The Rastafari movement originated in Jamaica in the 1930s, and it brings together a body of knowledge that integrates ideas influenced by the Bible and Shaivism. This practice is also marked by some Ethiopian traditions, which can already be seen in their symbolic colors (red, yellow and green with the Lion of Judah).
Although Jamaica is the cradle of the movement, it can no longer boast of being the only place where Rastafarianism is practiced, as over time, thanks to music and new technologies, it has spread throughout the world. There are over a million Rastafarians in the world today.
In our Cultural Thursday, Loop invites you to discover four things you need to know about moving here.
- Why don’t they eat meat?
When it comes to food, Rastafarians eat a healthy diet. While some of them eat fish, most Jah followers do not eat meat because, according to their belief, meat is dead food and if eaten, their body will turn into a graveyard. To indicate that food is prepared according to Rastafarian principles, we add “ital” which is the name of their dietary law. We say, for example, ital omelette, ital pasta, ital mashed potatoes, etc.
They also rely on this Bible verse to justify their choice of food: Genesis 1:29 “God added, “Now I give you every herb yielding seed over all the surface of the earth, and every tree bearing fruit that will become trees through the development of the germ.” . They will serve you food. »
- The meaning of their flag
The Rastafarian flag comes in red, green, yellow and black. Red should symbolize blood, the sacrifice that gives rise to freedom.Green in honor of nature, it also symbolizes fertility and labor. Then yellow for hope, gold representing Ethiopia’s wealth.
- Marijuana as a ritual
Unlike some laws around the world, for Rastas, marijuana is not a drug. For them, it is rather spiritual food. They believe that its consumption contributes to the growth and disclosure of their spiritual consciousness. Among Rastafarians smoking marijuana is a religious ritual.
Hemp, in the Rasta culture is a sacred herb, it is used in the phases of meditation, during ceremonies. This is central to their practice.
- Their dreadlocks aren’t just for looks
According to the Rasta faith and their interpretation of Leviticus 19:27, their strength lies in their hair and beards, so they cannot be cut.
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