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A place on the Unseco representative list of intangible cultural heritage is the ultimate acceptance of any specific tradition. For instance the Old Limburgian Schuttersfeast (OLS), a yearly event for some 170 local historical guilds, which exists for more than several centuries in both the Limburg provinces, one in Belgium and one in the Netherlands.
This OLS ca only be organised with the help of more than 1.000 volunteers, who on behalf of one of the guilds prepare the outside-place with tents and equip it well to welcome there all the guilds and some 40.000 visitors, that look at the pageant and the competing matches, eat and drink, talk and have fun. The organisation has just one year to get it all done, because the winner of the competition of that specific day has to organize it next year. There is a big receipt of the winners in their hometown and after that they have to start the organisation with a lot of members from their community. Luckily there is a good cooperation with the local government and the OLS-Federation helps to continue organising a typical local historical guilds festival, which is attractive for the guilds themselve and thousands of visitors.
As a consequence of the suggestion of the flemish (Belgian) government to push the named OLS upward onto the Unesco-list, this event is agreed upon via the flemish national list. Problem however is that the dutch government didn’t yet ratified the Unesco cultural intangible heritage convention.
So, our plan is to mobilise everyone involved, the 7.000 participants (members of the historical guilds), the thousands of visitors, the flemish government, both the Provincie-governments of dutch and Belgium Limburg, to convince the dutch government to firstly agree upon the Unesco cultural intangible heritage convention and then to recognize the OLS as an important tradition as such. With support of two countries we’re shure that the Unesco also will recognise the ancient and traditonal guilds and their annual feast with several competitions as quite specific and important cultural heritage.
So, join us for the ‘push-the-government’-programm.