KINGSTON, Jamaica, Tuesday February 9, 2016 – Jamaica’s Ministry of Youth and Culture is moving to have reggae inscribed on the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Principal Director of the Culture and Creative Industries Policy Division in the Ministry of Youth and Culture, 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. Essentially, the discussions have been about how we describe reggae when we put forward that nomination file,” she disclosed on Sunday.
Dr. Lindsay said the global appeal of reggae was 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 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.”