SingPost releases new stamps to celebrate Singapore hawker culture’s UNESCO heritage list inscription

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The inclusion of Singapore’s hawker culture on the UNESCO heritage list has been celebrated on the island nation with the release of a special set of illustrated stamps. 

SingPost on Friday released the new stamps to mark the successful inscription of Hawker Culture in Singapore on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in December 2020.

The stamps feature sketches of elements found at the hawker centres including that of a traditional kopi hawker brewing coffee; dining patrons at a hawker centre; common hawker fare; and well-known hawker centres across Singapore.

“The inscription of Singapore's hawker culture is a big source of pride for all of us in Singapore. Food is a big part of the Singapore way of life, and hawker centres are ubiquitous here in Singapore. It is a natural progression to preserve this as a heritage for the world to know Singapore for, and we cement the occasion with a beautiful set of stamps illustrating our colourful hawker culture,” said SingPost Senior Vice President for Post Office Network, Financial Services and Philately, Marjorie Ooi.

The two-year long journey began on 19 August 2018 when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced Singapore’s intention to nominate its Hawker Culture for the international honour. The inscription application was led jointly by the National Heritage Board, National Environment Agency and The Federation of Merchants’ Associations with strong support from hawkers’ associations, schools, community groups, corporations, and the general public who came forward to actively show their support for the bid.

Hawker culture is one of the most familiar aspects of life in Singapore and forms an integral part of everyday existence. 

“A melting pot and natural meeting point for residents across all walks of life, people gather at hawker centres to dine and bond over a diverse variety of local dishes,” read a press release by SingPost. 

“Singapore’s famed hawker dishes originated from the food cultures of different immigrant groups who settled in Singapore a long time ago, and have over time, evolved to become the distinctive local dishes loved by residents and tourists alike, forming an important part of Singapore’s rich food heritage,” the release went on to say. 

The stamps (valued between 30 cents and SGD 1.40 each), Pre-cancelled First Day Covers (SGD 4.80 each) and Presentation Packs (SGD 5.85) is available for sale from 26 March 2021 at all post offices, philatelic stores and online.