Mon | Jan 20, 2020

UNESCO examining Jamaica's reggae submission

Published:Wednesday | October 24, 2018 | 10:31 AM
Minister of Culture Olivia Grange (right) in light conversation with Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett at the launch of 2019 Carnival in Jamaica at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on October 23, 2018 - Contributed photo

The Government will know in November whether it has been successful in its efforts to have reggae music inscribed on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Intangible Cultural Heritage Representative List.

Culture Minister Olivia Grange said that UNESCO technical experts are in the process of examining Jamaica’s reggae submission.

“We are awaiting the results and it will be a major achievement for Jamaica if we are successful in having the designation declared by UNESCO,” she said.

Grange was speaking to JIS News at a joint press conference, involving the Ministry of Tourism, to launch the 2019 Carnival in Jamaica initiative held at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston yesterday.

Grange said her ministry has been tasked to establish an inventory of intangible heritage unique to Jamaica, “which is also one of the criteria” required by UNESCO.

Turning to the designation of certain areas across the island as entertainment zones, the culture minister informed that a list of locations will be available soon, which will include Kingston, St Andrew and St Catherine in the initial stages.

Meanwhile, Grange noted that the collaboration between the Ministries for the staging of carnival “is essential if we are to create a more authentic tourism experience.”

She expressed satisfaction at the way “this entertainment product” has been evolving and attributed it to the “seamless fusion of dancehall and calypso/soca in parties and the road parades.”

In his remarks, Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett said that he wants to “build out Carnival in Jamaica to make it more remarkable for both visitors and locals.”

“This is in keeping with strategic steps that we are undertaking at my Ministry to strengthen Jamaica’s competitiveness as an entertainment destination as we reposition and diversify our product and generate high growth rates in both visitor arrivals and earnings,” he pointed out. 

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