Globalization of Rastafarianism

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Rastafarianism has been globalized through music, practice, and symbolism. One could argue that the main catalyst behind the globalization movement was through the music of Bob Marley. He popularized reggae music, and thrust it to the world stage during his musical career. He sang songs that carried the morals of a Rastafarian, and that spoke on social issues of his birthplace in Jamaica. He sang to many about the culture of Ethiopia in which he called “Zion”, and about the resistance of western culture and society, which he called “Babylon”. These songs that contained Rastafarian messages were recorded and distributed by Island records. Island records was founded in Jamaica, but then reached out to offices in the United Kingdom and the United States, because of the success of Bob Marley’s records. This led Marley to tour the world and become an international icon. He was then awarded the “Peace Medal of the Third World”, educated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and awarded the Grammy Lifetime achievement award, for his music and lyrical content. This resulted in a mass acceptance, and adoption of the Rastafarian religion. The music of Bob Marley and reggae music has impacted the lives of people around the globe. In turn, the people who were influenced by Marley have integrated, and built businesses from the Rastafarian culture. Many shops around the globe sell Rastafarian paraphernalia such as incense, giant Jamaican flags, articles of clothing that bear the colors of the Jamaican flag, and marijuana clinics based around Rastafarianism. Although, these shops seem to only support the most basic elements of Rastafarianism instead of the meat of the culture. Many people will purchase these items to portray the image or “look” of the Rastas. They will wear the colors of the Jamaican flag, smoke marijuana, grow their air into dreadlocks, and even use the word “Irie”, the Jamaican word for powerful, pleasing, or feeling good. Many places of cultural diversity seem...
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