World Steelpan Day 11 August


Pan in Motion Steelband from New York performs at the United Nations Headquarters.
PHOTO:UN Photo / Loey Felipe

The steelpan

The steelpan (also known as a pan, steel drum, and sometimes, collectively with other musicians, as a steelband or steel orchestra) is a musical instrument originating in Trinidad and Tobago. It is played using a pair of straight sticks tipped with rubber; the size and type of rubber tip varies according to the class of pan being played. Some musicians use four pansticks, holding two in each hand. This grew out of Trinidad and Tobago's early 20th-century Carnival percussion groups.

Steelpan and sustainable development

Cultural diversity and the pursuit of cultural development by all peoples and nations are a source of mutual enrichment for the cultural life of humankind. The importance of promoting and preserving cultural diversity is set out in the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda.

The steelpan possesses cultural and historical significance and correlates to cultural, social and economic development. It also has the potential in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals, through its use in sectors such as tourism, culture, education, as well as science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

World Steelpan Day

Acknowledging that the steelpan promotes inclusive societies, sustainable communities and the creative economy and can have a positive impact on mental health and well-being, gender equality and youth empowerment, the General Assembly decided to proclaim 11 August as World Steelpan Day.

The Assembly invited stakeholders to observe World Steelpan Day, through activities aimed at raising awareness of the cultural and historical significance of the steelpan as well as its link to sustainable development.


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