Italy leads the candidature for the UNESCO Register of Good Safeguarding Practices of Tocatì shared programme for the preservation of Traditional Games and Sports.
Associazione Giochi Antichi (AGA) supports traditional games and sports communities and their players beyond the days of the festival as a permanent programme of activities to safeguard traditional games and sports, in cooperation with Service II – UNESCO Office of the General Secretariat of the MiC for Italy, and the institutions of the international partnership, which includes Belgium – Department Culture, Youth and Media, France – Ministère de la Culture – Direction générale, Croatia – Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia and Cyprus – Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth.
Tocatì festival is the main action of this programme: reached its 20th edition, the event has become an international reference point for institutions, NGOs and traditional game and sport communities.
In Belgium, the Tocatì programme involves multiple actors through the ludodiversity programme initiated by Sportimonium in Flanders. This organisation includes a research centre, a sports museum and a theme park. Within the “programme of cultivating ludodiversity”, the Sportimonium works with the umbrella organisation Vlaamse Traditionele Sporten (VlaS), federating 22 traditional sports communities in the Flanders region. The Belgian contribution is based on support gained from its experience in safeguarding traditional games over the past decades, represented by Sportimonium, endorsed by the Flemish government. Sportimonium and other accredited Flemish ICH NGOs agreed to participate in the work around the sharing of good safeguarding practices and experiences in the international networking processes, as well as to the work to be delivered in relation to inclusion in the UNESCO Register devoted to this objective. Today’s process of coordination in the Tocatí Programme builds upon the preliminary stages of exchange and cooperation in the previous decades. In fact, AGA and Sportimonium work together since 2007: Sportimonium participates in the Tocatì symposia, while AGA attends formal meetings at Sportimonium in Belgium. The Flemish Federation of Traditional Games – VlaS has been involved together with Faro, the Flemish Interface for Cultural Heritage and Tapis Plein (now Werkplaats immaterieel erfgoed) in the design and implementation of the Tocatì programme and the PdV.
“Over the years there has been a fruitful collaboration and exchange with Tocatì. The Tocatì programme, with the community-based approach, the inclusive attitude and the connecting approach in a spirit of cooperation, fits perfectly in the policy and philosophy of Sportimonium. That is why the Sportimonium fully supports the application file and will continue to do it.”
The Folklore Association of KTIMA from Cyprus, strongly supports the work and efforts made by the Associazione Giochi Antichi (AGA) to establish TOCATÌ in the Register of ‘Good Safeguarding Practices of the Intangible Cultural Heritage’ of UNESCO. Since 2018 we have been given the opportunity to participate in and contribute to the TOCATÌ festival. The fact of having been active in the promotion of the Traditional Sports and Games, provided us with the benefit of inclusion in the Network of Verona. We believe that the Network of Verona is a valuable network of members and creates a strong link among associations and individuals committed in promoting tradition and focus on sustaining Traditional Sports and Games through TOCATÌ programme and festival.
Activities carried out during TOCATÌ are all significant and it is mandatory for all members to secure a continuity in the future. The 19th edition of TOCATÌ has been very important to us as guests of honour countries. We have participated in the following activities:
“In the years 2018 and 2019, the Folklore Association of Ktima was invited to participate in the Tocatì Festival – which takes place in Verona, Italy. There, we participated and presented our research on the Traditional Easter Games of Cyprus. Moreover, we participated as a team in the group contest of the popular Italian game called “Lippa”. We even pleasantly recognised that the Italian game is very similar to a traditional Cypriot game called “Ligrin”. The Tocatì Festival was excellently organised both these years and there was an impressive audience participation. Ktima signed the protocol of Verona in 2019, participating since 2018 in the international symposia “Tocatì a shared heritage”.
The Istrian Pljočke Association – IPS, was founded in 2011 and since the beginning has been working on the safeguarding, transmitting, documenting and promoting the traditional game of pljočke. The IPS is the promoter of the initiative for the recognition of the game as intangible cultural heritage and its holders, according to the decision of the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia.
“We share the idea of promoting the Tocatì as a laboratory of creative forms, especially of synergy and dialogue between citizens and as a tool of a social inclusion and cultural diversity”.
Traditional Ludic Communities of Croatia:
The Confederation is a member of several international networks (AEJST, TAFISA), regional networks in the field of sport, culture, intangible heritage (CROS Bretagne, Cultural Council of Brittany, Bretagne Culture Diversité, etc.). The Confederation participates in meetings and exchanges with other players in the games in France and in Europe.
“The FALSAB Confederation was in Verona in September 2019 to attend the Tocatì Festival where the invited region was Brittany. This participation made possible to discover the diversity of Italian games and to introduce Italians, among others, to the Breton diversity. It was a very beautiful opportunity of exchange. In the world of games, the language barrier is not a problem, gestures are enough. And that is why learning is quite rapid“.
For more than a decade, these games, which were often exclusive to men, have been open to schools, girls and boys and, therefore, today there are championships for ladies. Bidasoako Txaranga was created in 1980, composed since its inception by members from all over the Bidasoa basin, whatever their nationality or origin. Bringing together volunteer members to strengthen the culture in general, the one that is closest to us, to live together in our linguistic and cultural differences, within the framework and the spirit of the law of association.
Music, song, dance, bell bearers (the Joaldunak), games and traditional sports have been our reality and our DNA for 42 years. The Joaldunak “those who have bells”, are mythical characters of the Basque carnival, their origin dates back to the pagan period. Dressed in a short skirt and a pointed hat decorated with numerous ribbons, they wear two enormous bells attached to the small of their backs. They sound them rhythmically, maintaining a uniform overall step, while shaking a horsehair whip. Today the joaldunak are one of the last existing vestiges of pagan rites. Similarities can be found in many parts of Europe and the world.
The meeting with AGA and the TOCATÌ festival was an opportunity to show, in this incomparable festival, the riches of our cultural heritage, but also to share those of our partners. A very beautiful adventure that we want to continue together.
“Tocatì is our common home, a place of resources and inspiration, to which we belong, a true “community of communities”. These are all reasons that motivate our participation in a multinational nomination, the ideal framework to assert, in the future, (institutional) support for common safeguarding projects, which strengthen our approach towards this necessary safeguarding of our cultural diversities”.
“In our villages, practicing the Quilles de Maillet is more than playing sports. It is to place oneself in the continuity of our ancestors or to place oneself in the cultural framework of the country, region, or entity which welcomes us. It is a factor of integration, a factor of humanization, emancipation, socialisation”.