Reggae Music Given Protected Status By UNESCO

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Mighty Diamonds Photo Courtesy: YardEdge

UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, has added reggae music to its list of cultural institutions worthy of protection and preservation.

The genre is now part of a list of over 300 cultural traditions, including Dominican merengue, Slovakian bagpipe music and Vietnamese xoan singing.

Jamaica submitted Reggae to UNESCO for consideration this year as part of the organization’s annual practice of adding to its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

 “Its contribution to international discourse on issues of injustice, resistance, love and humanity underscores the dynamics of the element as being at once cerebral, socio-political, sensual and spiritual. The basic social functions of the music – as a vehicle for social commentary, a cathartic practice, and a means of praising God – have not changed, and the music continues to act as a voice for all.” UNESCO said in a statement published on its website.

“Its contribution to international discourse on issues of injustice, resistance, love and humanity underscores the dynamics of the element as being at once cerebral, socio-political, sensual and spiritual. The basic social functions of the music – as a vehicle for social commentary, a cathartic practice, and a means of praising God – have not changed, and the music continues to act as a voice for all.” UNESCO said in a statement published on its website.

To mark its inclusion on the list, UNESCO shared a short documentary that examines the history and distinct characteristics of reggae music.

According to the New York Times, Jamaica plans to further protect and preserve the genre by taking steps and implementing policies that will ensure this. Among them are setting up ‘Reggae Only’ radio stations, public exhibitions in museums around the world and the institution of a ‘Reggae Month’, which will take place in February, in commemoration of the birth of Bob Marley, reggae’s most notable icon.

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According to the New York Times, Jamaica plans to further protect and preserve the genre by taking steps and implementing policies that will ensure this. Among them are setting up ‘Reggae Only’ radio stations, public exhibitions in museums around the world and the institution of a ‘Reggae Month’, which will take place in February, in commemoration of the birth of Bob Marley, reggae’s most notable icon.

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