Jamaica government pursues UNESCO status for reggae

Principal Director of the Culture and Creative Industries Policy Division, Dr. Janice Lindsay,

Committee created to prepare documents to be submitted early next year

The Ministry of Youth and Culture has launched a campaign to make reggae inscribed on the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The ministry has established a committee to prepare an application for March 2017.

Principal Director of the Culture and Creative Industries Policy Division, Dr. Janice Lindsay, says the ministry has set up a committee to prepare the documents expected to be submitted in March 2017.

“We have so far had one meeting. It has been a robust meeting,” said Director of the Culture and Creative Industries Policy Division, Dr. Janice Lindsay. “Essentially, the discussions have been about how we describe reggae when we put forward that nomination file.”

Dr. Lindsay said reggae is a prime candidate because of it “global appeal.”

“We need to protect that distinctive history of reggae as an intangible heritage and we need to do this before someone else presents the elements in some other form as theirs,” she stressed, adding that the move would have far more bearing on future generations.

“[The young ones], 50 years from now, would not have forgiven us if they lived to read in bits and pieces that there was a music emanating from our country. and that it was lost over time, because there was no proof of the origin and distinctiveness being uniquely Jamaican.”

Dr. Lindsay argued that important stories of Jamaica’s music must be safeguarded “since it is the only sure way of protecting the integrity of the music.”

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