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  • The Ministry of Youth and Culture is moving to have reggae inscribed on the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
  • This was disclosed by Principal Director, Culture and Creative Industries Policy Division, Ministry of Youth and Culture, Dr. Janice Lindsay, at the Jamaica Music Museum’s (JAMM) Grounation event, held at the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) Lecture Hall, in downtown, Kingston, on February 7.
  • The event was held as part of activities to mark the annual Reggae/Black History Month. It was the first of four scheduled to take place each Sunday in February at the IOJ under the theme: ‘Ungle Malungu Man: Musings on Don Drummond’.

The Ministry of Youth and Culture is moving to have reggae inscribed on the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

This was disclosed by Principal Director, Culture and Creative Industries Policy Division, Ministry of Youth and Culture, Dr. Janice Lindsay, at the Jamaica Music Museum’s (JAMM) Grounation event, held at the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) Lecture Hall, in downtown, Kingston, on February 7.

The event was held as part of activities to mark the annual Reggae/Black History Month. It was the first of four scheduled to take place each Sunday in February at the IOJ under the theme: ‘Ungle Malungu Man: Musings on Don Drummond’.

Dr. Lindsay said 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. Essentially, the discussions have been about how we describe reggae when we put forward that nomination file,” she said.

Dr. Lindsay said the global appeal of reggae is the reason why it should be inscribed on UNESCO’s list.

“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 added.

Dr. Lindsay said that the move towards inscription would have far more bearing on future generations.

“They are the ones…..50 years from now they 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,” she said.

Dr Lindsay commended the Jamaica Music Museum for hosting the Grounation series and placing important themes on the front burner. She lauded the work of the department, which she said “continues to lift its own bar each year with little resources.”

“We anticipate greater work from the Jamaica Music Museum because sooner than later, the need to research, document, share and engage persons far and wide about our music will be an urgent necessity,”  she said.

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.”