Reggae Listed as Global Treasure by UNESCO

PORT LOUIS, Mauritius: Reggae music, whose chill, lilting grooves won international fame thanks to artists like Bob Marley, on Thursday (Nov 29) secured a coveted spot on the United Nations’ list of global cultural treasures.

UNESCO, the world body’s cultural and scientific agency, added the genre that originated in Jamaica to its collection of “intangible cultural heritage” deemed worthy of protection and promotion.

“This is a historic day. We are very, very happy,” enthused Jamaica’s Culture Minister Olivia Grange, speaking by phone from Mauritius where the listings were announced.

“Anywhere you go and say you’re from Jamaica, they answer ‘Bob Marley,’” said Grange, adding that the distinction “underscores the importance of our culture and our music, whose theme and message is ‘one love, togetherness and peace.’”

UNESCO noted that while reggae started out as “the voice of the marginalised” it was “now played and embraced by a wide cross-section of society, including various genders, ethnic and religious groups.”

Read more at: ChannelNewsAsia

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