Unesco declares Ukrainian borshch an endangered heritage

Unesco declares Ukrainian borshch an endangered heritage

Unesco says borshch is an
Unesco says borshch is an "integral part" of Ukrainian life. (AFP Photo)

PARIS: The UN's cultural agency on Friday inscribed the culture of cooking borshch soup in Ukraine on its list of endangered cultural heritage, in a move urged by Kyiv but vehemently opposed by Moscow.

Ukraine considers borshch — a thick nourishing soup usually made with beetroot — as a national dish although it is also widely consumed in Russia, other ex-Soviet countries and Poland.

The culture of Ukrainian borshch cooking "was today inscribed on Unesco's list of intangible cultural heritage in need of urgent safeguarding" by a Unesco committee.

The decision was approved after a fast-track process prompted by Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the "negative impact on this tradition" caused by the war, Unesco said.

Kyiv hailed the move, with Ukraine's Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko saying on Telegram that "victory in the borshch war is ours ... will win both in the war of borshch and in this war."

Adding the soup culture to the Unesco list aims at mobilising attention to ensure it is preserved despite risks to its existence.

The committee noted that the war had "threatened the viability" of the soup culture in Ukraine.

"The displacement of people (poses a threat)... as people are unable not only to cook or grow local vegetables for borshch, but also to come together... which undermines the social and cultural well-being of communities."

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova had slammed the move as a bid to make it belong to "one people... one nationality... This is xenophobia," she said.

But Unesco noted that Ukrainian borshch was just a version of a dish popular elsewhere and was essential to daily life in in the country.

"Ukrainian borshch — the national version of borscht consumed in several countries of the region — is an integral part of Ukrainian family and community life".

Do you like the content of this article?

Indian man wins 22-year court fight for 20 rupees

A lawyer who won a 22-year court battle for compensation from Indian Railways after being overcharged 20 rupees (9 baht) said on Friday that his quest for justice was worth the effort.

12 Aug 2022

Global LGBT event scrapped over Taiwan name flap

TAIPEI: An international LGBT gathering in Taiwan has been cancelled after its global organisers demanded the removal of the self-ruled island’s name from the 2025 event — a move denounced by the government.

12 Aug 2022

Five Chinese firms to exit US stock market

SHANGHAI: Five major Chinese companies including two of the country’s largest oil producers will delist from the New York Stock Exchange, the firms said in filings on Friday.

12 Aug 2022