The concept of heritage is grounded in culturally specific ideologies of kinship, residence, and property, but the universalization of the nation-state as a collectivity of similar sub-units has given those concepts globally hegemonic power. Every society has had a relationship with its past, even those which have chosen to ignore it, and it is through understanding the meaning and nature of what people tell each other about their past; about what they forget, remember, memorialize and/or fake.
It is a form of inheritance to be kept in safekeeping and handed down to future generations. The concept of cultural summarizes various qualifying criteria such as artistic, historical, archaeological, ethnographic, etc.
Cultural heritage in the context of human rights expresses individuals and communities’ humanity, gives meaning to their existence, builds their worldviews and represents their encounter with the external forces affecting their lives. Cultural heritage is to be understood as resources enabling the cultural identification and development processes of individuals and communities which they wish to transmit to future generations implicitly or explicitly.
Cultural heritage is defined as a group of resources inherited from the past which people identify, independently of ownership, as a reflection and expression of their constantly evolving values, beliefs, knowledge and traditions. It includes all aspects of the environment resulting from the interaction between people and places through time.
The participation of individuals and communities in cultural heritage matters is crucial, fully participation of individuals and communities in cultural heritages as well as that of others, and to contribute to the creation of culture, including through the contestation of dominant norms and values within the communities they belong to as well as those of other communities.