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Singapore submits Unesco bid to recognise hawker culture

The Republic’s nomination to inscribe hawker culture in Singa-pore on the Unesco Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.The nomination includes letters, photographs and videos demonstrating community support for the bid, the organisations behind the attempt said in a joint statement yesterday.

The photographs feature an Indian Muslim hawker preparing briyani, a Chinese hawker demonstrating a chicken rice recipe, and a father and his children enjoying the chendol dessert, among other snapshots.A 10-minute video was also produced to give a 12-member Unesco evaluation body – including six experts qualified in various fields of intangible cultural heritage – a better understanding of hawker culture in Singapore.The nomination documents, to be available for public viewing from July, were submitted jointly by the three organisations driving the bid. They are the National Heritage Board, the National Environment Agency and The Federation of Merchants’ Associations, Singapore (FMAS).

Using the evaluation body’s assessment and recommendation as a guide, a 24-member intergovernmental committee will then decide on the suitability of inscribing Singapore’s hawker culture.The results will be announced at the end of next year.UNESCO Nomination – Hawker Culture in SingaporeMr Low Hock Kee, 50, a second-generation hawker and co-chairman of the hawker sub-committee of FMAS, believes that if the inscription is successful, the profile of the country’s rich cultural heritage will be boosted. “The nomination also helps elevate the status of hawkers and affirms our role in Singapore.

“If successful, hawker culture will join 429 cultures of other countries which have been inscribed since the list was established in 2008. These include Belgium’s beer culture, Indonesia’s bamboo musical instrument angklung, China’s shadow puppetry, and kimjang, or the making and sharing of kimchi in South Korea.Unlike the evaluation of world heritage sites, assessments of intangible cultural heritage do not require evaluators to make site visits.Countries whose bids are not successful can reapply in subsequent Unesco evaluation cycles. Singapore’s first such submission in the category of intangible cultural heritage comes after the Botanic Gardens was made a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2015.Singapore’s hawker culture bid has drawn some criticism from across the border.

Some Malaysians have claimed their country is a street-food paradise, and that Singapore’s hawker version is not that special.However, the list is not intended to define the origins and ownership of cultural practices.For instance, both Arabic coffee and Turkish coffee were inscribed in the Unesco list. Related StorySpirited debate on hawker culture shows investment in its survival:

National Heritage Board Related Story 14-member committee set up to oversee Singapore’s hawker culture nomination Related StoryHawker culture to be nominated for Unesco heritage list: 8 famous stalls in Singapore Related StoryExperts hope Unesco bid will increase support for hawkersInstead, Singapore’s attempt will be assessed based on the criteria of meeting Unesco’s definition of intangible cultural heritage; how the potential inscription will increase awareness of Singapore’s intangible cultural heritage; how the existing and future safeguarding measures promote the continued practice of the culture; whether the nomination involved the community; and whether it is part of the country’s intangible cultural heritage inventory.

The country’s inventory, comprising 70 elements so far, includes pilgrimages to Kusu Island and Malay weddings, and was established last April.In a joint statement, the organisations driving the bid said the attempt has received overwhelming support from Singaporeans since it was announced last August.They noted that apart from hawker associations, more than 850,000 pledges of support and over 31,000 messages were registered across various platforms.Their social media movement, they added, generated 810,000 likes and comments in support of hawker culture.

The statement said: “A successful nomination will demonstrate to the world how proud we are of hawker culture in Singapore, encourage greater appreciation for our hawkers, and show our commitment as a nation to safeguard hawker culture for generations to come.”They added that the submission of the nomination documents is a milestone in Singapore’s Unesco inscription journey to better recognise and protect the island’s intangible cultural heritage.

The nomination documents took into account input from a nomination committee, comprising representatives and stakeholders from various sectors, including hawker representatives, academics, community partners, non-governmental organisations and government agencies.There are more than 100 hawker centres in Singapore and some 6,000 hawkers who each serve about 150 to 200 affordable meals daily.More than 80 per cent of the population visit hawker centres at least once a week.Messages written by Singaporeans in support of the bid note that hawker centres serve as spaces where “a variety of multicultural cuisines” can be found under one roof, and where “people of all races gather to eat together”.

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Solskjaer admits his demands contributing to Man Utd injury pile-up

MANCHESTER (AFP) – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes the privilege of playing for Manchester United should be about the “survival of the fittest” as he deals with a mounting injury crisis.
Solskjaer had to make three first-half substitutions during Sunday s 0-0 draw with Liverpool as Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard all hobbled off injured.The Norwegian could be without 10 players in total for Wednesday s trip to Crystal Palace and acknowledged that at least some of the muscle problems suffered by his squad may be a result of the rising physical demands he is placing on them.United s running statistics have increased significantly since Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho in December.
That has been a factor in a huge upturn in results, with 14 matches under Solskjaer bringing 11 wins and just one defeat.It s probably linked, yes, said Solskjaer.But when do you make that change? Do you wait until pre-season and think you will change results by just not asking them to run?Or do we start now and show them demands of intensity and how we want to play?The caretaker manager has made a point of getting United to play the fast-paced attacking game for which they were renowned during much of Alex Ferguson s 26-and-a-half years in charge at Old Trafford.You have seen what I have chosen, he added.
We need to play as a Manchester United team. If you want to be a part of Manchester United, it s a survival of the fittest isn t it?Solskjaer acknowledged that the physical demands of a hard-running style may take its toll on some of the more experienced members of his squad.But he stressed the importance of professionalism off the pitch, saying his players could prolong their careers.They are getting older aren t they, Juan, Nemanja (Matic), Ander.So it s about the preparation, the standards that you have to live up to on and off the pitch as a Manchester United player, and as a professional player in the Premier League.It s not just turning up, playing and training and then going home and doing all these little out-of-football activities that we have all seen too many players doing.
I m pleased with the way my lads have responded in that way, that we don t see too much of them outside football.That was a big part of my career — as long as you are a footballer and you play in the Premier League, make the most of it because suddenly you get these injuries and you are done.
Solskjaer, meanwhile, is confident that Romelu Lukaku will get himself into the right shape to rediscover his best form.The striker, who has gone 10 games without scoring, admitted in December that the muscle mass he put on to help Belgium finish third at last year s World Cup has hampered his form at club level.I can understand why, when you go to a World Cup and see the teams you play, the physicality might take over in terms of your preparation.We ask our forwards to work at a higher intensity, to run in behind, but that s what he likes, so I m sure he ll be fine.Muscle is not so difficult to get rid of. He s lean, but he s muscly.

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