The UN has added reggae music to the list of international cultural treasures worthy of protection and promotion. This year, Jamaica applied for the recognition at the UN's meeting in Mauritius, earlier this year. Unesco, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, stated: “Reggae’s contribution to international discourse on issues of injustice, resistance, love and humanity underscores the dynamics of the element as being at once cerebral, sociopolitical, sensual and spiritual. [It functions] as a vehicle for social commentary, a cathartic practice and a means for praising God”. Unesco’s list started in 2008, following an "international convention to safeguard intangible cultural heritage." Art and culture eligible for the list is defined as “the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills - as well as the instruments, objects, artifacts and cultural spaces associated therewith - that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage”.
by John Gentile