Singapore’s foodie ‘hawker’ culture given UNESCO recognition

SINGAPORE — Singapore’s tradition of communal dining at hawker centers, open-air food courts popularized by celebrity chefs, and hit films such as ‘Crazy Rich Asians,’ has been recognized by UNESCO for its cultural significance.

The United Nations’ cultural agency announced late Wednesday it had added the city-state’s “hawker culture” to its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, nearly two years after Singapore submitted a bid to be included in the list.

Singapore’s hawker centers were set up to house former street vendors, or “hawkers” in an effort to clean up the island in the 1970s and serve a variety of cheap, no-frills dishes to locals as w…

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