- What is UNESCO heritage list and why it is important Borshch to be in it
- The history of recognition Ukrainian soup Borsch as a protected cultural asset
- What kind of Ukrainian soup Borshch will be protected by UNESCO?
- How the Ukrainian red beet soup Borshch was added to the UNESCO world heritage list
- What the red beet Ukrainian soup Borsch is
1.What is UNESCO heritage list and why it is important Borshch to be in it
As it is well known, cultural heritage is very important for every nation. It helps people to feel connected and a sense that they are part of a larger group. It also allows people to better understand the history and past generations, share a common bond. Heritage is the cultural treasure we have from the past that we use in our lives today and will pass on to the future, and Etnocook is glad to inform its readers, that the Ukrainian dish red beet soup Borshch is recognized as a special originating from Ukraine that has a significant value for the people living on the Earth.
Cultural heritage does not only include monuments and collections. It also includes living expressions that have been passed down from our ancestors. As it is well known, Ukrainians are the successors of the most powerful country in Europe in the IX-XV centuries called Kyivska Rus (Kievan Rus) and a lot of traditions are much more ancient originating from these territories. Actually, the cultural treasures that must be protected include also Ukrainian unique oral traditions, performing arts and rituals, social manners and festive events, knowledge and practices relating to nature and the universe as well as techniques and traditional crafts. Intangible cultural heritage, or living heritage, is important for maintaining cultural diversity despite its fragility.
UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is an organization that has been working with the UN since 1945. UNESCO established with the 1972 Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage that some traditions and places on Earth are of “exceptional universal worth” and should be included in humanity’s collective heritage. These include the Serengeti Forest, the Pyramids of Egypt and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, and now red beet soup Borshch officially originating from Ukraine.
The List of Intangible Cultural Heritage that Needs Urgent Safeguarding is designed to raise awareness and mobilize attention for the protection of intangible cultural heritage whose viability may be at risk, despite the best efforts of the State or the community. Stakeholders can inscribe an element to facilitate international cooperation and help to create and implement a specific safeguarding plan.
The Intergovernmental Committee noted in its decision that the “armed conflict had threatened the viability” of the element. People are being forced to leave their homes and become bearers of the element. This means that they cannot not only cook and grow the local vegetables but can also come together to practice it, which is detrimental to the social and cultural well-being in communities.
2. The history of recognition Ukrainian soup Borsch as a protected cultural asset
Borshch, a Ukrainian red beetroot soup, was planned to be added by UN specialized agency UNESCO to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s list of intangible cultural assets of humanity.
Borshch, a Ukrainian traditional food that is well-known all over the globe, is very popular. This is a healthy, nutritious soup made with red beets and vegetables. It usually has more than ten ingredients. Borshch (Borscht), and Varenyky (Vareyky) are symbols of ethnic Ukrainian cuisine. Ukrainian recipes food blog Etnocook believes it to be the most iconic food in the world and a part of the UNESCO cultural heritage list.
This idea was initiated in the spring of 2018 by the Ukrainian Association of Suppliers of Trade Networks and supported by the Ministry of the Culture of Ukraine. It has been possible for the Ukrainian Borsch, but first, it had to be on a national list. This petition is filed by the Ministry of culture two times a year, prior to the 15th of March and the 15th of October.
After the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, UNESCO initiated a number of emergency measures to protect journalists and culture since the outbreak of war in Ukraine. The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Member States has taken this initiative in line with the UNESCO commitment to support populations affected by war.
Borshch, as Etnocook has already mentioned, is a common and important Slavic dish. Although it is well-known from the early days of Kyiv Rus, it was first prepared by Slavic people during prehistoric times. Borshch, a Ukrainian beetroot healthy soup, has been recently becoming more and more popular around the world.
As for now, besides the Culture of Ukrainian red beets soup Borshch cooking, in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO, are also Tradition of Kosiv painted ceramics Ukraine, Petrykivka decorative painting as a phenomenon of the Ukrainian ornamental folk art, Cossack’s songs of Dnipropetrovsk Region Ukraine, Ornek – a Crimean Tatar ornament and knowledge about it Ukraine.
3. What kind of Ukrainian soup Borshch will be protected by UNESCO?
Borshch comes in many varieties and they all are cultural treasures originating from Ukraine. The way it is prepared varies from one Ukrainian region to another. Every family has a different recipe. There are three main types of Borshch. The most popular Borshch is the Ukrainian red beet soup Borshch. The second is Green Borshch, which is made in Spring and Summer when new plants are available, adding young leaves of sorrel. The last, Cold Borshch, also known as Holodnyk, is made during hot summer and is usually served cold. Borshch can be made with many different ingredients, but the most popular are broth, redbeets and carrots, as well as beans, onions, garlic, and Beet Kvass. Because there was no potato in Ukraine prior to the XIXth century, people started to add potatoes to modern Borshch only during the last century. In ancient times, no tomatoes were added. Traditional Ukrainian Borshch is cooked with homemade Beet Kvass, a delicious and healthy beverage.
Borshch, a Ukrainian symbol of love and tradition, is a true Ukrainian treasure and very symbolic to Ukrainian people all around the world. For example, in Washington, USA on March 6, 1953, Eileen Keenan, a waitress at “1203”, invited everyone to “Free Borshch” to celebrate the death of Joseph Stalin, Soviet Union dictator.
4. How the Ukrainian red beet soup Borshch was added to the UNESCO world heritage list
The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Culture Heritage held its extraordinary session and placed the Culture of Ukrainian Borscht on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage that Needs Urgent Safeguarding as an extreme case.
The sixteenth session of the Committee requested that this extraordinary session be convened. (Decision 16.COM 14, 14). This was part of ongoing global reflections on the listing mechanisms in the 2003 Convention. The Committee extended the mandate of the Open-ended intergovernmental working group within the context of the abovementioned global reflective with a Part III meeting (online 25 and 26 April 2022). This extraordinary session reviewed further amendments to the Operational Directives For the Implementation of the Convention to be presented to the General Assembly of the States Parties (UNESCO Headquarters, 5-7 July 2022).
Inscription of Ukrainian Borscht Cooking Culture on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage that Needs Urgent Safeguarding. Today, the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage was established to protect the culture of Ukrainian borscht. It is composed of representatives of the UNESCO Convention States.
Ukrainian borscht, a national version of borscht that is consumed in many countries of the region, is an integral part Ukrainian life and family. It is celebrated at festivals and other cultural events. It was added to the Ukrainian national list of elements intangible cultural heritage in 2020. The Committee was planning to consider inscription on the Representative List for the 2023 cycle.
Ukraine requested the Committee’s Member States to expedite the examination of the nomination file to inscribe borscht on the List of Urgent Safeguarding in a case of extreme urgent, in accordance to the Convention’s rules and procedures. This listing was approved by the Committee on July 1, 2022.
The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Member States has taken this initiative in line with the UNESCO commitment to support populations affected by war.
Ukrainian borscht, a traditional Ukrainian dish, is made with broth and red beet. There are many variations. The practice refers to the recipe, the cooking method, and the occasion in which the particular variety is made. Borscht is typically prepared in large pots or pans and served with bread or garlic buns. Although it is primarily prepared by women, many men make it as a daily meal. This tradition dates back to centuries and is still practiced by families with children involved in its preparation. Ukrainian borscht is a form of hospitality that unites people from all walks of life at the table. It is also used in rituals, such as the one in Podillia where the third day before the wedding is called “do nevistky – na borshch”. This means that the daughter-in-law visits the father to eat borscht. It is often praised in folk songs, tales, and proverbs. It is considered a way to identify and live a life. Since the outbreak of the conflict in February 2022 the viability of this element is under threat from a variety of factors, including the displacement and destruction of bearers from their original communities and the cultural contexts that are necessary to cook and consume borscht in Ukraine. Communities have been unable to access local produce, including vegetables, due to destruction of the environment and traditional agriculture. Despite these challenges, Ukrainian communities have come together around this element
5. What the red beet Ukrainian soup Borsch is
How to cook Ukrainian red soup Borshch
Borscht is a Ukrainian famous dish. This is a soup made with vegetable and red beets. It usually contains more than 10 ingredients. Borshch (Borscht), and Varenyky are symbols of Ukrainian cuisine. Borshch can be prepared every day with fewer ingredients and is therefore simpler. You can make it with either vegetable broth, sometimes with mushrooms, fish broth, or meat broth. Everyday Borshch was often made with stewed onions and some fat. It was usually served with sour-cream on Sundays and holidays. The ritual Borshch, which was prepared for funerals and weddings, was special. It was magical to prepare this symbolic dish.
Where is the Borshch from?
Borshch is a common and ritual dish in Slavic cooking, know from the prehistoric times. It is believed that for cooking it in the ancient times, the young juicy leaves of the edible type of borshchivnyk plant were used. Although it is well-known from the early days of Kyiv Rus, the dish was first prepared by Slavs on the territory of modern Ukraine. Borshch, which is not a Russian dish, has been around much longer than Russia’s founding. The Russian territories at that time did not have rich agricultural lands. They had muds and woods with wild plants and berries. Therefore, a long-standing primitive gathering was carried out there, without the ingredients needed to make Borshch. Martin Gruneweg, a merchant from Danzig (Gdansk), was the first to mention Ukrainian borscht. Martin Gruneweg, a German native from Danzig (Gdansk), had lived in Lviv since a long time. Gruneweg made a trip from Lviv to Moscow that year and left a detailed account of his experience. A merchant’s party arrived in Kyiv on October 17th, 1584. They spent the night close to the Borshchivka River. The name of the river was believed to have been derived from the nearby borscht bazaar. His attention was drawn to the fact that the ancient city in Kyiv had such a large size, stretching from Borshchivka to the Dnipro River. Gruneweg didn’t believe Kyiv was that large, and it was necessary for Borshch to be transported so far at the cost of one pfennig. Gruneweg couldn’t believe Borsch wasn’t sold in Kyiv. Ivan Vyshenskyi, an Orthodox polemicist, wrote in 1598 about peasants who “sip Polyvka or Borschik” out of one bowl. Borshchivnyk was the original ingredient in this Ukrainian ethnic soup. This is probably why Borshch, from Slav b’rshch’, brshch, is the name of a dish. Borscht today is made from beetroot, which gives it a unique rosy-red colour. Borshch comes in many forms and every region has its own unique way of making it.
Types and varieties of the redbeets soup from Ukraine
There are three types of Borshch. The most popular is the authentic Ukrainian Borshch. The second is Green Borshch, which is made when new plants are available in spring and summer. The last, also known as Holodnyk, is Cold Borshch. It is usually made in hot summer and is typically served cold. Borshch can be made with many different ingredients, but the most popular are broth, redbeets and carrots, as well as onions, garlic, beans, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, potatoes, onion, and Beet Kvass. Traditional Ukrainian Borshch has always been cooked without tomatoes and potatoes, as these are not Ukrainian ethnic foods. Because there was no potato in Ukraine prior to the XIX Century, people grew to accept potato as a part of Borshch. “In Ukraine, potato was planted for the first time in 1805 in Kharkiv Region. The potato was a prize that the Cossacks had acquired during their campaigns. The Austrian Empire brought potato to the Ukrainian Carpathians, but it was long ignored by the local population. Hutsuly loved freedom and were afraid that potato would be used to tie them down and make them farmers. “They began to cultivate it towards the end of the nineteenth-century.” – Etnocook, a traditional ethnic cuisine. In ancient times, no tomatoes had been added. Borshch is home to homemade Beet Kvass, which is a delicious and healthy beverage that added the natural sour taste to the ethnic Ukrainian red beets soup Borsch.
Recipe of the traditional Ukrainian Borsch (Red Beet Soup from Ukraine)
Recipe of the traditional Green Borshch (Ukrainian Sorrel Soup)