Committee set up to advise on Singapore's nomination of hawker culture for UNESCO listing

Committee set up to advise on Singapore's nomination of hawker culture for UNESCO listing

hawker centre ang mo kio
File photo of a hawker centre.

SINGAPORE: A 14-member committee has been appointed to oversee and lend guidance to Singapore's nomination of hawker culture for a spot on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

It will be co-chaired by National Heritage Board CEO Chang Hwee Nee, National Environment Agency CEO Tan Meng Dui and Federation of Merchants' Associations president Yeo Hiang Meng, the three organisations said in a press release on Monday (Oct 22). 

The other committee members come from across the public, private and people sectors, with knowledge and expertise in fields such as community engagement, education and food heritage.

The committee will provide recommendations, feedback and advice on the nomination documents to be submitted to UNESCO in March 2019, as well as encourage community participation and support for Singapore's nomination, which is an important component of UNESCO's assessments.

The results are expected by end 2020.

The decision to nominate hawker culture was announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the National Day Rally in August, where he spoke about hawker centres being a unique part of Singapore’s society, heritage and identity. 

READ: NDR 2018: Singapore to nominate hawker culture as ‘intangible cultural heritage’ for UNESCO listing

“Hawker centres are our community dining rooms,” Mr Lee had said in his Chinese speech, noting how Singaporeans of all races, faiths and income groups are able to eat together in hawker centres. 

hawker centre (6)
File photo of Tiong Bahru Market. (Photo: Sherlyn Goh)

READ: Commentary: UNESCO listing may lift hawker culture but saving it is a different challenge

The UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity was developed in 2008. 

It is made up of intangible cultural heritage elements from different countries that showcase the diversity of such things from around the world. 

This is with the aim of increasing their visibility and raising awareness about their importance so they can be safeguarded.

Source: CNA/nh(ra)

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