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Heritage Foods To Be Nominated For UNESCO Recognition

Last update: 25/03/2019
"Nasi Dagang" is listed as Malaysia's traditional food. --fotoBERNAMA(2019)COPYRIGHTS RESERVED
By Siti Fauziah Hasan

This is the first of a two-part article on the National Heritage Department’s effort to preserve the local traditional foods.



KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – Malaysians are a fortunate lot as the country is home to hundreds of delicious traditional foods.

Ondeh-ondeh, sata, putu piring, lemang, pajeri, gulai tempoyak, otak-otak, pekasam and nasi kerabu are only a few of the delicious traditional foods that Malaysians get enjoy, each originating from the different states and cultures that make up Malaysia.

Some of these foods are still served during festive seasons and special ceremonies. Some are even produced commercially.

A lot of it, however, are slowly disappearing from the local menu due to changing times and evolving palates. It is no surprise that many from the younger generation have not even heard of these foods that were once a favourite of their great grandparents’.

The National Heritage Department (JWN) has, to date, declared 213 foods to be traditional foods under Act 645 of the National Heritage Act 2005 to ensure that these foods remain a part of Malaysian culture and continue to be enjoyed by the current and future generations.



TRACKING DOWN THE HERITAGE FOODS

The JWN Deputy Director General Mohamad Muda Bahadin said that ketupat sotong, nasi minyak and nasi dagang were among the food included in the list.

“This act provides for the conservation and preservation of National Heritage, natural heritage, tangible and intangible cultural heritage, underwater cultural heritage, treasure trove and related matters,” he told Bernama.

JWN defines heritage as what is inherited by the previous generation. It is described as a national treasure that was, or is, owned by a community or people, and thus it become a collective responsibility to protect and preserve it.

Heritage food can be considered as part of a culture that needs to be preserved so that it can be enjoyed and appreciated by the generations to come.

Mohamad Muda said that JWN has travelled across the nation to seek out housewives, entrepreneurs and those from the older generation who were still producing these heritage foods.

“Our researchers and officers have conducted studies and created an inventory of traditional foods passed down from our ancestors and have now become part of the identity of a people.

“Details of these heritage foods such as the name, photos, videos, methods of creation, storage, preparation and the festivals or occasions related with it are all recorded,” Mohamad Muda explained.

He added that tourists and the public are introduced to traditional foods through demonstrations on its preparations, official government events and sales through other government departments and agencies.

One such occasion was during the 2019 National Craft Day celebration where JWN organised cooking demonstrations of several national heritage foods.

“Among them were the ketupat dakap, which was a sticky rice wrapped in banana leaf and steamed, the ketupat palas, a sticky rice wrapped in palas leaves and steamed, pulut kuning, lopes and buah Melaka. These cooking demonstrations were a hit with visitors,” he said.



SHARING FAVOURITES

Mohamad Muda said that every ethnic group in Malaysia has their own heritage food, most of which are now enjoyed by all Malaysians.

“Nasi lemak, for example, was originally a breakfast food of ethnic Malays. Today, it is a food loved by all ethnicities and enjoyed not only for breakfast, but for lunch and dinner as well,” he said.

Chinese favourites such as dim sum, mee and kuey teow are also now beloved by Malaysians of all ethnicities.

Foods popular among the ethnicities of Sabah and Sarawak such as umai, linut and manok pansuh are also becoming increasingly popular nationwide, indirectly contributing towards social unity.

(Umai is a dish of sliced raw fish with a mixture of onions, chillies, salt and lime juice; linut – a sticky porridge made from fresh sago flour; manok pansuh – chicken cooked in bamboo).



RECOGNISING HERITAGE FOODS

Meanwhile, JWN’s World Heritage Division Director Mohd Syahrin Abdullah said that the department was working towards obtaining recognition for the heritage foods by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

He added that food was an intangible heritage element that could be nominated for recognition for UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity under the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage 2003.

However, the recognition requires the fulfilment of several criteria such as ensuring the visibility and awareness of the significance of the heritage and stimulating a dialogue that reflects the cultural diversity and creative expression of the element.

Mohd Syahrin said that in order to obtain approval to the UNESCO, the nomination form would first be evaluated by an Advisory Board selected by the UNESCO Secretariat.

A panel of experts in intangible heritage and an appointed body, known as the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, would then examine each of the nominations before officially inscribing the candidates as elements on the list.

The committee would announce the final decision when it convenes, which usually happens in November or December every year.

“If an element is recognised as part of the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, we would be given a certificate signed by the UNESCO Director-General,” he explained.





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SIDEBAR



THE LIST OF HERITAGE FOODS UNDER THE NATIONAL HERITAGE ACT 2005 (ACT 645)



1 Air Janda Pulang

2 Gula Tarik/Sema

3 Kelamai/Gelamai Tepung Gandum

4 Ketupat Sotong

5 Kuih Bongkong/Jongkong

6 Kuih Tahi Itik

7 Kuih Tepung Torak

8 Sambal Hitam Ikan Bilis

9 Kuih Badak Kubang

10 Aiskrim Malaysia

11 Pulut Mangga

12 Sambal Tahun

13 Bingka/Bengkang Sawit

14 Kuih Cek Mek Molek

15 Cucur Jawa/Cucur Topi/Kuih Penyaram

16 Kuih Angku/Kuih Peria

17 Opor Daging

18 Nasi Minyak

19 Pulut Durian

20 Kelupis

21 Nasi Dalam Buluh

22 Sup Tulang

23 Ubi Gadong Parut Masak Dalam Buluh

24 Ikan Rebus Kering

25 Ikan Cencaru Sumbat

26 Sayur Midin Goreng

27 Masak Lemak Mumbang

28 Masak Lemak Kulat Sisir

29 Bubur Lambuk

30 Bubur Nasi/Nasi Air

31 Bubur Anak Lebah

32 Ais Kepal

33 Emping

34 Kek Lapis Sarawak

35 Jala Emas

36 Kuih Ros

37 Kuih Kole Kacang

38 Kuih Bangkit

39 Kasui

40 Emas Sejemput

41 Buah Tanjung

42 Tepung Pelita

43 Lompat Tikam

44 Kuih Siput

45 Pau

46 Kuih Getas

47 Kuih Kasidah

48 Inang-Inang

49 Tebaloi

50 Kerepek

51 Celorot

52 Kuih Ketayap

53 Solok Lada

54 Solok Ikan

55 Kebebe

56 Air Nira

57 Durian

58 Rempeyek

59 Puding Raja

60 Pengat

61 Ganti Tandan Jagung

62 Apam

63 Apom

64 Kuih Pepena

65 Tau Fu Fa

66 Bubur cha-cha

67 Pulut Tekan dengan Seri Kaya

68 Popia

69 Pie Tee

70 Ambuyat/Pinantung

71 Tompe’/Tinompeh

72 Nonsom Bambangan

73 Tuak

74 Rojak

75 Kuih Rengas

76 Ubi Kayu Rebus dan Sambal Tumis

77 Putu Piring

78 Murtabak

79 Capati

80 Choonpiah

81 Jemput-Jemput

82 Itik Golek

83 Umbut Rebus

84 Sambal Biji Getah

85 Gulai Masam Keladi Kemahang

86 Sambal Tempoyak Daun Kayu

87 Pindang

88 Sotong Sumbat

89 Rendang Campur

90 Kari Kapitan

91 Sup Belut

92 Nasi Kebuli

93 Sambal Rong

94 Sambal Goreng

95 Tauge dan Tauhu Masak Lemak

96 Lawa Terung

97 Lompap Daging dan Hati

98 Ayam Pong Teh

99 Ayam Masak Buah Keluak

100 Jantung Pisang

101 Gerang Asam

102 Budu

103 Ambila

104 Asam Rebus

105 Tempe

106 Keema

107 Tauhu

108 Inche Kabin

109 Kari Devil

110 Nasi Lemak

111 Nasi Ayam

112 Nasi Kunyit

113 Nasi Tumpang

114 Nasi Kerabu

115 Nasi Dagang

116 Nasi Himpit

117 Nasi Goreng

118 Nasi Ulam

119 Ketupat

120 Lemang

121 Pulut Kukus Dalam Periuk Kera

122 Mi Mamak

123 Laksa Asam

124 Mi Kari

125 Char Kuay Teow Pulau Pinang

126 Laksa Johor

127 Bubur Pedas Sarawak

128 Bubur Asyura

129 Bubur Sum-Sum

130 Bubur Kacang Hijau

131 Sagu

132 Kuih Bingka Ubi

133 Rendang

134 Serunding

135 Ayam Percik

136 Manok Pansoh

137 Masak Asam Pedas

138 Gulai Tempoyak Ikan Patin

139 Ikan Bakar

140 Masak Ikan Tanah Liat

141 Gulai Lemak Umbut

142 Gulai Lemak Lada Padi

143 Gulai Asam Rom

144 Kari Kepala Ikan

145 Kurma daging

146 Pajeri

147 Masak ikan dan pisang dalam buluh

148 Yong Tau Foo

149 Daging Dendeng

150 Ayam Panggang

151 Botok-botok ikan

152 Sambal tumis

153 Ketam berlada

154 Teh tarik

155 Cendol

156 Air batu campur (ABC)

157 Air kelapa

158 Air selasih

159 Hinava/Umai

160 Pekasam

161Tempoyak

162 Otak-otak

163 Sambal belacan

164 Cencaluk

165 Sambal gesek ikan bilis

166 Sate atau Satay

167 Yee sang

168 Sata

169 Telur pindang

170 Kerabu mangga muda

171 Acar buah

172 Kuih keria

173 Kuih koci

174 Akok

175 Kuih seri muka

176 Kuih cara

177 Kuih bingka

178 Kuih bakul

179 Kuih bulan

180 Kuih cincin

181 Kuih bakar

182 Kuih sepit

183 Apam balik

184 Pisang goreng

185 Keropok

186 Opok-opok

187 Karipap

188 Buah melaka atau ondeh-ondeh

189 Lempeng

190 Bahulu

191 Dodol

192 Lempuk durian

193 Wajik

194 Seri kaya

195 Halwa

196 Agar-agar sakar

197 Pulut panggang

198 Tapai

199 Masalodeh

200 Putu mayam

201 Muruku

202 Roti jala

203 Roti canai

204 Tosai

205 Penderam

206 Kuih lopis

207 Laddu

208 Ubi kayu

209 Puding raja

210 La-tiang

211 Halwa sukun

212 Wajik sirat

213 Wajik ubi kayu





Translated by Sakina Mohamed



-- BERNAMA


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