Paris Wants Its Bistros Recognized by UNESCO

Jul 5, 2018

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It’s not out of the ordinary to plan a trip to Paris with hopes of visiting a local bistro. In fact, it seems pretty much wrong not to dine at one of the popular restaurants, which is why Paris is now calling for UNESCO to recognize its bistros under its renowned compilation of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Dating back centuries, Paris bistros have been synonymous with satisfying homestyle French food while acting as a gathering place and incorporating a trendy social aspect. The iconic sidewalk cafes are all over the city. However, that’s not the only reason that bistro owners, unions and trade organizations want them to be on UNESCO’s list.

The effort comes following the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, which broadly targeted people eating at bistros across the city. Customers eating both on the sidewalk and inside eight bistros were attacked by men with machine guns and suicide vests. After the attacks, the bistros became iconic beyond just a place to get dinner and a drink – they were a form of strength for the country in the wake of horror. Two hashtags exploded during the time: #jesuisenterrace (“I am outside”) and #tousaubistrot (“Everyone to the bistro”). Parisians were flocking to the sites not just for the delicious food the establishments are known for, but also to show resistance and bravery.

UNESCO sites are a title of cultural acclaim, so it’s no wonder countries are adamant that their traditions are listed. In fact, not too long ago, Belgium was pushing for its famous fries and mayo combination to be recognized by UNESCO with a petition that was signed by 600 Belgians.

H/T: The New York Times

Featured image by ventdusud/Getty Images.

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