Ukrainian Borsch: In war-torn Ukraine, Unesco fights to protect a beetroot soup

Source: The post is based on the article “In war-torn Ukraine, Unesco fights to protect a beetroot soup” published in TOI on 17th October 2022.

What is the News?

UNESCO inscribed the Culture of Ukrainian borscht cooking on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding in July 2022.

What is Ukrainian Borsch?

Borscht is a sour soup common in Eastern Europe and the word is associated with the soup’s variant of Ukrainian origin.

Ukrainian borscht is cooked with broth combined with beetroot, sugar beet or fermented beet juice. 

Ukrainian borscht unites people of all ages, genders and backgrounds at the table. It is also used in ritual practices such as in the region of Podillia, where the third day of the wedding has maintained its ritual name do nevistky – na borshch meaning ‘visit daughter-in-law to eat borscht’. 

Threats faced by this traditional soup of Ukraine: This soup has been threatened by various factors since the beginning of the armed conflict including the displacement of bearers from their communities of origin and from the cultural contexts necessary for the cooking and consumption of borscht in Ukraine. 

Moreover, the destruction of the surrounding environment and traditional agriculture has prevented communities from accessing local products, such as vegetables, needed to prepare the dish.

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