Gov’t wants reggae inscribed on UNESCO’s cultural heritage list

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A report from Jamaica’s Observer.

The Government is making preparations to have reggae inscribed on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Intangible Cultural Heritage Representative List.

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, made the disclosure while addressing a Heritage Festival held on Friday at the Institute of Jamaica’s (IOJ) headquarters, 10-16 East Street, Kingston.

“We hope to have the nomination completed and submitted by March 2017, with an inscription 2018,” she indicated.

She said the move is one of the major initiatives of the ministry to safeguard Jamaica’s intangible heritage.

“This will clearly identify to the world, where the origin of reggae is and where it continues to evolve into the forms we know and love,” she noted.

Grange informed that the African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica and the Jamaica Music Museum, which are divisions of the IOJ, are involved in the inscription process.

She commended the IOJ for playing an integral role in developing Jamaica’s creative economy.

She noted that the staging of events such as Heritage Festival engages artists, performers and craft makers, and increases souvenir development and sales.

Grange said the ministry will ensure that the festival and other such activities are promoted to international standard in order to bring new revenue streams to the country.

“Our intention is to take a comprehensive approach to all cultural events, establish a national festival calendar and work with the various ministries, particularly Tourism and Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries,” she indicated.

The IOJ’s Heritage Festival was held under the theme: ‘Our Heritage, Your Festival.’

It featured drumming, multi-cultural displays, Jamaican cuisine, pottery, jewellery, clothing , museum tours, and a downtown bus tour.

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