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05/04/2021 - 07:20

Preparing a world heritage nomination dossier for Hue cuisine

Delicate, sophisticated, luxurious, delicious and healthy... Hue cuisine is an intangible cultural heritage that deserves to be recognized, protected and promoted as a national and world heritage.

Exquisite Hue cuisine  

Worthy to be a world heritage

Many praises have been given to the special, sophisticated and delicate Hue cuisine. It is the accumulation of generations of creative processes, conveying the cross cultural interactions of many regions.

Culinary expert Phan Ton Tinh Hai commented: “Hue food strongly demonstrates cultural values, history, customs, art and unique taste, which is one of a kind and is becoming an attractive brand for Vietnamese culinary culture”.

Based on the survey results of some researchers, in the treasure of Vietnamese cuisine, there are about 1,700 dishes. Hue accounts for more than 1,300 of these dishes and drinks, which are divided into three main lines: court, folk and vegetarian. Hue delicacies are the delicacies of indigenous residents, ancient Champa residents combined with Vietnamese delicacies, national folk delicacies blended with royal dishes.

Hue dishes are very diverse. They can be rustic, carrying the tastes of products in fields, lagoons and mountains. They can also be equally luxurious and sophisticated with dish presentations which exude a regal air.

Containing the sophistication and elegance of Hue, Hue cuisine goes beyond ordinary material needs to become art. In the way of enjoying food and drinks, Hue people not only enjoy it with their palates, but also feast with their eyes, smell with their noses, hear with their ears... This is the reason why it is often said that Hue culinary style is also a measure of Hue people and Hue culture.

Dr. Tran Van Dung, Standing Vice Chairman of Thua Thien Hue Folklore Association, said that Hue cuisine is a heritage integrating many values, such as philosophy, lifestyle, view of life, ingredient processing, ritual, decorative arts... These features are very distinct and are not confused with any other region’s cuisine.

Hue cuisine is constantly absorbing, developing, and creating through many historical periods and has been passed on through generations to the present day. In addition, Hue still has many artisans who firmly grasp the secret recipes and practical skills to make delicious dishes and beverages...

According to Dr. Phan Thanh Hai, Director of the Department of Culture and Sports, Hue cuisine boldly demonstrates cultural values, history, customs and art. It has a very unique identity which has become a typical brand name for Vietnamese culinary culture. Therefore, Hue cuisine not only deserves to be a precious heritage of Hue people and Vietnamese people, but also deserves to be nominated as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage of humanity. Thus, Hue cuisine will be protected and will uphold its value comprehensively, fully and sustainably in contemporary life.

Hue food is loved by tourists

Specific roadmap

At the request of the Provincial Association for Historical Sciences, the Provincial People's Committee issued a document to assign the Department of Culture and Sports to research and advise the province on the plan and roadmap for building Hue culinary dossier to submit to UNESCO as a representative intangible heritage of humanity. On this basis, the Department of Culture and Sports has been studying to develop a suitable plan and a specific roadmap.

In order to be included in the list of the representative intangible cultural heritage of humanity, Hue cuisine needs to continue to be thoroughly studied to shed light on outstanding values for cultural diversity and creativity of mankind. At the same time, it is necessary to raise awareness of social communities to reach a full understanding of the heritage and a consensus to protect the community's heritage.

Dr. Phan Thanh Hai said that, first of all, it is necessary to implement an inventory plan and prepare a scientific profile of Hue culinary to propose to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to recognize Hue cuisine as a national intangible cultural heritage. The purpose is to evaluate the typical values of history, culture and science... of Hue cuisine. This is also an essential element to create a scientific nomination dossier of Hue culinary heritage to submit to UNESCO for recognition as a representative intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

Along with educating to raise people's awareness, especially the young generation, with the protection and promotion of cultural heritages in general and Hue culinary heritage in particular, the province also needs to have a policy of remuneration, rewarding and conferring State honorable titles to artisans who have made many outstanding contributions in protecting and promoting the value of Hue culinary heritage.

In addition, the province needs to create favorable conditions for artisans to create and teach their culinary art in families, schools, clubs... to protect culinary heritage and improve the cultural and spiritual life of the social community.

Dr. Tran Van Dung proposed that, it is necessary to strengthen research and application of science and technology to improve the effective quality of inventory, collection, documentation, transmission and processing of dishes and drinks. Moreover, it is also essential to include Hue cuisine in the training curriculum at specialized training institutions and schools.

In addition, it is necessary to regularly organize and expand the scale of Hue culinary events, exhibitions and festivals to build and develop this brand; and this should be viewed as an asset of the service and tourism industry; media agencies should be encouraged to regularly organize programs to introduce and advertise Hue cuisine to the public at home and abroad.

Story and photos: Minh Hien

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