How Much Milk Should A 1 Year Old Drink Canada An Introduction to Rastafarianism

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An Introduction to Rastafarianism

Rastafarianism is a religious movement born out of the black slums of Jamaica that harnessed the teachings of Jamaican-born black nationalist, Marcus Garvey and conditionally uses selective Old Testament Christian writings to support its teachings and practices. Born in 1887, Garvey’s influence on the poor descendants of black slaves in Jamaica reached its peak in the 1920s when his message of encouragement and calling on black people to be proud of themselves won fanatical supporters. . Although historically Marcus Garvey was a political leader interested in making the black race economically equal to the white race, in the oral tradition he became a divinely anointed prophet.

With the coronation of Ras Tafari Makonnen on November 2, 1930 in Ethiopia, many believed that Garvey’s prediction of a crowned black king in Africa who would be a redeemer and liberator of the dispossessed black race had come to fruition. Makonnen claimed for himself the titles of “Emperor Haile Selassie I, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Chosen of God, and King of Kings of Ethiopia”. Ethiopia holds great significance for Rastafarians who believe in a coming day of judgment when the righteous will be called home on Mount Zion (identified with Africa) to live forever in peace and harmony. Marcus Garvey, although not an admirer of Haile Selassie, as he observed that slavery still existed in Ethiopia, continued to be revered by fanatical Rastafarians despite being a Roman Catholic by birth who did not never spoke explicitly to support the growing movement.

With no centralized organization, definitive text, official building, or recognizable and permanent leadership position, the religion is difficult to categorize. This results in a wide variety of beliefs and practices falling under the general umbrella of Rastafarianism that often result from individual interpretations. There are, however, some notable features described below.

Distinguishing it from other groups and religions that emphasize compliance with the powers that be, here it is the individual that is important. Individuals follow a path to truth for themselves and reject the power of modern oppressive white society (“Babylon”) which is seen as rebelling against God, the “Righteous Ruler of the Earth” called “JAH”. JAH is within all individuals and all individuals are connected to God. This is reflected in the often used expression “I and me” when referring to oneself.

One of the early leaders of the movement in Jamaica was Leonard Howell, who was arrested by the Jamaican government in 1933 for preaching “revolutionary doctrine”. Howell established the first Rastafari commune and six principles of Rastafari that have changed little over the years: 1) a hatred for the white race, 2) the complete superiority of the black race, 3) revenge on the wickedness of peoples whites, 4) the denial, persecution and humiliation of the government and legal bodies of Jamaica, 5) the preparation of the return to Africa and 6) the recognition of Emperor Haile Salassie as the supreme being and the only leader of the black people.

Although he helped shape the ideas of the movement, his arrest is also believed to have had a great influence on the organizational structure of the movement. The prolonged police harassment that Howell suffered is believed to be the main reason the Rastafarians decided to remain leaderless.

In 1954, the situation became increasingly tense when the Jamaican government intervened and invaded the now Rastafarian mini-state called the Pinnacle over which Howell ruled. After that, many followers left the original rural setting for the ghettos and slums of Kingston. Although genuine Elders advocate non-violence in their teachings, a frustrated and desperate few instigated a confrontation with the authorities that culminated in deadly shootouts with British troops in the late 1950s and early 1960s, drawing negative attention to the movement worldwide.

From the mid-1970s to the present day, the Rastafarian movement has experienced phenomenal growth, thanks in particular to the worldwide exposure and acceptance of reggae music. This is mainly attributed to Bob Marley who, as a musical artist, was also a prophet of Rastafarianism whose lyrics often address themes related to Rasta doctrine. The reggae movement first appealed to young black people in the Caribbean, many of whom saw it as an extension of their teenage rebellion against school and parental authority. With the migration of Caribbean families to England and America, music spread and became popular, along with some other Jamaican botanical export.

Some followers choose to classify the religion as Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity (distinguishing it from Catholic and Protestant Christianity) or even Judaism. In the latter case, black people are believed to be descended from the twelve tribes of Israel and that black Jews have lived in Ethiopia for centuries, disconnected from the rest of Judaism. This idea and others result from the interpretation of Bible translations, which are also considered incomplete and have been distorted by white oppressors over time.

One of the most obvious symbols of Rastafarians are the dreadlocks on a Rasta’s head. They are said to represent the Lion of Judah and contrast with the upright, blond gaze of the white man and the establishment and in response to interpretations of passages from Leviticus 2 in the Bible.

Another major symbol of Rastafarians are colors, especially red, gold and green. These were taken from the Garvey movement and form the background of the Ethiopian flag. The red represents the triumphant Rasta Church but also the blood of the Rasta martyrs. The green represents the beauty and vegetation of Ethiopia, the promised land, and the gold symbolizes the wealth of the homeland that must be regained.

The real Rasta also only eats I-tal food. These are specialty foods that never touch chemicals, are natural, and don’t come from cans. The food is cooked but served in the rawest form possible, without salts, preservatives or condiments. Rastafarians are vegetarians. Drink is anything herbal, like tea, and not unnatural like alcohol, milk, coffee, and soft drinks.

Marijuana or ganja is usually smoked in ritualized form and as medicine and is not officially recommended for recreational use. It is believed to aid understanding and meditation and is claimed to be the ‘holy’ or ‘green’ grass mentioned in some Bible translations.

Today, Rastafari’s global following is believed to number around 1,000,000, with official branches in many countries including England, Canada, the Caribbean Islands and America. Some sources claim that six out of ten Jamaicans are Rastafarians or Rastafarian sympathizers, with more conservative estimates indicating five to ten percent of Jamaicans are Rasta.

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