Preserving Our Past, Protecting Our Future: World Heritage Day 2024

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Last Updated on 16 April 2024 IST: Every year on April 18, people commemorate World Heritage Diversity to raise awareness about fading cultures. The main focus for today is centered on outlining effective strategies to preserve ancient cultures. To raise awareness about monuments, locations, and dying cultures. Preserving and protecting cultural heritage, which embodies the ancient past and possesses significant global worth, is an imperative objective of the day.

World Heritage Day 2024 Highlights

World Heritage Day 2024: This day aims to promote awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage of humanity, their vulnerability, and the efforts required for their protection and conservation.

  • ICOMOS introduced World Heritage Day in 1982, which was later endorsed by UNESCO during its 22nd General Conference in 1983. The inaugural celebration took place in 1983
  •  World Heritage Day is marked in effort to repair and conserve historical cities and fading ancient tribes.
  • The day includes a variety of activities such as visits to monuments and heritage sites, conferences, round tables, and newspaper articles.
  • As of January 2024, there are 1,199 World Heritage Sites in 168 countries, including 933 cultural properties, 227 natural properties, and 39 mixed properties.
  • The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Mumbai circle is set to host a photo exhibition at Raigad fort on World Heritage Day.

Why is April 18th designated as World Heritage Day? 

World Heritage Day 2024: In 1982, the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) declared April 18th to be World Heritage Day. The General Assembly of UNESCO adopted it in 1983. So the celebration was scheduled for April 18th to commemorate the adoption of the Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage by UNESCO in 1982.

What is the World Heritage Day Theme for this year?

World Heritage Day 2024: The day is celebrated annually since 1983, where the International Council on Monuments and Sites chooses a different theme each year to highlight a particular aspect of cultural heritage. In 2023, the theme for World Heritage Day was “Heritage Changes,” emphasizing the relationship between climate action and cultural heritage.

The theme for World Heritage Day 2024 is “Discover and experience diversity“. This theme serves as a poignant reminder that the complex tapestry of our history adds to the beauty of various cultures around the globe.

  • The organization protects esteemed locations with experts from various fields collaborating.
  • Architects, engineers, geographers, civil engineers, artists, and archaeologists are involved.
  • They preserve world-renowned sites and culturally significant monuments for future generations.
  • The organization has almost 10,000 members from over 150 countries.
  • Over 400 individuals from different institutions and committees work together to safeguard important sites and identify new ones for the watch list.
  • In 2016, notable additions to the watch list were the Gorham’s Cave Complex, Khangchendzonga National Park, and Persian Qanat.
  • The dedication of the organization’s members ensures the endurance of these locations for future generations.

World Heritage Day 2024: Quotes

  • “Preserving historical artifacts is vital for future generations.”
  • “Cultural heritage is shaped by preserving traditions and customs.”
  • “Monuments and heritage sites represent our diverse culture.”
  • “Recognize and protect the historical significance of monuments.”
  • “Safeguard your nation’s monuments for a prosperous past.”
  • “Cultural richness lies in preserving individuality and distinct identities.”

Why is it important to focus on Spiritual Wealth Rather than Material Wealth?

Nothing is permanent here, which we consider and say is ours today, when we will die, all will be left here. God Kabir Saheb Ji says don’t collect too much wealth or else it will become a problem for you. Don’t be tempted by them (money, property, jewellery, family, relatives & friends).

Today, there is no one to light a lamp in the palaces and to take care of those palaces, forts, gardens, buildings, etc., which were built by the Great Kings, Maharajas, and the rich people in their kingdom, for their families and people. 

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Now they have become the heritage sites & monuments of the country and the government takes care of them by charging tax from us. When we go to visit these monuments, we buy tickets from which the government collects money and spends that on the maintenance of these buildings.

Saint Kabir ji explains through below mentioned couplet:

Kaya teri hai nahin, maya kahan se hoye |

Guru charno mein dhyaan rakh, in dono ko khoy ||

It has been stated that even that body will not go with you, let alone the wealth. The only thing that goes with you is the sin that you incurred all your life while accumulating wealth.

Never forgot the roots

O Human Being! See the previous history of man.

Sarv sone ki lanka thi, Ravan se randheeram |

Ek palak mein Raj nasht hua, jam ke padey janjeeram ||

Garib, bhakti bina kya hot hai, bhram raha sansar |

Rati kanchan paya nahin, Ravan chalti baar ||

Why is Bhakti Essential for Attaining Benefits?

Saint Garibdas Ji has also affirmed the notion that without engaging in bhakti, a living being cannot attain any benefits. Throughout their lifetime, individuals tirelessly strive to amass wealth. King Ravan of Sri Lanka possessed immeasurable riches and gold, yet upon departing from this world, he was unable to carry even a single gram of gold with him. Due to his failure to practice true bhakti towards the SatyaPurush (True God), he was apprehended by the messengers of Yam and escorted to Yamraj. Consequently, he was condemned to hell. Hence, dear individuals, be wary of committing wrongdoings and instead, engage in sincere bhakti by seeking guidance from a Guru.

The Power of Worship Mantras: Lessons from God Kabir

Supreme God Kabir ji elucidates that due to lack of spiritual knowledge, even virtuous individuals have committed sins. Upon attending the Satsang, they renounced all wrongdoings and, through devotion, achieved their well-being. God Kabir stated, “I possess authentic worship mantras that eradicate all sins, leaving only virtues intact. (Similar to how scientists have recently discovered a medicine that, when sprayed in a field, eliminates grass and weeds while preserving the crop.) These mantras have been brought from my Lok (world). It is advised for readers to peruse the book ‘Way of Living‘ to understand how one can amass the Wealth of devotion. The book can also be downloaded via the Sant Rampal ji Maharaj App from the Play Store.

FAQ about World Heritage Day 2024

Who started Heritage Day?

April 18 was adopted as the International Day for Monuments and Sites by UNESCO based on a proposal by the Paris-based International Council on Monuments and Sites.

Why are World Heritage sites important?

A World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization as of cultural importance.

How many World Heritage sites are there?

As of January 2024, there are 1,199 World Heritage Sites in 168 countries, including 933 cultural properties, 227 natural properties, and 39 mixed properties.

Why is heritage so important?

It helps us know and relive our history, traditions and culture better.

What are the 3 types of heritage?

There are three types of sites: cultural, natural, and mixed. Cultural heritage sites include hundreds of historic buildings and town sites, important archaeological sites, and works of monumental sculpture or painting.

What are heritage values?

The heritage value of a site, building or object lies in its cultural significance, which is a combination of historical, symbolic, spiritual, aesthetic and social values.

Is heritage a culture?

It shows our history and our identity; our bond to the past, to our present, and the future.

Where is the headquarters of UNESCO located?

UNESCO headquarters is located in Paris, France.

What is the role of ICOMOS?

ICOMOS is the non governmental organization which advises UNESCO on the cultural heritage related matters.

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