The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognized the Jamaican music as a cultural treasure this week. Jamaica’s Culture Minister Olivia Grange was so delighted to hear the news at a committee meeting on Thursday, she burst into tears of happiness before encouraging the room of hundreds to join her – and the rest of the Jamaican delegation – in a rendition of one of reggae icon Marley’s best-loved tracks.
The group had the song ready to play on speakers, turning the formal event into a very chilled and joyous one. People in the room soon jumped to their feet and clapped along with the catchy beat.
Reggae, known for its promotion of peace and love, originated in Kingston, Jamaica in the 1960s and was tied to class struggle and protest.
UNESCO has declared its “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.”