RIYADH, Saudi Arabia–The National Festival of Heritage and Culture in Janadria, which began last Thursday, is a valuable opportunity to highlight the elements of the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on an international level. Mainly as the festival is the most important event of its kind in the world, as it attracts millions of lovers of heritage and originality from Saudi Arabia, the Arabian Gulf region and worldwide, with hundreds of local, Arab and international media who will be covering the various rich activities of the festival.
The festival reflects unique cultures, traditions and behavior from every region of the Kingdom, where there are many dialects and customs represented. This is both in the heritage of the regions, or through the folk market where the ‘Katateeb’ (traditional schools), folk games and old tales all in a traditional setting reveal simplicity and the identity of society at the time.
Urban Heritage of the Regions
The festival highlights the distinctiveness of the various areas of Saudi Arabia and their urban heritage through showing the identity of each region, as well as the heritage elements of handicrafts, folk dishes and museums.
The Folk Market is a forum that reflects the great diversity in Saudi folklore, with the allocation of shops and workshops for each craftsman from each region in the market, which is the first nucleus in the establishment of the festival since its inception. At the Folk Market everything is displayed in a panoramic way preserving the depth and diversity of culture in one place.
The National Heritage and Culture Festival is keen to support craftsmen by choosing the handicrafts for each region according to special criteria and mechanisms. More than 300 handicrafts are scattered throughout the festival.
Al Warraq is one of the handicrafts that have disappeared, and this year for the first time will be in the folk market, where the public will notice the artisans specialized in the binding of books and their preservation, while using simple craft tools such as thread, needle, scissors and glue.
This year, women will participate in several activities aimed at handicrafts and productive families, as well as highlighting the role of people with special needs. There will also be professional courses for visitors.
The Traditional Farm
The Traditional Farm was the main source of livelihood for some and displayed will be the means of plowing and chanting that echoed from the farmers during their work.
Katateeb School (Traditional School)
On display will be an imitation of the Mutawa (the traditional teacher) and his students, with a courtyard next to the school for old folk games.