Haiti’s freedom soup added to UNESCO Cultural Heritage List

On December 16, 2021, the United Nations cultural agency, UNESCO placed a traditional Haitian soup called ‘Joumou Soup’ in the intangible cultural heritage list.

Highlights

  • Haitian soup is widely considered as a symbol of India’s independence.
  • Joumou soup is much more than a dish. It tells the story of heroes & heroines of Haitian independence as well as their struggle for human rights and hard-won freedom.
  • It is a squash-based soup and it became a symbol of things long forbidden to slaves under the French domination until Haiti became independent on January 1, 1804.
  • Haitians celebrated their freedom by consuming the soup.
  • They traditionally serve the soup on New Year’s Day for commemorating the anniversary of liberation from slavery.

Protected status to the soup

The Intangible Cultural Heritage Committee of UNESCO awarded Joumou soup a protected status on December 16, 2021.

Purpose of Intangible Heritage list

The intangible heritage list is prepared with the aim of improving the visibility of traditions and know-how of communities worldwide. The list comprises of traditions ranging from Arabic calligraphy to Italian truffle hunting.

Soup joumou

It is a mildly spicy soup from Haitian cuisine. It traditionally cooked with pumpkin winter squash.

Intangible cultural heritage (ICH)

It is a practice, expression, representation, knowledge, or skill, which UNESCO considers as a part of cultural heritage. Intangible heritage comprises of nonphysical intellectual wealth like customs, beliefs, folklore, knowledge, traditions, and language. ICH is considered by member states of UNESCO by focusing on intangible aspects of culture.

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