This month we are celebrating Reggae music with indie artists of Ahmedabad at Zoola cafe.

Before I tell you about reggae music you should know what gave birth to it.

Rastafari is, Africa-centred religion which developed in Jamaica in the 1930s. Rastafari theology spread from the ideas of Marcus Garvey, a political activist who wanted to raise the status of fellow blacks.

There are approximately one million world wide believers of Rastafari as a faith. The 2001 census found 5,000 Rastafarians living in England and Wales.

Followers of Rastafari are known by a variety of names: Rastafarians, Rastas, Sufferers, Locksmen, Dreads or Dreadlocks.

Following the coronation of Haile Selassie I as King of Ethiopia in 1930, Rastafarians believe Haile Selassie is God and that he will return to Africa members of the black community who are living in exile as the result of colonisation and the slave trade.

If all you know about Rastas is that they smoke joints and grow dreadlocks, we are here to set the record straight. Sure Rastas do have dreads and they do smoke marijuana, but it’s so much deeper than that. Here are 10 facts you might not know about the movement that developed in Jamaica in the 1930s, and has since spread its message across the globe.

Check out these 10 mind blowing facts about Rastas 

1.Dreadlocks are not just for style.

According to Old Testament scripture (Leviticus 19:27), Rastas believe one should not cut their hair because it is where their strength lies. Dreadlocks form naturally over time.

2. Rastas smoke marijuana to increase spiritual awareness.

Rastas do not consider marijuana a drug. Instead, it is a medium that is used to open their mind and increase their spiritual awareness. Smoking marijuana is considered a religious ritual.

3. No, Bob Marley did not start the Rastafari movement.

While we might associate Mr. Marley with the movement, he didn’t actually start it! However, there is no denying that the insane popularity of his music helped spread the Rastafari way of life.



Rastafarian colours

The Rastafarian colours are red, green and gold. Sometimes black is added. These colours are chosen because:

  • Red signifies the blood of those killed for the cause of the black community, throughout Jamaican history
  • Green represents Jamaica’s vegetation and hope for the eradication of suppression
  • Gold symbolises the wealth of Ethiopia
  • Black signifies the colour of the Africans who initiated Rastafari


The Rastafarian symbol

The lion is the symbol of Rastafari.

This lion represents Haile Selassie I, who is referred to as the ‘Conquering Lion of Judah‘. Rastafarians’ dreadlocks represent the lion’s mane.

Now you have an idea about Rasta culture, let’s go to the music Reggae.

Reggae music originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s and emerged as the country’s dominant music. By the 1970s it had become an international style that was particularly popular in Britain, the United States, and Africa. 

It was widely perceived as a voice of the oppressed. 

According to an early definition in The Dictionary of Jamaican English (1980), reggae is based on ska, an earlier form of Jamaican popular music, and employs a heavy four-beat rhythm driven by drums, bass guitar, electric guitar, and the “scraper,” a corrugated stick that is rubbed by a plain stick. (The drum and bass became the foundation of a new instrumental music, dub.) The dictionary further states that the chunking sound of the rhythm guitar that comes at the end of measures acts as an “accompaniment to emotional songs often expressing rejection of established ‘white-man’ culture.” Another term for this distinctive guitar-playing effect, skengay, is identified with the sound of gunshots ricocheting in the streets of Kingston’s ghettos; tellingly, skeng is defined as “gun” or “ratchet knife.” Thus reggae expressed the sounds and pressures of ghetto life. It was the music of the emergent “rude boy” (would-be gangster) culture.

Read more about it….

Sources :

Wikipedia, Britania, youtube


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