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  • Writer's pictureCarl Sandy Alcema

UNESCO declares 'joumou' soup cultural heritage

The United Nations cultural agency (UNESCO) has added Joumou Soup, Haiti’s national symbol of freedom from slavery to its intangible heritage list, saying the soup is “so much more than just a dish”.

"It is a celebratory dish, deeply rooted in Haitian identity, and its preparation promotes social cohesion and belonging among communities," UNESCO wrote in a statement on Thursday .

During the years of French colonial slavery it was served only to slave masters, but it became a symbol of freedom for nation's majority Black population when Haiti gained independence on January 1, 1804.

The decision was made during UNESCO's Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, which is being held online this week.

Other culinary traditions on UNESCO's Intangible Heritage list include the preparation of Korean fermented cabbage known as kimchi, a flattened sourdough bread called il-ftira made in Malta and "hawker food" served on the streets of Singapore.

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