By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 02 July 2022 • 15:59
Good news for Ukraine and its people as UNESCO recognises borscht cooking. Image: Smile Studio/Shutterstock.com
UNESCO announced on July 2 that Ukrainian borscht, the national version of borscht that is consumed in several countries in Eastern Europe, that it is an integral part of Ukrainian culture, family and community life.
Much like cultures elsewhere in Europe and in particular along the Mediterranean coast, Ukraine holds festivals and cultural events dedicated to borscht. So important is the food and its culture, it was included in the national list of elements of the intangible cultural heritage of Ukraine back in 2020.
It was also added to the list of items for consideration by UNESCO, which agreed to fast-track the application as a result of the war and the need for urgent safeguarding. Today it was added to the List of Urgent Safeguarding with the Committee approving the listing in accordance with the rules and procedures of the Convention.
Being added to the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding allows stakeholders to mobilise support and undertake international cooperation and assistance to develop and implement a dedicated safeguarding action plan.
It does, however, not imply exclusivity, nor ownership, of the heritage concerned.
UNESCO has initiated a number of emergency measures in the fields of culture and education since Russia’s invasion. It has also taken measures to protect journalists.
The organisation’s recognition of the need to safeguard Ukrainian borscht cooking is news that will be widely welcomed in a country that has little to be thankful for in these harsh times.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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