Style / Fashion

A Giant Step Towards Preserving Our Hawker Food Culture

Food and culture are bedfellows that always go hand in hand. Be it as a source of inspiration or fuelling creativity.

Dec 24, 2020 | By Joseph Low

Food plays an important role in the lives of many people around the world. It is the embodiment of a nation’s culture and heritage in addition to solidifying friendships and kinships we share with people around us. In Singapore, being a melting pot of cultures, we are blessed with an array of cuisines from the different races whom they have called this Little Red Dot their home. 

Our forefathers come from nearby countries such as Malaysia, China and India, there is even a small group that hailed from Europe. You can imagine how bustling the city was back in the olden days. Being away from home for an extended period can have a toll on a person’s psyche and one of the ways (in my opinion, the best) to recharge is to have a delicious meal prepared by your fellow countrymen. Besides solely consuming for sustenance, these food stalls were also places for people to mingle, chat and bond. Slowly, this unique hawker food culture gets engrained into many generations of Singaporeans and more recently, it has even been inscribed to be part of Unesco’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

A virtual ceremony took place on 16 December and now the city-state’s culture joins the likes of kimchi making in South Korean and traditional Mexican cuisine. In a tumultuous year wrecked by the pandemic, this recognition certainly helped to liven up the atmosphere as the national rejoice together after nearly three years of hard work by the government. To celebrate this momentous occasion, a three-week SG HawkerFest will take place from 26 December where there will be activities for everyone to take part in and win vouchers that can be used at the 29 hawker centres across the island. 

Food definitely plays a pivotal role in many cultures and likewise, it is also a source of inspiration for many including Nike. Come 13 January, the sportswear company will be releasing a new collection of Nike SB Dunk Low that pays homage to the street food culture of China. Called “SB Dunk Low ‘Street Hawker’”, the shoes are designed by Guanzhou artist Jason Deng and will showcase China’s street food from six different regions. Each side of the shoe will represent a dish and according to Nike, “The right shoe features hotter colours to represent different heats, from spicy to sweet,” and “The left shoe uses a lighter beige for three flour-based dishes.” The mismatch is intentional, fun and playful. 

Keep your eyes peeled on the Nike SB Dunk Low “Street Hawker” which will be released via Nike SNKRS.

Images courtesy of Nike and Olivia Lee

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