What is the meaning of rasta?
Rastafari is an African-centric religion that developed in Jamaica in the 1930s. At the same time, Haile Selassie was enthroned as the king of Ethiopia.
The beginning of Rastafari
Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican proponent of Black Nationalism, inspired many people through his teachings. This led to the starting of the Rastafari movement. Garvey was also very famous for his prophecies as once he prophesied Balck king’s crowning in Africa, it took place in reality.
His African pan colours were red (representing shredded blood), black (representing real Africans), and green (representing Africa).
It is an African religion. According to the various Afrocentric beliefs, Ethiopia is the birthplace of humanity.
As per their religion, Ganja is smoked ritually. While smoking, they say a prayer to Jah (God) or the king Haile Selassie I. While they are smoking Ganja for Nyabinghi, the rasta used to call them reasoning sessions.
4Rastafari Community and Language
Today, Rastafari resides in various parts of the world and are counted to be more than a million. The community has its own distinctive language, beliefs, culture, music, diet, and symbolism. They speak more about Rastafarian English, which is easier to learn than Jamaican Patois.
What do the Rastafarian colours represent?
One of the Rastafari movements’ most integral parts is its 3 red, yellow, and green colours. These are the colours of the Rastafarian movement; however, it is red, gold, and green, similar to the Ethiopian flag (but the people say and use yellow instead of gold). The rasta colours can also be found in the Ethiopian flag.
- The red colour represents the blood of the African martyrs shed during liberation, equal rights, and justice.
- Yellow represents religious freedom and sunshine.
- Gold represents the homeland, minerals, and resources of Africa.
- Green depicts the vegetation of the fertile land of Ethiopia.
Correct order of rasta colours
The correct order of Rasta colours is red, yellow, and green. However, in Haile Selassie’s reign, the flag appeared in a reverse sequence of these colours in green, yellow, and red.
Significance of rasta colours
1. Ethiopia, also known as Zion, is known to be the original birthplace of humankind. One of the most important goals is the repatriation to Zion called ‘Promised Land.’
2. One of the essential doctrines includes the rejection of society’s devastating elements such as oppression, materialism, and sensual pleasures.
3. To understand the rasta religion spiritually, one has to delve into their religious roots fully. Many beliefs that black spiritual leaders used to urge followers to study the Scriptures themselves.
4. The symbolism behind each colour holds great importance to the community as a whole. The tricolour of red-yellow-green is extensively associated with the Rastafari movement, making it the most significant symbol.
Do all rasta dread their hair?
According to a passionate Rastafarian whose name is Rasta Leony Ruranganwa, it is unnecessary to have dreadlocks to be a Rastafarian. As per his beliefs, one can be a Rastafarian by merely following their way of life, not by twisting the hair to be dreaded.
While some Rastafarian think that the Nazarites of the Bible inspired the dreadlocks, it plays a vital role in transforming a person into a true rasta.