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Haiti’s Joumou Soup – Awarded Protected Cultural Heritage Status by UNESCO

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By Roy Lie Atjam

The State Party of Haiti requested the UNESCO Committee to examine the nomination ‘Joumou soup’ for inscription on Representative List. Subsequently, on Thursday, December 16, 2021, during the 16th intergovernmental session,  the Evaluation Body of UNESCO recommended that the Committee inscribe the following element on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Humanity :

Draft DecisionSubmitting StateNominationFile No.
16.COM 19HaitiJoumou soup01853

The General Assembly of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, is slated to meet in June 2022 to validate the Evaluation Body’s decision of 16 December 2021.

Labadee Beach, Haiti

The Swiss Ambassador Muriel Berset Kohen remarked, accepting the candidacy of soup joumou or Giraumon soup, is not out of generosity but it is because of the quality of the dossier(Dupuy red.)  

H.E. Ambassador Dominique Dupuy, congratulations for putting the Soup Joumou on the world map and elevating it to the list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity. Bravo! It is, by all means, a fitting place since the Soup Joumou is an exponent of the Haitian people.

Citadel la Ferriere

“Liberty in a soup” Haiti’s Soup Joumou is a symbol of freedom and dignity. It is a celebratory dish, deeply rooted in Haitian identity, and its preparation promotes social cohesion and belonging among communities. Allegedly on 1 January 1804, the Liberator Jean-Jacques Dessalines and Haiti’s founding fathers ate their Joumou Soup, out of golden bowls specially manufactured (USA) for this purpose.

Ambassador Dominique Dupuy, I salute you for successfully presenting joumou soup to UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, and for convincing the Evaluation Body. Merci, a triple wololoy to you!

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