PORT LOUIS: Reggae music, whose calm, lilting grooves found international fame thanks to artists like Bob Marley, on Thursday won a spot on the United Nations’ list of global cultural treasures.
UNESCO, the world body’s cultural and scientific agency, added the genre that originated in Jamaica to its collection of “intangible cultural heritage” deemed worthy of protection and promotion.
Reggae music’s “contribution to the 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.
The musical style joined a list of cultural traditions that include the horsemanship of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, a Mongolian camel-coaxing ritual and Czech puppetry, and more than 300 other traditional practices that range from boat-building, pilgrimages, and cooking.
Reggae emerged in the late 1960s out of Jamaica’s ska and rocksteady genres, also drawing influence from American jazz and blues.
The style quickly became popular in the United States as well as in Britain, where many Jamaican immigrants had moved in the post-WWII years.
It was often championed as a music of the oppressed, with lyrics addressing sociopolitical issues, imprisonment, and inequality.
Reggae also became associated with Rastafarianism, which deified the former Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie and promoted the sacramental use of ganja, or marijuana.
The 1968 single “Do the Reggay” by Toots and the Maytals was the first popular song to use the name, and Marley and his group the Wailers produced classic hits such as “No Woman, No Cry” and “Stir It Up.”
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 Olivia Grange, the Caribbean island nation’s culture minister, before the vote.
“It is a music that we have created that has penetrated all corners of the world.”
Classical singer Ustad Bare Ghulam Ali remembered
ISLAMABAD: The legendary classical singer, Ustad Bare Ghulam Ali Khan was remembered on his 51st death anniversary today (Tuesday).
Bade Ghulam Ali Khan was born in Kasur, a small town near Lahore, Pakistan then Punjab province in British India.
Though he started his career by singing a few compositions of his late father Ali Baksh Khan and uncle Kale Khan, Bade Ghulam amalgamated the best of three traditions into his own Patiala-Kasur style: the Behram Khani elements of Dhrupad, the gyrations of Jaipur, and the behlavas (embellishments) of Gwalior.
He died at Basheerbagh Palace in Hyderabad on 23 April 1968 after a prolonged illness which left him partially paralyzed in the last few years of his life.
Aziz Mian Qawwal remembered on his birth anniversary
ISLAMABAD: The legendary traditional singer Aziz Mian Qawwal was remembered on Wednesday across the country on his 78 birth anniversary.
He was born in Delhi on 17th April 1942 and migrated to Pakistan soon after partition. He obtained his master degrees in Arabic, Persian language, Persian literature, Urdu literature and history from the University of Punjab.
He was also famous for singing ghazals in qawwali style. For his contributions to music, the government of Pakistan had awarded him the Pride of Performance award in 1989.
With his outstanding talented in music and singing he introduced new style of qawwali which earned him fame across the globe.
Aziz Mian Qawwal was known for his extempore expressions while performing live concerts.
Aziz Mian was died on December 6, 2000 after complications developed in hepatitis he was suffering from. He was laid to rest in Multan.
Pop singer Ahmed Rushdi remembered
ISLAMABAD: Renowned melodious Pop singer Syed Ahmed Rushdi was remembered on his 36th death anniversary on Thursday.
Famous with the song ‘Bunder Road se Keemari’, Rushdi was born on April 24, 1934 in Hyderabad Deccan.
He was a versatile playback singer and an important contributor to the golden age of Pakistani film music.
Rushdi was acclaimed as one of the greatest singers of South Asia and could sing high tenor notes with ease.
He sang songs for many hit films like ‘Bara Admi’, ‘Wah Rey Zamaney’, ‘Raat Ke Rahi’, ‘Yeh Dunya’.Rushdi got well recognition for singing ‘ari lela ne aisi’, ‘Chalak Rahi Hain Mastiyan’ and ‘Chal Na Sakey Gi’.
In 1961, he sang the popular song ‘Chand Sa Mukhra Gora Badan’ in the film Saperan, for which he received his first Nigar Award as Best Male Playback Singer.
He also has an honour to introduce the pop singing in South Asia. He died on April 11, 1983 in Karachi.