Friday, July 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Haile?

History lesson: On this day in 1892 Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethopia from 1930 through 1974, was born. So what does this have to do with Bermuda? Not much really. After all, Selassie is best known for being revered as Jesus incarnate among devotees of Rastafari—a movement that believes Selassie will lead the peoples of Africa to peace, righteousness and prosperity, which also includes the spiritual use of marijuana. And unlike the islands of the Caribbean, Bermuda’s Rasta population is miniscule by comparison. I’m guessing it’s the strict drug laws and wide prevalence of Christianity but that’s just one theory. Here’s another: As I’ve said before, Bermuda is not the “no shoes, no shirt, no problem,” Caribbean many people think it may be. In fact, it’s not in the Caribbean at all, as this interview with yours truly dutifully attests. But that’s exactly what makes it great. Don’t forget, the 21-square-mile, mid-Atlantic island is approximately 650 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, with nonstop flights less than two hours from New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia. The Caribbean, with it’s laid back beach bars and relaxed drug culture it is not. No doubt the island’s Rasta population will be in full force during Ziggy Marley’s upcoming performance at the Bermuda Music Festival, but beyond a handful of island believers, I have a feeling there won’t be many people celebrating Selassie’s birthday today.

1 comment:

  1. WE ALL should be celebrating his birthday as he was the greatest proponent of Collective Security, and the only revolutionary Royal. His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I visited Bermuda on a one day ceremonial visit and rest on October 9, 1963. He visited again in 1967. Both visits are extensively memorialized in HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY HAILE SELASSIE I IN BERMUDA 1963 & 1967, Copyright The Writers' Machine, 1989, P.O. Box WK108, Warwick, WKBX, Bermuda, 57pp. including many black and white photos.