PARIS (AP) — The United Nations cultural agency on Thursday placed a traditional Haitian soup widely seen as a symbol of the nation’s independence on its prized intangible cultural heritage list.
Joumou soup is “so much more than just a dish,” said Audrey Azoulay, the director-general of UNESCO. “It tells the story of the heroes and heroines of Haitian independence, their struggle for human rights and their hard-won freedom.”
The squash-based soup became a symbol of things long forbidden to slaves under French domination until Haiti gained independence on Jan.1, 1804, as the first nation created by insurgent Black slaves.
They celebrated their freedom by finally consuming the soup and Haitians traditionally serve it on New Year’s Day to commemorate the anniversary of liberation from slavery.