UNESCO, the world body's cultural and scientific agency, on Thursday added the genre that originated in Jamaica to its collection of "intangible cultural heritage"
Reggae music'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," UNESCO said.
"While in its embryonic state Reggae music was the voice of the marginalised, the music is now played and embraced by a wide cross-section of society, including various genders, ethnic and religious groups,” the UNESCO statement noted.
The musical style joined a list of cultural traditions that includes the horsemanship of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, a Mongolian camel-coaxing ritual and Czech puppetry, as well as more than 300 other traditional practices spanning from boat-building and pilgrimages to cooking and dance.
Jamaica applied for reggae's inclusion on the list this year at a meeting of the UN agency on the island of Mauritius, where 40 proposals were under consideration.
"Reggae is uniquely Jamaican," said Culture Minister Olivia Grange before the vote.
"It is a music that we have created that has penetrated all corners of the world."
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