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Passa Passa is a weekly street party originating in Kingston, Jamaica. It is reported to have begun on Ash Wednesday in 2003, with the name being coined by Carl Shelley. It is performed to dancehall music. It has spread throughout the Caribbean and started in Colon City in Panama and later it spread to Puerto Rico. It is most similarly related to a block party. The Passa Passa usually gets started around 1am and has been known to continue straight through until 8am.
Artists, selectors, and dancers who usually attend and have done a great deal to build the dance for what it is to day include: Bogle, Ding Dong, Marvin, Kartoon, Aneika Headtop, Ravers Clavers, Black Blingaz, Timeless Crew, Shelly Belly, Spikes, John Hype, Sample 6, Sherika Future, Jermaine Squad, Sadiki, Swatch, Maestro, Beenie Man and Future Girls.
Furthermore, Passa Passa has drawn many professional and amateur dancers into the media spotlight as the event is typically videotaped for mass DVD distribution. Many of the popular Jamaican dancers, such as the late Bogle and Ding Dong, have made appearances on these videos. The spread of dancehall popularity, particularly in Japan and Europe, attracts many international dancehall fans along with the hundreds of Jamaicans who attend weekly.
Grenada's Education Minister, Claris Charles, called for a ban of the dance in that country in 2006. In 2007, the Grenada Government has asked to meet[clarification needed] the so-called passa passa queens, a group of girls accused of lewd behaviour in public. Some say that these passa passa queens go from party to party and commit lewd acts to gain acceptance from the males in attendance, while others argue that women's sexuality is unfairly subjugated in Caribbean cultures.
- Balford Henry: "The 'Passa Passa' phenomenon" The Jamaica Observer, November 21, 2003 (copy at the Internet Archive)
- J.A.Wallace: "PASSA PASSA is destroying our moral values" article from Grenadian Connection web site, March 11, 2006
- "Dancing Against the Beat" article from Los Angeles Times
- Photos of Passa Passa in Kingston
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