Tourism Minister Thong Khon yesterday during a noodle party with government officials revealed that he wants Khmer noodles listed on Unesco’s cultural heritage list.
Speaking to dozens of government officials during a noodle party hosted in Kampong Thom province, Mr Khon said he plans to hold a discussion with Culture Minister Phoeung Sakona to have Khmer noodles registered with Unesco.
“We must push for it – to have it registered in the cultural heritage list,” he said. “We all know that Khmer noodles are one of the products of the country’s identity. I believe we can do it.”
Mr Khon added that his ministry will serve Khmer noodles during an upcoming food fair in September.
He said that Khmer noodles are part of the national identity and he aims to use it to attract travellers and food enthusiasts from around the world.
Sambo Manara, a history professor at Pannasastra University of Cambodia, yesterday said he was optimistic that Khmer noodles will qualify to be listed by Unesco on its cultural heritage list.
“If we look into the process of making Khmer noodles, we’ll see that there are many significant steps to follow,” Mr Manara said. “It clearly represents Cambodian history and culture in which ancient people ate noodles daily.”
Srey Ne, who was present at the government noodle party yesterday, said she would be proud to have Khmer noodles recognised as part of Cambodia’s identity.
“If this succeeds, Cambodia will have our own food to attract tourists and visitors, just like our neighbouring countries,” Ms Ne said. “When more foreign tourists come to the country for our noodles, we can sell them other products as well.”
Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday highlighted national noodle parties held across the Kingdom.
Mr Hun Sen said the purpose of the parties is to promote friendship, solidarity and unity.
“I’m so thankful to those who organised the noodle party gatherings without religious or political discrimination,” he said. “I wish you all happiness and good luck.”
The noodle parties were announced last week by Mr Hun Sen, who suggested that former opposition supporters eat noodles together on Sunday with CPP officials in order to show solidarity.
His suggestion followed criticism from former CNRP officials questioned by a provincial court for allegedly violating a Supreme Court decision dissolving the party during gatherings at a noodle shop.
Mr Hun Sen also said no political negotiations would ever materialise between the CPP and the dissolved CNRP.
However, former opposition leader Sam Rainsy yesterday on Facebook said the parties could be the beginning of greater understanding between Cambodians.
“I think this may be a good sign. A good start to some kind of understanding between the ruling party and the opposition,” Mr Rainsy said. “[It is] so that the ruling party becomes more tolerant and accepts the very existence of an opposition.”