- Reggae music has been added to a list of international cultural treasures which the United Nations has deemed worthy of protecting and promoting.
- United Nations cited ‘Reggae’s "intangible cultural heritage" as a compelling reason enough to be added into the collection.
- Reggae music grew out of Jamaica in the 1960s and was then popularize by artists like Toots and the Maytals, Peter Tosh and Bob Marley who took it global.
United Nations breathes new life to Lucky Dube’s classic ‘Nobody Can Stop Reggae’ song and adds Reggae music to list of international cultural treasures
United Nations cited ‘Reggae’s "intangible cultural heritage" as a compelling reason enough to be added into the collection.
United Nations has declared in the words of African Reggae icon Lucky Dube, Nobody can stop Reggae.
Reggae music has been added to a list of international cultural treasures which the United Nations has deemed worthy of protecting and promoting.
Reggae is "cerebral, socio-political, sensual and spiritual," said Unesco.
Announcing the decision, Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) said Reggae’s "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".
Reggae music grew out of Jamaica in the 1960s and was then popularize by artists like Toots and the Maytals, Peter Tosh and Bob Marley who took it global.
It has "penetrated all corners of the world," added a Jamaican spokesperson.
Jamaica had applied for reggae's inclusion on the list this year at a meeting of the UN agency on the island of Mauritius.
"Reggae is uniquely Jamaican," said Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s culture minister "It is a music that we have created that has penetrated all corners of the world."
The protected list began in 2008 and grew out of the UN's convention for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage in 2003.
Its aims are to ensure respect for communities, groups and individuals involved in the listed activity, to raise awareness and encourage appreciation of those activities nationally and internationally.
"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 added.
Reggae followed on from the ska and rocksteady genres - other early pioneers included Lee Scratch Perry and Prince Buster.
Millie Small's 1964 ska cover of My Boy Lollipop also helped introduce reggae's laid back groove to the world.
Reggae became popular in the United States but particularly flourished in the UK, which had become home to many Jamaican immigrants since the end of World War Two.
The British reggae label Trojan, which celebrates its 50th birthday this year, introduced the world to artists like Desmond Dekker, Jimmy Cliff and Bob and Marcia.
"I am delighted, it's wonderful news," BBC 1Xtra veteran presenter Dave Rodigan told World Service radio. "I've loved this music since I first heard it as a teenager."
In Africa artists such as Lucky Dube and Alpha Blondie became household names dropping one Reggae tune after another.
Other cultural traditions which made the list includes a Spanish riding school in Vienna, a Mongolian camel-coaxing ritual and Czech puppetry.
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