Singapore’s ‘Hawker’ Culture Gets UNESCO Recognition

The Hawker Culture in Singapore have got the recognition from UNESCO.

Hawker Culture

  • Hawker culture is a popular Singaporean style of street dining and culinary practices.
  • It is practiced in a multicultural urban environment.
  • This culture was added to the UN’s prestigious ‘Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’.
  • It was added along with French cuisine, Thai massage, and yoga.
  • This was added on December 16, 2020 nearly two years after the nomination of hawker culture for the UNESCO at the National Day Rally.

How it was recognised?

  • The culture was added to the list after the UNESCO’s 24-member international committee unanimously voted to include it into the list at a virtual conference.
  • The documents for the nominations were submitted in March 2018.
  • Since 2018, there have been consistent efforts by the Singapore’s National Heritage Board, National Environment Agency and the Federation of Merchants’ Associations.
  • The UNESCO announced that the application has met all parameters.
  • The Hawkers of Singapore are known as the master variety of cuisines which is served at the community dining rooms. Peoples from across the walk gather and share their unique experiences.

How this culture has evolved?

The hawker dining has evolved from the culture of typical street food. It has become a more engaging experience. The culture not only involves the interaction but also involves the different activities including the chess-playing, busking and art-jamming. These centres have become the markers of Singapore. This multicultural city-state comprises of the Chinese, Indian, Malay and other cultures. The Hawkers take inspiration from the confluence of these cultures. They adapting the dishes to local tastes and contexts.

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