The hawker culture of Singapore has been recently added to the UNESCO representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, the Singapore Tourism Board in the Philippines announced.
The nomination of hawker culture in Singapore fulfilled all five evaluation criteria used by the Intergovernmental Committee, with the island nation commended for the active involvement of various communities in the nomination process.
As described by UNESCO, hawkers, which are a major tourist draw in Singapore, prepare a variety of food that are served to patrons at hawker centers. These centers serve as “community dining rooms” where people from diverse backgrounds gather and share the experience of dining over breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Activities such as chess-playing, busking, and art-jamming also take place.
From street food culture, hawker centers have become markers of Singapore as a multicultural city-state, composed of Chinese, Malay, Indian, and other cultures.
“We are incredibly honored that Singapore’s hawker culture has been officially recognized by UNESCO and shared with the world today,” said Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Second Minister for Law, and Chairman of the Singapore National Commission for UNESCO.
He continued, “Hawker culture holds a special place in the hearts of Singaporeans from all walks of life, and is a living heritage that reflects our everyday experience and identity as a multicultural society.”
To celebrate the hawkers, the SG HawkerFest is currently happening in Singapore until Jan. 11. The event allows the public to rediscover Singapore’s vibrant hawker culture and express their wishes for Singapore’s future hawker centers.
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