Cultural heritage: Its relevance in the social development. Cultural heritage is the total of contributions by a community that are held to be legacy which is inherited by the past for the benefit of their future. This includes literature, buildings, monuments, artifacts and others. As what Edward Burnett Tylor (1871) said: “Culture is that complex whole which include knowledge, belief, arts, moral, law, custom and other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society. ”
Cultural heritage can be physical, natural as well as non-physical heritage. Physical heritage includes the buildings, monuments or artifacts which are worth to be preserve for the benefits in the future. This includes objects from archeology, architecture or technology. In Brunei, for example, the most important physical heritage is Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque. While in other countries such as in France, its popular physical heritage is Eiffel Tower. Natural heritage is always includes the flora and fauna which is usually known as the biodiversity.
In Borneo, it is amazing with its beautiful Rafflesia and Pitcher plant. It can also includes geology and landforms; geo-diversity. This type of heritage always attracts visitors from abroad as well as locals. For example the Niagara Falls in United State of America as well as Wasai Wang Kadir in Brunei. Non-physical heritage is the heritage which identifies the identity of a community. This includes myths, beliefs, rituals, language use, traditional knowledge and ways of life of the community.
For example the beliefs in superstitious such as bad luck if the mirror breaks or believe in charms. This kind of heritage is different in a country with another. The most obvious is language use in a country, such as English in most European country and Malay in most Asian country such as Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia. Arts can also be one of the cultural heritage. Arts can be paintings, architectural design or any kind of arts which can identify the national dentity of a country. France, for example, is well-known with Da Vinci paintings such as Mona Lisa. In Brunei, every government buildings will have the same architectural design called “Air Mulih”. There are many attempts done by the government of each country to preserve this cultural heritage to the future. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) have made a convention on the protection of world cultural and natural heritage.
In 2008, there are about 827 heritage sites which have been considered as important to the international community. There are a lot of ways that can be done to conserve cultural heritage. One of the ways is through education for the younger generation by explaining how cultural important for the country as well as for the people. Also, they can explain how this cultural heritage is important in identify their own identity and what will happen in the future if this cultural heritage is not preserved.
In this way, the younger generation will continue preserving cultural heritage in the future. Furthermore, cultural heritage can also be preserved through tourism. It can be used to attract tourist because cultural heritage is differ from a country to another. Therefore, whenever a tourist came and saw the different kind of cultural heritage, they will know a person is belong to which country. This can bring benefits to the country as well as tourism agency and thus makes them want to preserve this cultural heritage.