Ukrainian Borscht inscribed on the UNESCO List on Intangible Cultural Heritage

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“Ukrainian borscht – national version of borscht consumed in several countries of the region – is an integral part of Ukrainian family and community life. Festivals and cultural events are dedicated to it. In 2020, it was included in the national list of elements of intangible cultural heritage of Ukraine and was to be considered for inscription on the Representative List in the Committee’s 2023 cycle.” UNESCO story. It is a true and fair victory for Ukraine because Russia has been trying to appropriate this famous Ukrainian food masterpiece for years. How do we know for sure that borscht was a Ukrainian cuisine and not Russian? The page of the 1818 Ukrainian – Russian Dictionary used as the illustration for this article shows that 200 years ago the very word “Borsh/ Borscht” needed to be translated into the Russian language for the Russians to understand what the word means. The Dictionary translates “Borscht” as “Shi”, which is the native cabbage soup of that land. It lacks several key ingredients of Ukrainian Borscht though. Ukrainians make fun of poor characterisics of the Russian shi saying that the Russian shi is something one gets by washing dishes after Ukrainian borscht. Here is what John Steinbeck wrote about Ukrainian borscht.

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