Chinese storytelling tradition placed on UN list of intangible heritage in danger

23 November 2011A form of verse and prose storytelling from north-eastern China that has only five remaining masters was today placed on a United Nations List of Intangible Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage, meeting this week in Bali, Indonesia, inscribed Hezhen Yimakan storytelling on the list as it is danger of disappearing, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reported.Statistics indicate that while there were considered to be 20 outstanding Yimakan masters during the 1980s, now only five are capable of performing some cantos, or the main divisions in long poems.Narrated in the language of the Hezhen people, the storytelling consists of numerous independent episodes depicting tribal alliances and battles, including the defeat by local heroes of monsters and invaders.Yimakan performers traditionally improvise their stories without instrumental accompaniment, alternating between singing and speaking, and using different melodies to connote different characters and plots.The storytelling tradition is one of 18 dossiers that have been proposed for inscription this week of the List of Intangible Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, according to UNESCO, which manages the list. read more

Ohio State mens track ready for competitive Indiana Relays

Always be moving forward.That’s the motto the Ohio State men’s track team has going into this weekend’s Indiana Relays in Bloomington, Ind.“It should be a competitive meet,” head coach Ed Beathea said on the teams the Buckeyes are set to run against.Teams like Alabama, Xavier, Notre Dame, Northern Illinois and Indiana are among those set to compete in the meet this weekend.Junior sprinter and hurdler Timothy Faust said he expects the opponents to push the team to greater success and even help him run his best race yet in the 200-meter dash.“This is a chance for us to compete against some good guys from the conference,” Faust said.He added that the team goal for the meet is to continue doing the things they have been doing right and to work hard.Redshirt-freshman sprinter and hurdler Donovan Robertson is expecting the same work ethic the Buckeyes have shown all season from at the meet.“Every week, we are getting better and better,” Robertson said. “Last week was a solid week, I hope we can continue.”Robertson added that getting the chance to compete against conference teams is good for the Buckeyes.“I couldn’t really tell you which (team) is bigger than the other but the fact that they are Big Ten conference teams I think they are all really important,” Robertson said.At the meet, Robertson is slated to only run the 200-meter dash instead of his usual sprints and hurdles. Robertson said this is his first time running the 200-meter dash since high school, but he is excited to run it.Beathea said the coaches start to put runners in single events to get them more competition-minded as they move into February and get closer to the indoor Big Ten Championships.Aside from individuals competing at a high level this weekend, Beathea said he is looking forward to seeing the relay teams show what they can do.“We anticipate running our A (4×4) team this weekend,” Beathea said. “Right now (it’s) a top 10 relay team in the country, we hope (it) will be competitive.”As the indoor season continues on into another weekend of races, Beathea said it is exciting because team members are becoming more tightly knit.“It’s nice to go to the meet and see the guys engaging in what other guys are doing. Guys supporting each other, that’s what it is supposed to look like — less like an individual sport and more like a team sport,” Beathea said.That camaraderie of the team is something he anticipates will help make them successful this weekend.“We want to go out and compete. We want for other teams to know that we were at the meet,” Beathea said. “We want to have a presence at the competition.”The meet is scheduled to start Friday and continue through Saturday. read more