Rejuvenating Cultural Linkages in Bay of Bengal Region
This chapter describes the relevance of the shared heritage of the region in preserving cultural diversity and protecting maritime landscapes. It presents an overview of the existing support networks within UNESCO’s World Heritage framework and suggests steps that could provide a way forward in institutionalizing this important phase of world history from the perspective of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC). Increasingly maritime historians have agreed that the history of the seas that unite the BIMSTEC region should be discussed as ‘connected history’ across porous borders, linked through boat-building traditions, community networks and cultural practices. The chapter deals with tracing the significance of ship wreck sites, coastal monuments and structures that could provide a beginning in shifting the emphasis from national histories to maritime cultural linkages. It explores possibilities of trans-national partnerships for cultural collaboration and research.