Project „Kukeri ritual in Bulgaria and Serbia – cultural tradition on two neighboring nations”, developed by Sozopol Foundation in cooperation with Rings of Balkans Association, was approved for implementation under the UNESCO Participation Programme for 2016-2017. Sozopol Foundation, as the first Bulgarian non-governmental organization in consultative partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and a member of the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee for two terms – 2012-2014 and 2014-2016, implements its work exceptionally actively. Following its objectives and policy for active work towards preserving and promoting tangible and intangible cultural heritage, the Foundation together with its longstanding partners Rings of Balkans Association from Serbia, has developed a project proposal and applied with it under the UNESCO Participation Programme for 2016- 2017.
The project implementation is of great importance for the preservation of the traditions in Eastern Europe, since on December 2, 2015 when within the tenth session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, the national holiday Surva was inscribed in the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO. The of inclusion of this element in the Representative List of UNESCO is of great importance because it consists all the forms of expression, that testify of the diversity of intangible cultural heritage in the Bulgarian lands in the border region.
The project objectives and envisaged activities fit entirely in field of competence of UNESCO and meet the specified rights of the global organization. The project is consistent and fully supports the Programme for the priority activities of UNESCO. The leading objective of the project is to promote and develop cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and to achieve consensus in a clearly visible and impartial manner. In order to achieve all project targets and expected results, the structure and the program aim at informing in detail all stakeholders in the cross-border region, in particular the younger generation and the children, about the exceptionally significant Kukeri ritual.