International Day for Monuments and Sites 2018: Heritage for Generations

ICOMOS heritage for generations

April 18 is International Day for Monuments and Sites. It is an annual event recognized by UNESCO and coordinated by the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). And this year, they are focused on sharing knowledge and heritage for generations.

2018: Heritage For Generations

If you follow GeekMom on Instagram (and you should because we’re awesome), you would have noticed a theme across our account today. Starting as close to the International Timeline as we could drop a GeekMom, we shared photos of monuments and sites from all around the world.

We covered New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia-Borneo, China, South Korea, Italy, Malta, England, Ireland, the Caribbean, the United States of America, and Canada. And we are still looking for more GeekMom photos to share.

April 18 is International Day for Monuments and Sites; the theme for 2018 is Heritage for Generations – the perfect opportunity to share cultural heritage with your geeky kids. We’re following the World Timeline and sharing photos of sites from GeekMoms all around the world: In Hawaii, the Diamond Head State Monument is reported to have the best natural views of Honolulu. And we have proof of at least one GeekMom making the hike to the top – go, GeekMom Patricia!! We would love to share your photos too, so tag @geekmomblog and we’ll add them here (with full credit to you). Stay tuned for more great photos #ICOMOS #heritage4generations #internationaldayformonumentsandsites #travelwithkids #geekmoms #culturalheritage #Repost @vollmerdp with @get_repost ・・・ Today's conquest! #springbreak2018

A post shared by GeekMom (@geekmomblog) on

That’s right, folks. We’re global.

And we care about our kids’ future. We care about the amazing and diverse culture that traverses this crazy world. From natural to military and geeky bonuses in between, there is so much cultural heritage connecting us in a myriad of ways.

Just like our geekdoms.

The International Day for Monuments and Sites 2018 is an opportunity to focus on cultural heritage and, more importantly, to share it with your geek kids. Not everything in our history is wonderful but we should not shy away from it. We should take all of our heritage, own it, and learn from it. Show our kids how to learn from it and safe-keep it for their generations.

Take Uluru in Australia, for example. Only a few decades ago, it was still referred to as Ayers Rock. In fact, many people outside of Australia still know it as Ayers Rock, as named by a white surveyor William Gosse in 1873. This was without recognition of the local Anangu, the Pitjantjatjara people, who have called the landmark Uluṟu for many, many years. Way more than 1873.

April 18 is International Day for Monuments and Sites; the theme for 2018 is Heritage for Generations – the perfect opportunity to share cultural heritage with your geeky kids. We’re following the World Timeline and sharing photos of sites from GeekMoms all around the world: Uluru is a massive sandstone rock formation in the heart of Australia. Uluru is sacred to the Pitjantjatjara Anangu, the Aboriginal people of the area. The area around the formation is home to an abundance of springs, waterholes, rock caves and ancient paintings. (Photo by D & G Flanigan) We would love to share your photos too, so tag @geekmomblog and we’ll add them here (with full credit to you). Stay tuned for more great photos #ICOMOS #heritage4generations #internationaldayformonumentsandsites #travelwithkids #geekmoms #culturalheritage #uluru #australia

A post shared by GeekMom (@geekmomblog) on

Times have since changed; Australia is working, as a nation, to recognize the indigenous culture and acknowledge the prior ownership of landmarks. In 1993, a dual naming policy was adopted allowing official names to consist of both the traditional Aboriginal name and the English name. On 15 December 1993, it was renamed “Ayers Rock / Uluru” and became the first official dual-named feature in the Northern Territory. The order of the dual names was officially reversed to “Uluru / Ayers Rock” on 6 November 2002 following a request from the Regional Tourism Association in Alice Springs. It’s not perfect but it is an example of how we can use our monuments and sites to learn and grow with our cultural heritage.

Tesla statue at Niagara Falls.
Tesla Monument at Niagara Falls, New York, USA (HInt: it’s because of the history of electric power). Photo by Corrina Lawson

What Can We Do

Start by sharing your photos and stories relating to your cultural heritage. You don’t need Instagram to do this (although, if you do, tag @geekmomblog so we can share it as well). All you need is a bit of time to talk to your kids. My Maltese grandmother used to tell me a story about Speranza Chapel and a girl who was hidden from invaders by a spiders web. It was a beautiful local legend that led to many discussions on my inability to clean away spider webs. It also inspired me to travel to Malta and see the Chapel myself. This little story was my connection to my grandmother’s cultural heritage.

Continue the education with travel. It doesn’t have to be far afield; be a tourist in your city and look for local monuments and sites of significance. In Ireland, there are so many Celtic stone circles they can’t register all of them. Some of them are located on farmland. Each of them is a small monument to the Celtic heritage of Ireland, and something you can find with a simple bike ride.

April 18 is International Day for Monuments and Sites; the theme for 2018 is Heritage for Generations – the perfect opportunity to share cultural heritage with your geeky kids. We’re following the World Timeline and sharing photos of sites from GeekMoms all around the world: Peppered throughout Ireland are beautiful stone circles, connecting the land to the ancient Celtic heritage. Some of these sites are located on farm land, so you need to seek permission to reach them but they are worth it for gems like this (Photo by B Cahill) We would love to share your photos too, so tag @geekmomblog and we’ll add them here (with full credit to you). Stay tuned for more great photos #ICOMOS #heritage4generations #internationaldayformonumentsandsites #travelwithkids #geekmoms #culturalheritage #ireland #stonecircle #ancientcelts

A post shared by GeekMom (@geekmomblog) on

Finally, support the protection of monuments and sites with cultural significance. If you do visit a local monument, don’t hesitate to give it a quick wipe over or leave a tribute. If you’re visiting a natural site, take only photos and leave only light footprints. Show respect to the heritage being honored. Many of these monuments and sites are maintained by local authorities but some are watched over only by interested locals. Every little bit counts towards protecting this heritage for generations to come.

Head over to the GeekMom Instagram account to see our favorite monuments and sites from around the world. And feel free to tag us so we can add your favorites as well. We are all in this wonderful world together so let’s share it around.