Food culture is the talk of the town over every dinner table at home, at hawker centres and kopitiam.
Hawker Culture in Singapore is an integral part of the way of life for Singaporeans, where people from all walks of life gather at hawker centres to dine and bond over their favourite hawker food, which are prepared by hawkers. Over the years, this unique combination of food, space and community has evolved into a microcosm of Singapore’s multicultural society, with stalls selling Chinese, Malay, Indian and many other diverse type of dishes.
Many of these hawker dishes originated from the food cultures of different immigrant groups who settle in Singapore. Over time, they have evolved to become the distinctive local dishes that we love, and form an import part of our food heritage.
The city state is home to many open air food courts where vendors, known as “hawkers”, serve dishes such as chicken and rice, noodles and meat skewers at relatively cheap prices. It described the city state’s food centres as “community dining rooms” which form part of the country’s identity.
Singapore announced last year it would nominate its hawker culture to be designated as intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO, and if successful it will join items such as traditional Japanese cuisine and Belgian beer on the list.
Senior National Heritage Board official Yeo Kirk Siang insisted the bid was not meant to show the city’s street food was “better” than that of other countries.
“It’s not about countries trying to prove that their cultural practices are better, unique, or that it originated from the country,”
“What the nomination is about is whether the cultural practice is valued by the community within that country … and whether they are committed to safeguarding these practices within their countries.”
Officials also hope the bid will encourage the younger generation to get more involved in the street food business.
A related blog on heritage food culture in Singapore over the decades here .
Some hawkers have been awarded Michelin stars by the culinary bible, which has had a Singapore edition since 2016.
Please watch the UNESCO Nomination – Hawker Culture in Singapore video here .
Food for Thought
There is no such thing as a social class of food for the rich or the poor. However, there is a division of a society based on social and economic status at the restaurants where the people are dined.
The rich and the famous would patronise the 5-star hotels and restaurants for their meals and well-dressed appropriately. At official events for businessmen, the invitation cards would mention the ‘dress code’ to be properly dressed.
The wealthy people also enjoy food. When they dine at the food courts, they would be simply dressed and not dressed in the same way they dine at the restaurants.
Video for Food
Please watch this amusing video here .
The young pretty Chinese girl, daughter of a farmer, works very hard daily to help the family to cut big trees, carry pails of water, plough the farms, harvest the fruits and vegetables. She needs to eat heartily for strength and energy. Her mother would cook to feed the hardworking and her young sister daily.
These are the screen-shots of the video to view.