Singapore hawkers are now officially cultural world heritage

Hawker street in Singapore

Singapore hawker culture has been put on the Intangible Cultural Heritage list by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, or UNESCO, alongside the likes of French cuisine, yoga, Chinese calligraphy, Belgian beer, flamenco, camel racing, Finnish sauna culture, Turkey’s whistled language and Irish harping.

The listing was confirmed at the 15th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage held in Paris on December 16. A 24-member international committee unanimously accepted Singapore’s application to have this tradition be internationally recognised.

It is the country’s second entry to a UNESCO list, with the first in 2015 when the Singapore Botanic Gardens was designated a World Heritage Site.

The city state’s minister for community, culture and youth, Edwin Tong, thanked all hawkers and Singaporeans for their “overwhelming support” of the nomination of hawker culture to the UNESCO list.

“Singapore’s hawker culture is a source of pride for Singapore and all Singaporeans. It reflects our living heritage and multiculturalism,” Tong said, adding that “it is an integral part of the daily lives of everyone in Singapore, regardless of age, race or background.”

Prime minister calls for celebrations by ordering favourite food

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a Facebook post that went up soon after the announcement that Singaporeans should celebrate by ordering their favourite hawker dish this week.

“The biggest thanks must go to the generations of hawkers for nourishing a nation’s stomach and spirits. This recognition would not have come without their sweat, toil and dedication to their profession,” Lee wrote.

On its website, UNESCO noted that Singapore’s diverse population of ethnic Chinese, Malays, Indians and other races inspired the hawkers’ culinary creations.

“Many [hawkers] specialise in a particular dish, refined over many years, and transmit their recipes, knowledge and skills to younger family members or apprentices,” it added.

“In the past, being a hawker was a job that was looked down on, it was seen as a beggar’s business,” Ng Kok Hua, who sells traditional deep-fried delicacies from his small stall, told AFP.

“And now it’s not, now the hawker culture in Singapore is globally recognised,” he added.



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Hawker street in Singapore Singapore hawker culture has been put on the Intangible Cultural Heritage list by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, or UNESCO, alongside the likes of French cuisine, yoga, Chinese calligraphy, Belgian beer, flamenco, camel racing, Finnish sauna culture, Turkey's whistled language and Irish harping. The listing was confirmed at the 15th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage held in Paris on December 16. A 24-member international committee unanimously accepted Singapore's application to have this tradition be internationally recognised. It is the country's second entry to a UNESCO...

Hawker street in Singapore

Singapore hawker culture has been put on the Intangible Cultural Heritage list by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, or UNESCO, alongside the likes of French cuisine, yoga, Chinese calligraphy, Belgian beer, flamenco, camel racing, Finnish sauna culture, Turkey’s whistled language and Irish harping.

The listing was confirmed at the 15th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage held in Paris on December 16. A 24-member international committee unanimously accepted Singapore’s application to have this tradition be internationally recognised.

It is the country’s second entry to a UNESCO list, with the first in 2015 when the Singapore Botanic Gardens was designated a World Heritage Site.

The city state’s minister for community, culture and youth, Edwin Tong, thanked all hawkers and Singaporeans for their “overwhelming support” of the nomination of hawker culture to the UNESCO list.

“Singapore’s hawker culture is a source of pride for Singapore and all Singaporeans. It reflects our living heritage and multiculturalism,” Tong said, adding that “it is an integral part of the daily lives of everyone in Singapore, regardless of age, race or background.”

Prime minister calls for celebrations by ordering favourite food

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a Facebook post that went up soon after the announcement that Singaporeans should celebrate by ordering their favourite hawker dish this week.

“The biggest thanks must go to the generations of hawkers for nourishing a nation’s stomach and spirits. This recognition would not have come without their sweat, toil and dedication to their profession,” Lee wrote.

On its website, UNESCO noted that Singapore’s diverse population of ethnic Chinese, Malays, Indians and other races inspired the hawkers’ culinary creations.

“Many [hawkers] specialise in a particular dish, refined over many years, and transmit their recipes, knowledge and skills to younger family members or apprentices,” it added.

“In the past, being a hawker was a job that was looked down on, it was seen as a beggar’s business,” Ng Kok Hua, who sells traditional deep-fried delicacies from his small stall, told AFP.

“And now it’s not, now the hawker culture in Singapore is globally recognised,” he added.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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