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Oral traditions1
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The oral traditions and expressions domain includes proverbs, tales, legends,  poems, prayers, songs, drama performances and more. Oral traditions and expressions are used to pass on knowledge, cultural and social values and collective memory.  Like other forms of intangible cultural heritage, oral traditions are threatened by rapid urbanisation, large-scale migration, industrialisation and environmental change. 


The most important part of safeguarding oral traditions and expressions is maintaining their every day role in society. It is also essential that opportunities for knowledge to be passed from person-to-person survive; chances for elders to interact with young people and pass on stories in homes and schools, for example. Oral tradition often forms an important part of festive and cultural celebrations and these events may need to be promoted and new contexts, such as storytelling festivals, encouraged to allow traditional creativity to find new means of expression. 

Communities, researchers and institutions may also use information technology to help safeguard the full range and richness of oral traditions, including textual variations and different styles of performance.

The Israeli population is a linguistically and culturally diverse community with 35 languages and dialects spoken in local communities. Hebrew is the country's official language. Its standard form, known as Modern Hebrew, is the main medium of life in Israel. Arabic, used mainly by Israel's Arab people, which comprises about one-fifth of the population. English, spoken as a second language by the majority of the Israeli population, Russian, spoken by the immigrant population from the former Soviet Union, is also heavily used.

Modern Hebrew emerged as a result of the revival of the Hebrew language that began the late 19th century, and is based on different dialects of ancient Hebrew and somewhat influenced by many languages. The movement for the revival of Hebrew as a spoken language was particularly popular among new Jewish Zionist immigrants in the 1880. Eliezer Ben-Yehuda and his followers created the first Hebrew-speaking schools, newspapers, and other Hebrew-language institutions.  After Ben Yehuda's immigration to Israel, and due to the impetus of the Second Aliyah (1905–1914), Hebrew prevailed as the single official and spoken language of the Jewish community. When the State of Israel was formed in 1948, the government viewed Hebrew as the de facto official language. Yiddish is still often used in Ashkenazi Haredi communities worldwide, and is sometimes the first language for the members of the Hasidic branches of such their native language.

Many other languages are used by large sectors of the Israeli population, including:

Languages in Israel