Singapore Hawker Culture Now In UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List

Try to attach a distinct identity to Singapore, and many would go for our diversity of people, as well as abundance of food. Hawker food, or culture in particular, is an aspect many visitors admire and locals miss when they’re away.

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Now the quintessential Singaporean pastime has earned a fitting tribute in the form of an international recognition.

Our hawker culture has joined over 400 other cultural heritages on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List.

Singapore hawker culture makes UNESCO list

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Mr Edwin Tong made the announcement on Facebook today (16 Dec).

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Summing up what the accolade as well as the culture itself means to us, he thanked hawkers, without whom this achievement wouldn’t be possible.

Represents our diverse society

Much like the wide variety of food we can find anywhere, Mr Tong described our hawker culture as “a powerful representation” of our country.

Not only do hawkers of different backgrounds work together in harmony, they serve customers from all walks of life too.

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In a beautiful way, our hawker centres bring different people together in one space, as we enjoy delicious food happily.

First Singaporean entry among hundreds of others

This landmark achievement is Singapore’s first, as we join over 400 others on the various lists, reports The Straits Times (ST).

Indeed, if you search UNESCO’s website, you’ll find our hawker culture under the ‘Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’.

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To see our nation up there alongside universally familiar practices like yoga in India is definitely heartening.

A fitting tribute to our fave hawkers & makan places

More than a name on a big list, this serves as a tribute to our hawkers and the food they’ve been cooking for decades.

Truly, they’ve shaped our lives, and created memories and experiences we’ll all cherish for a long time.

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Let’s use this as a motivator to keep our hawker culture alive, and preserve this precious heritage.

This is for the uncles and aunties who’ve fed generations of Singaporeans, and given us a sense of what home means.

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Featured image by MS News.