Malaysia Wants To Work With Singapore To Get Hawker Culture On UNESCO List

Malaysia Wants To File Joint-Nomination With S’pore For Hawker Culture

We’ve had our quarrels over food in the past.

But that hasn’t stopped the Penang state government from proposing that we join hands with Malaysia and nominate our hawker culture for the UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

Maxwell Food Centre

The joint-application will apparently increase the chances of our hawker culture being listed.

United Nations encourages joint nominations

According to Penang Tourism, Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin, UNESCO actually encourages joint nominations.

For example, in 2008, George Town and Melaka were given a place on UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites after applying together.


Since UNESCO encourages joint applications, there could be a higher chance of getting our hawker cultures on the list if we work together.

Singapore filed nomination in Mar 2019

Last month (27 Mar), Singapore filed a nomination to have its hawker culture on UNESCO’s list.

Along with the application were photographs of our hawker centres, letters written by community members and a 10-minute showcase video.

The nomination results are set for release at the end of next year.

Working together rather than against one another

Mr Yeoh says that a joint application will not only increase the chances of our hawker culture securing a spot on the list, but also strengthen the ties between ourselves and Malaysia.

Perhaps that is why UNESCO encourages joint applications — to bring countries together. After all, cultural heritage is meant to be celebrated.

Featured image from TheSmartLocal and Videoblocks.

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