17 August 2019
“House of Rastafari is a place in Rototom Sunsplash where people attending the reggae festival can find a community made up of a wide range of people from all over the world, who meet to share knowledge, how to live, history and experiences of the rastafari spiritual concept (rastafari livity)”, explained Ras Julio Lucchesi, from House of Rastafari. We find ourselves in the Reggae University along with HIH Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie (president of the Crown Council of Ethiopia and the grandson of Emperor Haile Selassie I) and Ras Ibi, also from House of Rastafari. They’re here to talk about the importance of Ethiopia for the cultural and spiritual heritage of the world. One of the many offerings of House of Rastafari within the extra-musical programming of Rototom Sunsplash.
The house of rastafari culture can be found next to African Village. Its easy to see this space, because it its own uniqueness: “It’s an area dedicated to extending and representing rastafari culture. We put the focus on the activities in the rastafari movement with seminars, films, exhibitions, art…”, explained Ras Julio, “the whole world becomes aware of rastafari life and culture, Africa and of course, Ethiopia”.
“We offer a cultural service”, tells Ras Julio with a timid smile on his face. His dreadlocks are up. In a while he will return to House of Rastafari. This rastafari meeting point forms a part of the traditional map of the festival and has become a landmark for anyone interested in getting closer to rasta culture. A cultural and spiritual meeting point.
Getting closer to this tent is like entering the full rastafari universe. It’s about understanding a fundamental part of Jamaican culture and reggae music. This also happens through its programming, which this year also revolved around the motto of this 26th edition. Its for this reason that people at Rototom connected with the spirituality and the rasta fundamentals through meetings with other rastafari. They showed people the in depth relationship between this movement with Jamaica and Ethiopia and rastafari communities. Also, to escape Babylon to enter Zion understanding this rastafari message and also connecting with their spirituality through cooking and projections that take us closer to the many ways of understanding and knowing the rasta message.
In addition, especially this year, House of Rastafari takes on a special significance. The Stand up for Earth edition also reaches the rasta house: “The rastafari movement promotes harmony with nature and Mother Earth; because she is like our own mother”, shared Ras Julio with his hand on his heart. “We have to love her and respect her. When we love ourselves and our family, we love Mother Earth”.
Asun Pérez (Translated by Finn Darco)