ies) concerned support the implementation of the updated safeguarding plan?
Updated safeguarding plan
Primary objectives and expected specific results:
1. Relevant policies, laws and regulations will be further improved. The Measures for the Management of Funds for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region will be formulated to regulate the management and use of funds for the safeguarding of ICH elements including Meshrep, and constantly improve the efficiency of fund use. The Meshrep Safeguarding Plan (2021-2030) will be fully implemented to provide a solid institutional guarantee for the transmission of the element.
2. Management will be further strengthened. Relevant communities are encouraged to participate in the nomination of representative ICH elements inventories at all levels; the status of Meshrep safeguarding in 16 regions will be followed up through performance evaluation and dynamic management.
3. The safeguarding and transmission mechanism will be improved. First is to provide annual financial aid for bearers to carry out transmission activities. Second is to strengthen the identification and management of representative bearers, and encourage bearers and communities to participate in the nomination of the sixth batch of representative bearers at the national and autonomous region levels and carry out evaluation on bearers every year. Third is to train talents and future practitioners through workshops, presentations, communication and exchange activities. Fourth is to encourage continuous training of theoretical and practical talents; Xinjiang Arts University, Xinjiang Normal University, Makti County Vocational School will continue to make exploration in this regard.
4. Investigations, documentation and research will be further strengthened. First is to carry out special investigation and documentation of traditional Meshrep practice, to form complete archival results so as to provide material support for research and promotion. Second is to facilitate the digitization of archives, including text files, pictures and audiovisual information and to improve public access to archives and database system. Third is to keep on the recording of the representative bearers, to record the representative bearers of advanced years in stages, and to record their exquisite skills comprehensively, truly and systematically through digital multimedia means, so as to keep precious materials for transmission, research, publicity etc.. Fourth is to hold seminars and discussions on Meshrep to facilitate academic exchanges and strengthen theoretical research on the safeguarding and transmission of Meshrep in the new era. Fifth is to enhance the capacity building of grassroots staff and improve their knowledge and understanding of Meshrep.
5. Construction of facilities including transmission and practice bases, clubs and centers for transmission in different localities will be continued.
6. The visibility and influence of the element will be enhanced. Live broadcast activities will be organized to highlight the cultural meanings of Meshrep by using different social media platforms; documentaries about Meshrep will be produced; cultural centers and ICH transmission centers will be encouraged to hold training and exchange activities.
7. Efforts will be made to transfer Meshrep from the Urgent Safeguarding List to the Representative List.
Key activities to be carried out:
The Meshrep Safeguarding Plan (2021-2030) enters full implementation; the Measures for the Management of Funds for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region will be formulated and issued by the Department of Culture and Tourism of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
The safeguarding status of the element will be monitored in 16 regions; relevant communities will be encouraged to participate in the nomination of the sixth batch of representative ICH elements in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
The bearer Kazimu Hader is to be recommended as a nationally recognized representative bearer; relevant bearers and communities will be encouraged to participate in the nomination of the sixth batch of ICH representative bearers in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region; financial aid will be continuously provided to representative bearers for their transmission and teaching activities; evaluation of bearers will be conducted in the first half of each year; workshops will be held at least three times a year for communities in the 16 regions.
Digitization of Meshrep archives will be promoted in phases; recording of representative bearers will be proceeded; seminars and conferences will be held and experts and scholars, bearers, heads of safeguarding agencies and grassroots staff will be invited to put forward their opinions and suggestions for the safeguarding and transmission of Meshrep; conference papers will be collected and published to support theoretical research of the element; training courses will be held for grassroots staff to build their theoretical and practical capacity, and given their lack of theoretical knowledge about the element and high turnover, training will cover issues such as Meshrep knowledge, practical problems identified in the past and improvement of existing safeguarding measures.
In Kashgar, Khotan and Aksu prefectures, among others, complete Meshrep events held either at home or in scenic spots will be broadcast live in both online & offline model; new media platforms such as Weibo, WeChat, short videos and webcast will be fully utilized for broadcasting these events, related documentaries and promotional films to attract young viewers. Efforts will also be made to produce documentaries about Meshrep and edit them to short videos adaptable to new media for promotion. Cultural centers, libraries, ICH safeguarding centers, transmission bases and centers and rural cultural centers at all levels will get involved in training and exchange activities.
Xinjiang Arts University, Xinjiang Normal University, Makti Vocational School will continue to make exploration on training of talents.
Measures for the implementation of the updated safeguarding plan:
The implementation of regulations like the Opinions on Further Strengthening the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage and the 14th Five-Year Plan for the ICH Safeguarding, along with the inventorying mechanism for representative ICH elements and representative bearers, will provide policy guarantee for the implementation of the updated safeguarding plan.
At present, the element is mainly funded by governments at all levels. Special funds are allocated on a yearly basis to representative bearers for transmission and purchase of necessary tools, training, display and promotion. In December 2021, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Culture and Tourism jointly issued the Measures on the Management of Funds for the Safeguarding of National ICH, which will better regulate the management of special funds and improve the efficiency of their use.
Center of Chinese Memory Project of the National Library, China ICH Safeguarding Center and other institutions will carry out recording project for representative bearers, training on periodic reporting and staff training on safeguarding management in order to provide academic support and build capacity for the implementation of the safeguarding plan as well as investigation and research.
Timetable for future actitivies
Provide a timetable for the updated safeguarding plan (within a time-frame of approximately four years).
Regular activities in the coming four years:
To implement the Meshrep Safeguarding Plan (2021-2030); to provide continuous financial aid to bearers for their transmission, teaching and exchange activities; to conduct evaluation of representative bearers in the first half of each year; to monitor the safeguarding status of the element, and hold training workshops at least three times a year for the Meshrep communities in 16 regions; to continue digitalization of Meshrep archives at stages; to carry out Meshrep events broadcast in a online and offline hybrid way in 2 communities to fully present Meshrep process every year; to shoot Meshrep documentaries and edit them into short videos adaptable to new media platform for promotion; to promote training of talents in Xinjiang Arts University, Xinjiang Normal University, Makti Vocational School and other educational institutions.
To recommend bearer Kazimu Hader to the national list of representative bearers.
To hold community-based training workshops for future practitioners.
To shoot promotional films of the element through new media.
To draft and issue the Measures for the Management of Funds for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
To launch the recording of Elias Gayti, the representative bearer of Awat County on his practice and transmission activities.
To hold seminars and conferences on the element.
To strive to transfer Meshrep from the Urgent Safeguarding List to the Representative List.
To launch the sixth batch of representative ICH elements in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
To launch the identification of the sixth batch of representative bearers in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
To launch the recording of one representative bearer, and finalize the recording of Elias Gayti, the representative bearer of Awat County.
To finalize the recording work of the representative bearer.
Budget for future activities
Provide the estimates of the funds required for implementing the updated safeguarding plan (if possible, in US dollars), identifying any available resources (governmental sources, in-kind community inputs, etc.).
1. To improve relevant policies, law and regulations (100,000 yuan)
Formulation of the Measures for the Management of Funds for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and implementation of Meshrep Safeguarding Plan (2021-2030).
2. Management on the safeguarding of Meshrep (600,000 yuan)
3. Financial support for bearers (3.3 million yuan)
Financial aid to representative bearers for their transmission and teaching activities (3.2 million yuan)
Identification and management of representative bearers (100,000 yuan)
4. Field survey and documentation, digitalization of Meshrep archives (900,000 yuan)
5. Recording of representative bearers project (800,000 yuan)
6. Community-based transmission and safeguarding activities (3.9 million yuan)
Training workshops for bearers (1.2 million yuan)
Promotion, presentation and exchange activities (2.7 million yuan)
7. Promotion and dissemination (1.4 million yuan)
Use of new media, production of audiovisual products ( 500,000 yuan)
Shooting of 6 Meshrep documentaries (900,000 yuan)
The above-mentioned funds will mainly come from the central finance and local governments at different levels. The communities will continue to provide the venues needed for practice of Meshrep and other in kind resources such as private musical instruments, clothing, food, self-made props, etc.
Please describe how communities, groups and individuals, as well as relevant non-governmental organizations have been involved, including in terms of gender roles, in updating the safeguarding plan, and how they will be involved in its implementation.
The communities, groups, bearers and their organizations concerned have actively contributed to the updating of the safeguarding plan on a voluntary basis, with prior informed consent and based on their safeguarding experience, and have committed to continuing their participation in the future implementation. During this process, the communities and bearers also expressed their hope to transfer the element from the Urgent Safeguarding List to the Representative List.
The communities concerned, given their high recognition of the safeguarding endeavor, have been willingly engaged in the updating of the safeguarding plan and related practical activities. For example, communities and groups in Aksu City, Awat County, Makti County, Hami City and others have evaluated the implementation of the safeguarding measures on a yearly basis; they have collected opinions and suggestions through field study and interviews with bearers to provide information and reference for the updating of the safeguarding plan. The seminars about Meshrep safeguarding and transmission were held by the local authority and the ICH Safeguarding Center of Mori Kazakh Autonomous County on November 15, December 14, and December 20, 2020 respectively in Shenjiagou Village of Dongcheng Town, Hebayan Village of Zhaobishan Town, and Bostan Village of Bostan Town; 65 people including representatives bearers, experts and scholars, and folk artists attended the seminars and put forward their advice and suggestions. Sixteen communities in Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture, Aksu Prefecture, Kashgar Prefecture and Khotan Prefecture, together with Xinjiang ICH Safeguarding and Research Center, will co-organize Meshrep events on a regular basis, in a collaboration to implement the safeguarding measures. All Uygur communities will continuously hold Meshrep events with different themes and of different styles in accordance with their local traditions, and will encourage extensive participation so as to further improve the frequency and scope of practice of the element.
The bearers are the core of the transmission and safeguarding of the element. Eli Ibulamu, Elias Gayti, Kazimu Khader and Guzelinur Maimaiti (female), among others, have promised to further fulfill their transmission obligations and contribute to the updating and implementation of the safeguarding plan. For example, before the work plan for the recording of Meshrep representative bearers was formulated, the bearers had engaged in the collection of oral historical data and shooting of films about practice, transmission and education of the element; they had discussed the difficulties faced, problems to be addressed and had put forward their opinions. From 2023 to 2024, bearers such as Elias Garyti and Kadir Suleyman are going to participate in the recording. Guzerinur Maimaiti, a female teacher of culture and art in Makti Vocational School, has joined the consultation on the updating of the safeguarding plan from the perspective of incorporating transmission with education. She will continue to teach students as potential practitioners. Some other bearers will continuously get involved in the discussions about safeguarding, transmission and development of Meshrep in the future.
Local associations, folk art troupes and other organizations, such as the association consisting of bearers and folk artists in Poskam County of Kashgar Region (with 31 members, 8 of whom are female), and the Meshrep Transmission Club of Bostan Village, Bostan Town of Mori Kazakh Autonomous County (with 21 members, 9 of whom are women) have shared their experience accumulated through safeguarding practice for the updating of the safeguarding plan. They will continuously make their contribution to the viability of the element in the future through various promotion and exchange activities.
Please report on the institutional context for the local management and safeguarding of the element inscribed on the Urgent Safeguarding List, including:
- a. the competent body(ies) involved in its management and/or safeguarding;
- b. the organization(s) of the community or group concerned with the element and its safeguarding.
a.The competent bodies involved in its management and/or safeguarding:
Department of Culture and Tourism, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China
b. The organizations of the community or group concerned with the element and its safeguarding:
Meshrep Transmission Club of Shenjiagou Village, Dongcheng Town, Mori Kazakh Autonomous County
Meshrep Transmission Club of Hebayan Village, Zhaobishan Town, Mori Kazakh Autonomous County
Meshrep Transmission Club of Bostan Village, Bostan County, Mori Kazakh Autonomous County
Dolan Folk Artists Association in Makti County
Dolan Folk Art Troupe in Awat County
Volunteer Team of Kerikumu Meshrep, Kara Tal Town, Aksu City
Meshrep Research Institute of Keriyang Town, Pishan County
ICH Safeguarding and Research Center of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region
Cultural Center of Yining County
Cultural Center of Mori Kazakh Autonomous County
ICH Safeguarding Center of Hami City
Cultural Center of Turfan City
Cultural Center of Korla City
Cultural Center of Aksu City
Cultural Center of Awat County
Cultural Center of Akto County
Cultural Center of Shule County
Cultural Center of Makti County
Cultural Center of Poskam County
Cultural Center of Maralbexi County
Cultural Center of Yopurga County
Cultural Heritage Management Institute of Pishan County
Cultural Center of Keriya County
Cultural Center of Minfeng County
Xinjiang Arts University
Xinjiang Normal University
Makti Vocational School
D. Participation of communities in preparing this report
Describe the measures taken to ensure the widest possible participation of the communities, groups and, where applicable, individuals concerned as well as relevant non-governmental organizations during the process of preparing this report.
Participation of communities in preparing this report
Upon the notice of the ICH Department of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism on drafting the periodic report, the Department of Culture and Tourism of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region immediately took the lead to establish a working group to prepare the report. The ICH Safeguarding and Research Center of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region was entrusted to coordinate and ensure wide participation of relevant communities, groups, bearers, associations, research institutes and folk clubs in the whole preparation.
During the process, the communities, groups and individuals concerned, as well as relevant NGOs, participated in the survey, field visits and consultation with prior informed consent. Prior to that, from 2020 to 2021, Xinjiang ICH Safeguarding and Research Center cooperated with public and cultural institutions on drafting the Meshrep Safeguarding Plan (2021-2030), and carried out field study in Turpan City, Hami City and Pishan County of Khotan Prefecture, which has accumulated data for this report. In November 2021 and September 2022, 57 staff members and over 30 bearers from 16 counties and cities, including Turpan, Aksu, Makti and Yining, engaged in the survey and provided basic data through filling in forms, and face to face or telephone interviews. From July to October 2022, representatives from Xinjiang ICH Safeguarding and Research Center and community members from counties and cities such as Aksu, Awat, Makit, Mori and Hami, as well as staffs, participated in online training sessions to learn better about the purpose and requirements for the report. They also participated in several rounds of working meetings with Meshrep experts and scholars to constantly revise the report.
Based on all above-mentioned efforts, the working group wrapped up the report while taking in suggestions of all parties and opinions of experts from relevant research institutes, and finally submitted it to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Division of International Organizations
Bureau of International Exchanges and Cooperation
Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China
E. Signature on behalf of the State Party
The report should be signed by an official empowered to do so on behalf of the State, and should include his or her name, title and the date of submission.
Mr. GAO Zheng
Director General, Bureau of International Exchanges and Cooperation, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, P. R. China
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