The Strangest Things About Jamaica

36841 441205092577 515282577 6023921 7957384 n 300x225 The Strangest Things About Jamaica

The cliffs of Negril, ruined by an ashtray.

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.

  1. 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?)
  2. Goats reign supreme in the battle of the roadways. (I’d rather die in an automobile collision than live to become a curry?)
  3. There aren’t beaches everywhere; in fact, many natives cannot even swim. Homophobic men will proudly declare that they aren’t swimmers.
  4. There are many ways to speak Jamaican, which is not even taught in schools. None of the authentic accents are like in the movies.
  5. Most Jamaican people do not smoke marijuana. It happens to be illegal there.
  6. 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.

Walk good,


  1. Arawakan word meaning ‘land of wood and water’ []
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  1. Alt
    Posted May 24, 2012 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

    “Out of many, one people” is also on the US dollar “E Pluribus, Unum”

    • Posted May 24, 2012 at 1:12 PM | Permalink

      Our liberal attitudes toward all things heterosexual would make Jehovah cringe, but we still use Him to justify our homophobia.

      • Karee
        Posted May 29, 2012 at 10:22 PM | Permalink

        It’s a crying shame, Javed. So hard to understand.

    • Karee
      Posted May 29, 2012 at 10:24 PM | Permalink

      Thank you, Alton, for that bit of information. Should be the motto of humanity.

  2. Raymond
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 12:24 PM | Permalink

    I really don’t get point #3. Good stuff nonetheless, let’s hear some on this leading into Jamaica 50.

    • Karee
      Posted May 29, 2012 at 10:21 PM | Permalink

      Raymond, remember the list is from the perspective of a visitor. Many have only heard of Jamaican beaches. There is much more to the island.

  3. Posted June 15, 2012 at 9:59 PM | Permalink

    heheh I think goats here are pretty smart! I once was so sure I saw one look up n down then cross HaHa!

    There once was a McDonalds chain but …… never survived! KFC isn’t as wonderful as it used to be but I somehow still buy the expensive chicken and cuss bout the price and quality while licking my fingers!

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