I am a proud Jamaican. I Love my country and want nothing but its success. Many people looking from the outside have preconceived ideas about Jamaicans. They think we all live in trees, that the island is tiny, that everyone knows Usain Bolt or Bob Marley, and that all Jamaicans smoke Marijuana and are Rastafarians… well I am here the debunk the rumors and preconceived ideas about one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Jamaica is obviously one of the most beautiful places on earth; Jamaica is 10,991 km², we boost a population of approximately 2.712 Million. We have a high crime rate, a struggling economy and we have a tiny to non-existent manufacturing industry. We struggle with a lot of social issues, like many developed and developing countries. We are plagued by a corrupt government and we have a Gross Domestic Product of 14.84 Billion USD 😦
With so many challenges and struggles, most people would crumble and lose themselves or be completely overwhelmed by misery and hopelessness, but not Jamaicans, Jamaicans are NOT most people… irrespective of our size and issues, we are ranked as the 75th happiest country on earth. Want to know why we are so special?… Keep reading…
Jamaicans Have a Slang for Everything!
Ok I was going home one day, and I was in a taxi and the driver was talking to his friend, they were having a lengthy conversation that lasted for about 10 minutes, and can I tell you, I didn’t understand one thing that they said! They were speaking English, but it was English unique to them. The driver was live “Yow dawg, mi did forward, di parti slap weh, mi did ago duh so, but mi doops say mi nuh fi mek da link deh, so mi duh suh a hol a medz”, the guy responded “dawg, a suh di ting set, when u a duh suh, yuh have to jus duh suh, yuh caan too pree de link before yuh mek di link star”!… Im like what the hell did he just say!? J…. Jamaicans are very creative, we have a different word for everything! I am never in the know when it comes to slangs, so I’m always left behind, and my sisters be like “girl, where are you”?… Here is a rundown of the current slangs,… I’m keeping you in the know… You’re welcome! 🙂
– Dawg–Close Friend
– Link–friend in a network of friends
– Duh suh–Make a move, chill or take it easy
– Hol a Medz–Meditate, relax
– Bill – Chill, take it easy
– Pree–Check Out
– Goodaz – Hot, sexy woman or girl
– Sort Out–Fix up (usually related to sex)
– Slap Weh–Awesome
– Yuh done know–You understand
– Loud up di ting–Expose someone’s business
– Do road–go on an outing
– Level–Calm down
– Babylon – Police
In Jamaica, You are what You Do
Jamaica is a very informal society. We are easy going and we don’t stress about the little things. So if you are a foreigner and you come to Jamaica, and your occupation happen to be, say a Receptionist, don’t think that you are going to be referred to by your name, no sir, in Jamaica you are what you do and how you look. If you are a vendor who sells bags–you are called ‘the bag lady’ or ‘baggie’, even if you are off the job, no matter where you are, you are ‘baggie’. If you are teacher – you are ‘teach’ if you sell eggs – you are ‘eggie’, if you sell underwear (draws in Jamaican patois) you are forever and always ‘drawsie’! If you are fat – you are ‘fatty’, ‘biggs’ or ‘fluffy’, if you are slim – you are ‘slimmaz’, if you are tall (male) – you are ‘tall man’, , if you have dark skin – you are ‘blacka’ and if you have locks – you are ‘ras’.
Some persons in other parts of the world may be offended if they are fat and referred to as fatty or biggs, but in Jamaica it’s no problem, man. We give people nick-names as it is easier to remember, and it means that you are a friend, that you are welcomed. If you are called by your full name, now that’s when you need to worry! 🙂
Jamaicans are very Superstitious
If you are a Jamaican, you know that everything means something supernatural or biblical. We strive for what our grandmothers and forefathers did and believed. If you are sick, feeling down, it is believed that a drink of a particular herb can make you better. If something bad happens, even if the reason is obvious, we will find something supernatural to justify it. If you for instance, you are a bicycle rider and you ride on the same route every day and something bad happens, even if you were not being careful, people will say, “a set dem set yuh up, look how long yuh a ride pon de same route an noting nuh happen, why suddenly, yuh meet inna accident?”…
Jamaicans are Very Religious
Religion plays a huge role in how we do basically everything! It influences how we raise our children, how we treat each other, and our social norms and values. Jamaicans believe that prayer can help everything. If a child is misbehaving, you will hear “a praya di pickney want”. Church in Jamaica is a MUST! If you don’t go to church on Christmas Sunday, Easter Sunday or New Year’s Sunday, you are considered ungodly. I remember one Christmas Sunday I didn’t go to church. When I went to work a co-worker asked me “how was church?”, I foolishly responded, “I didn’t go to church”… who told me to say that? She called down heaven on me, saying how dare I not go to church!… Most Jamaicans, no matter what they are doing or where they are, church on major Sundays is a MUST!
Jamaicans are Very Helpful and Kind
This is what I love about my country the most. We are a society of brothers and sisters. No matter how badly we treat each other sometimes or no matter how we curse each other out, if you are in a jam, trust that someone will help you. If you are going some place and you don’t know where you are going, and you ask for direction, someone will spend as long as it takes to make sure you who where to go. If you are low on cash and run out of grocery, you can ask a neighbor for a piece of yam, a hand of banana or some sugar. Once we have something and can assist someone in need, we do and expect nothing in return.
Jamaicans are not filtered- We are as blunt as they come
This is what you should know, in Jamaica. If something is funny, we do not hide it. We will laugh, even if it is at someone’s expense. We do not have filters; we don’t go out of the way to say something just to make you feel good. If you look tired, messy or have a bad hair day, you will be told (you would hear “lawd my girl, how yuh hair stay suh”?), conversely, if you look good, trust me, you will know (“my girl, yuh stay good”). We are honest people. What you see is what you get… Jamaicans are not the type of people to sugar coat things and say the “appropriate” or “expected” thing; we say it like we mean it…
Don’t get me wrong, we are not insensitive people; we don’t ridicule or make someone feel bad about themselves. We embrace people for who they are.
In Jamaica, Everything is funny, Even When It’s not
Jamaicans have a comical response for almost everything. One day I was on my way from work, there was a commotion in a supermarket. A lady was caught shoplifting, it was discovered that she stole a box of matches and peanuts. One gentleman was in the crowd, he was like, “I cannot believe this, this is so unfortunate, to imagine that this is happening now” I was nodding in agreement, to the fact that the lady was shoplifting, he laughed and continued “before she tief some chicken or a big bottle of Bailey’s Rum Cream” I am like, what!! She stole, that is bad enough, don’t encourage her!.. the crowd up-roared, people was mad at the woman and laughing at her, not because she stole (which was bad enough) but because of what she stole!… Only in Ja! 🙂
Jamaicans are very traditional
Jamaicans are nothing if not traditional. We believe things are supposed to go a particular way… just ask my mother! If you are cooking, you have to do it a particular way, because if you don’t, you cannot cook! If you are cleaning, you must clean a particular way, or you cannot clean. You must go to school, get a job, get some furniture, get a house and then have a baby. The average Jamaican becomes a parent before marriage. Becoming a parent is something you must do, preferably before you are 28. If you don’t, people will wonder what is wrong with you!
We have our quirks; we have our challenges and we have our differences, regardless of these and how bad our economy is. There is no place I would rather call home!… Jamaica to di Worl!!!!!
Hope you enjoyed 🙂