Reggae music, which shot to worldwide fame with legendary singers like Bob Marley, is now a global treasure. The UNESCO has declared reggae, a music genre that calls for social justice, peace and love a global treasure that requires the utmost safeguarding. Reggae was originated in the 1960s at the poor neighbourhoods of Kingstown in Jamaica and reflected on the cultural issues and struggles that still continue to pervade in every society today. Their medium of social message surrounding hard times and struggles have connected people of all race, class, religion from every part of the world.
In a statement issued by the UNESCO, it stated, "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."
This exclusive decision came under the UN radar when Jamaica had campaigned for their national sound to be classified as "intangible cultural heritage" which then receive appropriate protections from UNESCO as a cultural heritage list.
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Speaking after the decision, Jamaican Culture Minister Olivia Grange said: "It is a music that we have created that has penetrated all corners of the world."
Its most famous songwriter and performer, the late Bob Marley caught the worldwide attention with songs like Redemption Song and Get Up, Stand Up. As such bands and artists such as UB40, Jimmy Cliff, Clash began incorporating reggae's chunky beat and its politics into their own music, spreading its root even further.
The UNESCO stated, "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."
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The decision of this cultural imbibing came at a UNESCO meeting in Mauritius, where other 40 proposals were under consideration.