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Ukrainian borscht soup inscribed to Unesco list of heritage

Paris, Jul 1 (EFE).- The culture of Ukrainian borscht cooking was added Friday to Unesco’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding amid the Russian invasion.

Ukrainian borscht — a beet-based soup with cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes, meat and sour cream — was inscribed on the list after Ukraine asked members of the committee to fast-track its examination as a case of “extreme urgency” due to the Russian threat, Unesco said.

Ukraine had already submitted borscht for candidacy to the Unesco Heritage list in 2021, before the Russian invasion.

“The armed conflict has threatened the viability of the element,” the UN agency said in a statement.

“The displacement of people and bearers threatens the element, as people are unable not only to cook or grow local vegetables for borscht, but also to come together to practice the element, which undermines the social and cultural well-being of communities,” it added.

Borscht is cooked across Ukraine and is an “integral part of Ukrainian family and community life,” Unesco said.

“Whether as part of a wedding meal, the focus of food-related competitions or as a driver of tourism, borscht is considered part of the fabric of Ukrainian society, cultural heritage, identity and tradition.”

The UN added that while Friday’s inscription recognized the cultural importance of borscht cooking for Ukrainians, the soup is widely consumed in several countries in the broader region.

“The safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage does not imply exclusivity, nor ownership, of the heritage concerned,” Unesco specified. EFE


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