On the first day of July 2022, at an extraordinary meeting of the UNESCO intergovernmental committee, “the culture of cooking Ukrainian borscht” was included in the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
At the same time, the message on the official website of the organization notes:
“The armed conflict has threatened the very existence of this dish. People are leaving their homes and not only are they unable to cook borscht or grow vegetables for it, but they cannot gather together at the table, which undermines social and cultural ties.”
AT message it is also emphasized that Ukrainian borscht is “an integral part of family and social life in Ukraine. Festivals and cultural events are dedicated to it.”
Back in March last year, a year before the outbreak of war, Ukraine applied for the inclusion of borscht in the UNESCO Intangible Heritage List. Now, as the Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine Oleksandr Tkachenko emphasized in the Telegram channel, this national dish is under protection:
“The victory in the war for borscht is ours! The battle for borscht began even before the war. And no matter how much Masha Zakharova said that “cooking books were forbidden, but the recipe was kept secret and it was forbidden to cook,” and in general our borscht is “a manifestation of extremism and Nazism, this “manifestation of Nazism” is now officially Ukrainian, and officially under the protection of UNESCO.”
Tkachenko assured that Ukraine would be happy to share borscht and its recipes with all civilized countries. Adding, however, that “and with the uncivilized too – so that they have at least something light, tasty and Ukrainian.”
Last autumn, an initiative was submitted to the Ukrainian parliament to establish the Day of Ukrainian Borscht. The explanatory note to the unusual bill noted: this will help “ensure the preservation and celebration of traditional Ukrainian cuisine and culture, the attraction of cultural tradition.” The proposed date for celebrating the Day of Borscht is the second Saturday of September.