A new partnership links a resort town in Jamaica with a town
in Poland noted for its annual music festival, called the largest reggae party
in central Europe.
Ocho Rios on Jamaica's north coast and Ostroda, three hours
north of Warsaw, are now twin towns, according to Donovan White, Jamaica's
director of tourism.
"Cultural and tourist exchanges between Ocho Rios and
Ostroda will be a wonderful opportunity for Jamaica and Poland to learn more
about each other's cultures and customs. One of the elements connecting our
diverse destinations is our leading reggae festivals, namely Jamaica's Reggae
Sumfest and Rebel Salute and the Ostroda Reggae Festival," he said.
This year marks the 18th edition of the Ostroda event. Over
the years it has showcased more than 1,000 performers on three stages,
including hundreds of Jamaican artists as well as more than 100,000 attendees.
Reggae Sumfest has been held annually in mid-January for the
past 25 years and is one of Jamaica's biggest music festivals.
The three-day Ostroda Reggae Festival just concluded on July
8 and featured performances by Jamaica's EarthKry, among others.
The modern concept of town twinning, conceived after World
War II, was designed to foster friendship and understanding between different
cultures and between former foes as an act of peace and reconciliation.
Since the 2000s, town twinning has been used to form
strategic international business links between cities.