Jamaica 50 UK Celebrations
Jamaica 50 is a series of celebratory events under London 2012 Festival, on the occasion of 50 years since Jamaica’s Independence. Most of the celebrations take place and the O2 Arena, or North Greenwich Arena, as it is temporary called during the Olympics. The Jamaica Olympic House is also at the O2, having had its opening ceremony yesterday, August 2nd.
Before the Olympics, the IndigO2 venue was host of several reggae concerts as part of the programme, culminating with a Marley Brothers (Damian, Stephen and Julien) performance on Olympics Opening night – all three accomplished musicians, especially Damian who headlined the event. They fully held up to their father’s heritage, delivering a soulful 2 hour-long live act of which Bob would have been proud.
The rest of Jamaica 50’s agenda is far more serious and dull, with receptions, official ceremonies, flag play and lecturing going on starting this weekend. Complementarily, the organisers are putting on a symbolic cricket match between the English and Jamaican team. Cookouts, art exhibitions and gospel concerts will expose other ides of Jamaica’s national identity. The Rastafarian movement however, is hardly being represented. That is a rather misfortunate situation, since the national artistic heritage has been so greatly influenced by Rastas.
Said Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Hon. Olivia Grange: “We are very excited because we know that our athletes will take centre stage at the Olympics. This will help to widen the spread of enthusiasm around our anniversary. We hope to leave an indelible mark on the UK landscape so that after 2012, respect for Jamaica’s contribution to development in the UK will continue to grow in leaps and bounds. It is very important that we create a lasting legacy which will have a positive impact on the young people and benefit generations to come.”
Here and Now 365 has always prided itself for promoting multiculturalism and celebrating the ethnic diversity of the UK.