Singapore’s beloved street hawker culture, now a Unesco ‘Intangible Heritage’

Source: The Indian Express

News: Singapore’s vibrant street hawker culture has been designated as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO. street hawker centres are representative of Singapore’s multiculturalism with stalls selling cheap, delicious food of Chinese, Malay, Indian origins among others.


  • Intangible cultural heritage: It means the traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed through generations as a way of life.
    • These include oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe and the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts.
  • Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage : It was adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2003 and entered into force in 2006. India ratified it in 2007.
  • Purpose of the Convention
    • to safeguard the expressions of intangible cultural heritage that are endangered by the processes of globalization;
    • to ensure respect for the intangible cultural heritage of the communities, groups and individuals;
    • to raise awareness at the local, national and international levels of the importance of the intangible cultural heritage.
  • Intangible Cultural Heritage Sites from India: India has a total of 13 intangible cultural heritages included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:
    • These include: Kutiyattam, the tradition of Vedic chanting, Ramlila, Ramman, Mudiyettu, Kalbelia folk songs and dances, Chauu Dance, Buddhist chanting of Ladakh, Sankritana, Craft of the Thatheras of Jandiala Guru, Nowruz, Yoga, and Kumbh Mela.
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