It’s official! Singapore Hawker Culture has been inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity! Three years of hard work by Singapore has paid off. It took the 24-member Evaluation Body just 3 minutes to unanimously accept Singapore’s nomination. There was no need for any debate as the Singapore’s nomination satisfied all the criteria for inscription.
Speaking in a pre-recorded message after the announcement of the official results, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong said, “Singapore’s hawker culture is a source of pride for Singapore and all Singaporeans. It reflects our living heritage and multiculturalism, and is an integral part of the daily lives of everyone in Singapore regardless of age, race or background.
It’s a proud moment for Singapore and for all our hawkers especially.
Greeting the news with great joy, PM Lee said in a Facebook post, “The biggest thanks must go to the generations of hawkers for nourishing a nation’s stomach and spirits. This recognition would not have come without their sweat, toil and dedication to their profession.”
President Halimah Yacob said the inscription on UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity is a recognition of the hard work and dedication of hawkers past and present.
She said, “Hawker culture has shaped the Singaporean identity in many ways, and contributed to the diversity of our multicultural society. For many Singaporeans, hawker centres serve as accessible community dining spaces where people from all walks of life get to enjoy a wide variety of affordable, multicultural food offerings – a distinctive feature of our rich food heritage.”
The inscription of Singapore hawker culture into the Unesco Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity marks the second time Singapore makes it into a UNESCO list. In 2015, Singapore Botanic Gardens became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.