Singapore launches hawker culture show to raise support for UNESCO bid

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-25 18:33:50|Editor: xuxin
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SINGAPORE, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- An exhibition on Singapore's unique hawker culture was launched here Thursday as part of the lead-up to nominate the culture on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Titled Our SG Hawker Culture, the exhibition was launched at the Tiong Bahru Market and will run till Jan. 31 next year. Meanwhile, the exhibition will travel to 13 locations on the island, which include Central Public Library, Our Tampines Hub and National Museum of Singapore.

Put together by The National Heritage Board (NHB), National Environment Agency (NEA) and Federation of Merchants' Associations, Singapore (FMAS), the showcase features fun facts and the significance of Singapore's hawker culture, as well as the reason for its selection to be submitted for the inscription on the UNESCO's Representative List and the nomination process.

It also comes with a pledging booth where Singaporeans can pledge their support by pressing a button via an electronic counter, and pen down their thoughts and memories of hawker culture on cards that will be displayed. More than 34,000 people have already pledged their support online.

On Monday, it was announced that a 14-member committee has been appointed to oversee and guide the effort to nominate Singapore's hawker culture.

Speaking to the press in a briefing, NHB's Assistant Chief Executive (Policy & Community) Alvin Tan said that the nomination documents will be submitted in March next year, and the results will be announced by the end of 2020.

The hope is that, eventually, more new hawkers will be enticed to enter the trade, as new blood is "crucial to Singapore's long-term sustainability" to keep the hawker culture alive and thriving, he added.

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong first announced the decision to nominate the country's hawker culture on the UNESCO list at the National Day Rally in August this year.

Hawker centers are open-air complexes that house many stalls selling a wide variety of affordably priced food, and are often located at short distances from the people's dwellings. They are an important place for social interaction and community bonding and are considered a unique aspect of Singapore culture and lifestyle.

The UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity comprises the diverse cultural practices and expressions of humanity, where it seeks to raise awareness, encourage dialogue and give due recognition to them.

The successful listing of an item does not imply that this element belongs to, originates from, or exists only in the submitting country.