ANDHRA PRADESH

Hyderabad figures in Unesco list

The incredible range of food in Hyderabad exemplified by biryani gets Unesco recognition.Serish Nanisetti

The incredible range of food in Hyderabad exemplified by biryani gets Unesco recognition.Serish Nanisetti  

Selected as Creative City in the category of gastronomy

Hyderabad, the city of biryanis, kebabs, haleem, kallu, shikampur and chowki dinners, has now been officially designated as a Unesco Creative City of Gastronomy. Hyderabad is among the 66 cities named by the Unesco in the list of new Creative Cities which aims at pushing the Sustainable Development Goals through innovative thinking and action.

“Glad to announce that Hyderabad is selected as @UNESCO CREATIVE CITY in Gastronomy category, on the occasion of World Cities Day today. It’s among the 2 cities from India in list of 66 cities, other being Mumbai in Film category,” K.T. Rama Rao, Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister, tweeted thanking the MAUD Principal Secretary Arvind Kumar while making the announcement.

The designation of Hyderabad in the creative cities’ list would bring new opportunities and turn the focus on the city’s rich culinary heritage and tradition.

“Pre-Islamic Kakatiya cuisines (12th century) have interacted in an incredible fashion with the arrival of Turks in 15th century, followed by Mughal influences in the 17th century,” are the words in the dossier submitted by the Hyderabad delegation to Unesco. “Food is an integral part of the culture in Hyderabad. Till 1940, there were no restaurants. The food culture has been preserved in homes and royal kitchens. But now, we mapped one lakh food carts and bandis,” says Musharraf Ali Faruqui, IAS, who was part of the team that pushed Hyderabad’s case. The industry employs 12% of the city’s population either directly or indirectly, according to the study. About 700 tonnes of chicken (2,000 tonnes during festivals) and 291 tonnes of meat is consumed per day in the city, as per the dossier.

“All over the world, these cities, each in its way, make culture the pillar, not an accessory, of their strategy,” said Unesco Director-General Audrey Azoulay, while making the announcement of the new cities.

“We mapped everything from the temporary food carts under the flyovers to the chaat bandis to the big players in food industry. We had focus group discussions to find out about formal and informal events, festivals and celebrations to understand food culture,” says Vrashali Khandelwal, who was involved in creating the dossier for Hyderabad’s nomination.

The Unesco recognition can go a long way in creating more business and employment opportunities to stimulate tourism.

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