Unesco puts Ukrainian borsch on the list of heritage to be protected
by Max Hunder
KYIV/PARIS (Reuters) – The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) on Friday added Ukrainian borsch to the list of intangible cultural heritage in need of urgent safeguarding.
Ukrainian borsch has been on the national list of Intangible Cultural Heritage Elements of Ukraine since 2020, but was included on the Urgent Safeguarding List due to the war in Ukraine and “its negative impact on this tradition”, explains Unesco in a press release.
“A victory in this war, the borsch is ours!”, reacted on Twitter the Ukrainian Minister of Culture, Oleksandr Tkatchenko.
Russia, which also claims borsch as an integral part of its heritage, challenged the decision, presenting it as an example of “contemporary Kievan nationalism”.
Borsch is a beetroot soup to which various ingredients, varying by region, are added. It is found in different culinary traditions, especially in Slavic countries.
Unesco specifies in its press release that the inscription announced on Friday “recognizes the social and cultural importance of the preparation of borscht among Ukrainians”, specifying however that it does not imply “neither exclusivity nor ownership of the heritage in question”.
A UNESCO spokesperson explained that this new status would allow Ukraine to submit applications to fund projects aimed at promoting and protecting the dish.
(With contributions from Tassilo Hummel in Paris and Ivan Lyubysh-Kirdey in Kyiv; French version Camille Raynaud)
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