Every country in the world should promote the popularization of its traditional culture among its youth, according to Udomsak Sakmung Vong, vice chairman of CIOFF, an international folks art festival organization.
Speaking recently at CIOFF's 2004 Asian and Oceanian session, held in Changshu of east China's Jiangsu Province, the vice chairman said it was of great importance to let the youth learn their own traditional culture, especially intangible cultural heritage, so as to effectively preserve it.
He said that along with the improvement of people's material life and under the influence of exotic cultures, the traditional cultures of some nations threatened to die away.
Particularly in some Asian countries, he said, young people are crazy for the western culture whereas they neglect the preservation and inheritance of the native culture.
"Chinese food and textile are world famous," he said, "but many youngsters here prefer to dress and dine in a western manner, which is really a pity."
CIOFF was founded for the preservation of world traditional culture, the official said, and they have focused on the education of youth by hosting various folks art festivals.
As an organization under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), CIOFF has 150 member countries and regions. China joined CIOFF in 1993.
(Xinhua News Agency May 18, 2004)