Chalkmarks: Unesco serves up heritage award for Singapore’s street food culture

SINGAPORE’S hawker culture has been added to the Unesco list of global “cultural treasures”.

It joins the collection of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity alongside Flamenco in Spain, Yoga in India, watchmaking in Switzerland and the Mariachi in Mexico. There are 460 traditional practices now safeguarded by the UN committee.

With an estimated 114 markets and hawker centres, street food is at the heart of this island nation. Popular dishes include satay noodles, chicken rice and its famous chilli crab.

Chalkmarks: Unesco serves up heritage award for Singapore’s street food culture
Singapore’s chilli crab dish

While its bid to be recognised by Unesco began back in 2018, the inscription took place on Wednesday 16 December in a virtual ceremony.

Edwin Tong, culture minister said: “We are incredibly honoured that Singapore’s Hawker Culture has been officially recognised by Unesco and shared with the world today.

“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.”

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