The southern Dalmatian city of Dubrovnik is playing host this week to the anniversary of the UNESCO Convention on Intangible Cultural Heritage, and the World Conference of the International Network of Cities and Custodians of Intangible Heritage, and to mark the occasion a Guinness Record will be attempted in the city which itself is a proud UNESCO Heritage site.
On the final day of the conference (Sunday 6 October), more than 250 folklore dancers will attempt to entre the Guinness Book of Records for performing the largest ever Linđo dance. Linđo is a popular dance of Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik region. and is danced to the accompaniment of lijerica (an old Southern Dalmatian instrument with three strings), which came from the Eastern Mediterranean in the late 18th century and spread on the Adriatic coast in the 19th century. The dance master plays with the lijerica sitting on his left knee, while stamping with his right foot, thus dictating rhythm to the dancers. They move in a circle around the dance master, who gives commands (in rhyme, humorous and often with double meaning). He also decides who will dance with whom and dictates the change of dance figures, along with encouraging the dancers to compete in improvisations.
Organisers are calling on all dancers from the region to turn up to Dubrovnik’s famous Stradun at 1pm on Sunday to make the record as big as possible. Representatives from more than 40 cities in the world are involved at this week’s convention with the theme being “Youth in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage.” The event is held under the auspices of the Croatian President Ivo Josipovic, the Ministry of Culture and the Croatian Ministry of Tourism.