In this session, we will investigate the perennial aspects of immaterial heritage. An important aspect of tradition is its stability and robustness across generations. Though we do ascribe a continuity to certain ceremonies that sometimes can boast a history of many centuries, it is not always clear what exactly has been handed down through the ages. On the contrary, it is sometimes obvious that the immaterial heritage has gone through adaptations and adjustments in order to survive in a changing environment, be it political, religious or social. What do these changes tell us about the nature of the immaterial heritage?
Questions that are relevant for this session are: What lends stability to traditions and ceremonies? What is the relation between practices and the ideas that give meaning to these practices? Do changes in conception have an impact on the tradition or not? If not, what does this tell us about the nature of immaterial heritage? Are traditions that take the form of actions driven by something else than ideas? To what extent do traditions reflect the mentality of modernity as an age of change? Is there something like practical knowledge and how is this knowledge developed and transmitted? If old traditions are adopted in a new context, can we still speak about the same tradition and if so, where lies the breaking point? How and in what sense does religion preserve and continue traditions from before the period of conversion? How and in what sense can the continuity of immaterial heritage be dependent on the stability of the landscape? What is the impact of change in the landscape on sacred locations?