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Photo of Marina Svensson

Marina Svensson


Photo of Marina Svensson

Representative Bearers of Tradition: Grassroots Preservation and Official Policies


  • Marina Svensson

Summary, in English

This paper addresses the life, work, representations, and official policies surrounding so-called representative bearers (daibiao chuancheng renwu) of tradition. The paper provides an overview of this policy and the selection process at both the local, national and global level.

The paper focuses on the field of ancestral ceremonies and aim to illustrate the artificial and arbitrary dichotomy that listings and separation of the intangible and tangible heritage imply. I also aim to address the role of official recognised representative bearers of tradition and laymen and grassroots participants. My case study is based on participation at different types of ancestral ceremonies in Zhejiang over the past 10 years as well as interviews with those who organize them and who are involved in the writing and printing of genealogies. The paper is also based on readings of official documents, academic works, visual and mediated representations in films and on the Internet.


  • Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University

Publishing year




Document type

Conference paper: abstract


  • Humanities


  • cultural heritage
  • China
  • Asian studies

Conference name

The Second International Conference on Cultural Heritage

Conference date

2013-11-05 - 2013-11-07

Conference place

Hangzhou, China




  • Kulturarv och bevarandefrågor i Kina