Rastafarian culture – London

by Sharan Samra

Adopted in the UK during the 1980s but actually originating in Jamaica in the 1930s. The rastafarian culture was exposed to society through reggae music and artists like Bob Marley. Followers were influenced by traditions linked back to the religion but it was also used as a way of finding solace during political hardship for black youths in Britain. People were likely to be seen wearing clothes matching the colours of the Jamaican flag, hair in dreadlocks and smoking cannabis.

Those that immersed themselves fully within the culture adopted the religious beliefs right through to altering their eating habits. But obviously the most controversial tradition that remains is the drug use. Members of the culture claim that cannabis is sanctioned in the bible and helps free your mind, bringing you closer to god. In terms of the use in Britain during the 80s it was probably one of the more ‘lighter’ substances in use. Alongside all the raving, techno and acid scene, cannabis, although still a problem, I dont think it was yet deemed as much of a concern like it is today.

The subculture continues to grow today,  in both it’s lighter and extreme forms, across the globe. Reaching countries including Japan, many parts of Europe and America.