My island home is turning 50 this year. Well, everybody knows better than to believe so, as Xaymaca1 has been around longer than all of us, but we became independent of British rule on the 6th of August in 1962. Many Jamaicans are proud of this fact but some believe things would have been better, had we still been a colony of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and [Northern] Ireland.
The black in our flag which used to stand for the hardships overcome and to be faced now represents the strength and creativity of the people. My wish is that we would all demonstrate some strength in accepting each other’s differences and fully embracing the national motto, “Out of Many, One People.”
This is the first of 5 lists I will publish in honour of #Jamaica50. Had I been a tourist, these are the most stunning observations I would have made about the island.
- Funerals are a big celebration in Jamaica, wakes are usually a huge party with festive food, drinks and spirits, esp. rum. There are even cheerleaders dancing to marching bands in parades on the day of some funerals. (Go death?)
- Goats reign supreme in the battle of the roadways. (I’d rather die in an automobile collision than live to become a curry?)
- There aren’t beaches everywhere; in fact, many natives cannot even swim. Homophobic men will proudly declare that they aren’t swimmers.
- There are many ways to speak Jamaican, which is not even taught in schools. None of the authentic accents are like in the movies.
- Most Jamaican people do not smoke marijuana. It happens to be illegal there.
- There is no McDonalds. Even though the local food is hearty and incredibly delicious, KFC is a favourite.
…feel free to add to this list in your comments…
Jamaica is beautiful in so many ways. It’s not just a country, it’s an experience to live for. To my fellow Jamaicans, please get out there and [positively] exploit your island, learn about your neighbours and try to understand their thinking and preferences. We are too small a family to not love each other more and enjoy stronger bonds.
- Arawakan word meaning ‘land of wood and water’ [↩]