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Jamaica’s Reggae added to UNESCO Cultural Heritage List

Today, Reggae has been added to the list of global cultural treasures by UNESCO, the United Nation’s cultural and scientific agency. The sound, which reached international acclaim thanks to artists like Bob Marley, Bonnie Wailer and Peter Tosh who gave voice to the oppressed in Jamaica. Its inclusion to UNESCO’s collection of “intangible cultural heritage” means that it now has protected status, joining a list of more 300 other cultural traditions like the Garifuna culture. Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, led the Jamaican delegation. This afternoon Love News spoke to the Honorable Minister Olivia Grange about the achievement for Reggae.

Hon. Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture Jamaica: “Many of the pioneers such as Jimmy Cliff and others have worked very hard to keep the music alive over the years. We felt that it was important for Jamaican music in the form of Reggae to be nominated to be inscribed by UNESCO on the Intangible Cultural Heritage List. Today on the floor we got full support from Cuba, Palestine, Senegal and many other countries including Belize. We got full support from Belize. So we were able to get the inscription approved and the entire conference erupted into the singing.I fittingly end with the words of Reggae icon Bob Marley; One love. One heart. Let’s get together and feel alright. I now invite you all to sing this song with us. I want to thank your country, the people in your country, the delegation for giving us the support and I want to thank all those who have contributed over the years to make Jamaican music and Reggae music strong and powerful with it’s message of peace and love . I will end by saying we have long recognized that reggae means a lot to so many at home and all around the world. Than you so much for being there for us.”

The thirteenth session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage ends on Saturday, December first.