Reggae month, the annual celebration of all things reggae, kicks off in Jamaica and Expo 2020 Dubai!
By Akanksha Dean
Jamaica has long experienced a rich melodious legacy and a flourishing culture, with varieties such as Mento, Ska, Rock Steady, Dub and Dancehall initiating here and swaying music internationally.
Jamaican music has long been a commanding force on a world-wide scale. Bob Marley, a harbinger of reggae music, was influential in placing his island nation and its spirit on the map.
In 2018, Reggae music was declared Ethereal Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. February was legitimately stated as Reggae Month in 2008. This yearly observance highlights and celebrates the impact of the musical genre on Jamaica’s communal, enriching and fiscal expansion.
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Reggae month, the yearly celebration of all thing’s reggae, began on Jan 30 with a church service. The chief congregants were launched by Olivia “Babsy” Grange and Edmund Bartlet, Jamaica’s ministers of culture, gender, entertainment and sport and tourism respectively.
Reggae month 2022 is sensational and invigorating! Saluting the genre, the entire month of February is dedicated to Reggae beats, organized by the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association. Every day is assured with thrilling shows, dancehall concerts and weekly displays trailed by awards nights.
Music-lovers visiting the Expo, are in for a real pleasure at the Jamaica pavilion as it celebrates its reggae month in February and the birthday of renowned Jamaican singer and musician Bob Marley.
Visitors to the pavilion can board on a harmony voyage and appreciate the ‘riddim’ (rhythm) of the nation, experience a soundtrack studio feel at the blender board while attending to the melodies of the bass guitar and the jazzy sounds of the computer drum machine, as well as altered forms of reggae songs.
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Guitars fitting to renowned guitarist and musician Ernest Ranglin, as well as displays from the National Museum of Kingston, are displayed in one corner of the studio, and the wall of fame pays homage to other famous Jamaican musicians: Shaggy, Sean Paul, Ziggy Marley, Damian Marley, Daddy U-Roy, Beenie Man, Chaka Demus, and more.
During February, visitors can also appreciate several happenings at the Jamaica Pavilion like karaoke on Bob Marley songs and abundant reggae songs, Reggae Treasures – a reggae treasure quest, reggae hour and much more.
Music is in-built in the ethos of the small Caribbean nation, with reggae the rhythm that transports Jamaicans, and the pavilion, situated in the Mobility District, makes a gallant statement with its positive music, bright exhibits and pulsating mural art.
Essie Gardner, commissioner general of Jamaica pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, shared that, “Music is a part of our psyche in Jamaica. The youngest child will start dancing once music is played, and he will move to a rhythm.”
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“Happy or sad, Jamaicans will sing songs of joy or sadness. And we are blessed to have been able to make an impression on the world with our music. Music therefore is an integral part of the Jamaica Pavilion. The pavilion would not be as impactful without music.”
(Akanksha Dean is an independent Indian chef, events specialist & food & travel writer)
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