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A spread of heritage dishes from Kuching. — Picture via kuchingcreativecity.com
A spread of heritage dishes from Kuching. — Picture via kuchingcreativecity.com

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KUCHING, Nov 9 — Kuching has been included as one of the 49 new cities under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (Unesco) Creative Cities Network.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said Kuching has managed to secure a spot in the network, a project by Unesco to promote cooperation among cities which recognise creativity as a major factor in their urban development.

“We are very proud to say that Kuching has been accepted as one of the cities for Unesco’s Creative Cities Network under the field of gastronomy.

“This will be a very good marketing point for us as far as tourism is concerned. If you want to have diverse food, Kuching, Sarawak is the best,” he told a press conference today.

He said following this achievement, Sarawak now has two recognitions under Unesco with the other being the Mulu National Park in Miri, which is a Unesco World Heritage Site in Malaysia.

Abdul Karim said Kuching’s inclusion in the Creative Cities Network was following the application filed by the Kuching South City Council (MBKS) to Unesco.

“We have a team set with MBKS who were involved in forwarding the application with Unesco.

“But we will come up with a proper press conference to announce this achievement soon as we just got the news last night as well,” he added.

MBKS in April this year applied for Kuching to be recognised as a ‘Creative City of Gastronomy’ under the Unesco Creative Cities Network.

The council in a statement had then said the application was the first for Malaysia under the seven creative fields.

MBKS said it believed that through collaboration with the state’s Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, they could work hand in hand in promoting Kuching to the world as a gastronomic destination while also bringing growth to the creative economy that could benefit Sarawakians.

With the addition of the 49 new cities, the Unesco Creative Cities Network now has a total of 295 cities working together towards a common objective — namely to place creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level as well as to cooperate actively at international level.

Apart from gastronomy, the six other creative fields under this network are crafts and folk art, design, film, literature, media arts, and music. — Borneo Post

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