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Reggae music gets UN heritage status

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The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), has added Jamaican reggae to its list of “intangible heritage” for the world to treasure.

UNESCO’s Executive Director, Audrey Azoulay, made this known yesterday in a statement on the cultural agency’s website.

UNESCO said the listings was meant to further improve the visibility of often little-known and understood arts traditions.

The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage is currently meeting in Mauritius to inscribe new elements to its much coveted-list.

UNESCO said the genre’s “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”.

Besides reggae music, five other elements including Georgian wrestling and Japanese Raiho-shin rituals, would also be elevated to an intangible heritage status.

The UN cultural agency said: “All the listed elements are important in maintaining cultural diversity in the face of growing globalisation, without recognising standards of excellence or exclusivity”.

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