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Singapore’s Foodie “Hawker” Culture Given UNESCO Recognition

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Singapore's foodie hawker culture given UNESCO recognitionSingapore’s tradition of communal dining at hawker centres has been included in the UNESCO’s (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) “Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” for its cultural significance. Singapore hawker culture got this recognition two years after Singapore submitted a bid to be included in the list.

  • The award took place at a virtual ceremony on December 16, 2020.
  • Singapore must submit a report every six years to UNESCO, showing the efforts made to safeguarding and promoting its hawker culture.

What is Hawker culture?

Hawker culture refers to the community of vendors who cook and sell meals in the 114 hawker centres across Singapore.

  • These hawker centres were set up to house former street vendors, or “hawkers” in an effort to clean up the island in the 1970s and serve a variety of cheap, no-frills dishes to locals as well as providing a social setting.
  • These centres serve as ‘community dining rooms’ where people from diverse backgrounds gather and share the experience of dining over breakfast, lunch and dinner

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About United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):
Director General– Audrey Azoulay
Headquarters– Paris, France