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World

Singapore's fading food hawker heritage

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Opening sequence

World

Singapore's fading food hawker heritage

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COMING UP:Singapore's fading food hawker heritage

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Transcript

00:00:02
>> Singapore's lively food culture faces a dying future. So called hawkers serve up cheap fusion cuisine for as little as two US dollars. They're a staple for locals and draw for tourists, who've come to eat in Asia's foodie paradise. However Reuter's Christoff Vanderper reports as they retire that heritage is under threat.
00:00:20
>> When I arrived in Singapore ten years ago, the only thing I personally wanted to eat was hawker food. Now, when we go to a hawker center, we see more shops that are closed. Or more shops that are offering something that is different. I've seen French cuisine being offered in hawker stalls, which is much more expensive than your usual plate of noodles.
00:00:44
When we speak to hawkers, there was one particular one who's been frying fried
FOREIGN]
for over 40 years. He was just a little bit sad that he could not find anyone to replace him.>> This year, the government stepped in, moving to save the trade after attention from celebrities like Chef Gordon Ramsay, and Anthony Bourdain.
00:01:03
>> They pair older hawkers to teach young, aspiring hawkers for two months and they work together afterwards. That seems to be working. We spoke to one of those younger hawkers that went though that course and he says that he's very happy with his chicken rice stall. He thinks that more initiatives such as those ones should be available, because he is sure that people will go into it.
00:01:26
>> For many, it comes down to cost. The old hawkers are subsidized. Any new hawkers must pay market price in one of the most expensive cities in the world, and still compete to serve up the same cheap dishes.