The issue of "National Themes" as mentioned in EnsignYoshi's post http://www.worldheritagesite.org/forums/index.php?action=vthread&forum=8&topic=204
is an interesting one which perhaps deserves a bit of analysis! Whilst these "themes" reflect a genuine reality about each of those countries they also say something interesting about how those countries
a. see (or want to see) themselves
b. wish to project themselves to the outside world.
Below are some statistics about the "themes" adopted by some countries (the exact numbers are open to some adjustment according to subjective assignment of a site to a category)
– "Water Management" 5 sites out of 7 (5 out of the 6 in continental NL)
- "Trade, Industry and Science" 10 out of 27 (10 out of 24 in continental UK). Including 7 of the last 8 inscriptions (and also the next 2 likely nominations :- 2009 - Pont-Cysyllte Aqueduct and 2010 another attempt at "Darwin at Downe")
- "Mountain" scenic and cultural areas ("Sacred" or otherwise!) 13 out of 37. Anyone who has been on an excursion in China aimed mainly at locals will know the "Westerner's frustration" as it stops for ages to look and clamber upon some relatively nondescript rocks which have some great cultural resonance for the Chinese
- "Colonial" towns/ensembles 15 out of 29. There is also a theme of Mexico's "fusion culture" as a number of these emphasise the Precolumbian as well as the Hispanic aspects of the sites
- "Natural" National Parks 13 out of 20. The USA as "Wilderness"!!
- "Christian" (or significantly so) 11 out of 33