SAN JOSE – Latin American cultural expression is being threatened by globalization and new technologies, which have serious consequences that people are beginning to lose their separate identities, Silvia Rosa Martinez, a Peruvian expert in Intangible Cultural Heritage said.
In an interview with EFE, the executive director of the Regional Center for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage for Latin America, or Crespial, said that culture is an important component for sustaining diversity, but globalization is seriously threatening it.
“All expressions of culture are threatened in the future by globalization. The homogenization of culture by different technologies is going to cause some practices to get lost over time,” she said.
Martinez said that modernization has brought the homogenization of culture, which means that many elements resemble each other, like for example local handicrafts from Costa Rica are the same items one can find in Chile, Argentina, Peru, and some of them are even made in China and Taiwan.
“In all the fairs, they’re selling the same thing. Kids consume the same things, that starts the loss of that which identifies us, that which makes us different from each other, and we’re going to look much more like one another, in that we’re also losing the value of and respect for difference, for cultural diversity,” she said.
The Crespial chief is in Costa Rica as a special invitee of the Culture and Youth Ministry to give a workshop on sensitivity, identification and expressions of Costa Rican Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Cultural heritage is not limited to monuments, collections of items or infrastructure, but includes inherited traditions like types of shows, dances, social elements, rituals, celebrations, knowledge and practices related to nature and the universe, and wisdom and techniques linked to traditional handicrafts.