General

Be Jamaican in a Foreign Land

Written by Delano George Bell

On many occasions I have met Jamaicans, living abroad, who do not display appropriate Jamaican behavior. This can lead to isolation by Socially Correct Jamaicans and has prompted me to put together some categories and a list of things to do so as to achieve Social Correctness.

Music: Most Jamaicans listen to reggae. However not all do it the SOCIALLY CORRECT way. To achieve social correctness one must always play reggae, preferable the dancehall type, loudly. Your neighbors must know you are Jamaican and the police should visit at least once a month because of the noise you make in the neighborhood. Your car stereo must be turned up loudly, that every one who drives by you will know that you are Jamaican. It is such a pleasure sometimes to hear a car stereo struggling to play loud reggae on miniature speakers with no sense of base or treble. Isn’t it fun as the people who are not of Jamaican nationality try to translate the lyrics of dance hall music?

Attitude: Attitude is one of the biggest keys to achieving your goal is being a Socially Correct Jamaican. Here are some tips. Jamaicans are always right. If I say the sun is blue and the skies are yellow, in Jamaica, do not argue with me if you are not Jamaican. And if you are Jamaican you’ll probably back me up. A Socially Correct Jamaican is somewhat narrow minded, very argumentative, a bit conceited, arrogant at times, impatient, stubborn and always 2 hours late. Remember the term “soon come” may mean 2 hours or 10 years. A warning to any Non – Jamaican: NEVER SAY ANYTHING BAD ABOUT JAMAICA or you’ll get your fingers chopped off. The bottom line is that it is Socially Correct to act like you know it all.

Appearance: If you are a Socially Correct Jamaican you are supposed to be able to be recognized by a fellow Jamaican by your appearance. To Others, a Jamaican is recognized by the Rasta Belt, Jamaican T-shirts and clothing that has the colors red, yellow, and green. These colors are the Socially Correct National colors, even though they are not the official colors of the Jamaican Flag. It is important for the male to appear big, bad, and in control. It is important for the female to be in control if he is not Jamaican. Cars are also a part of your appearance. Do not forget to have a big Jamaican Flag with major public visibility on some part of your car. All Socially Correct Jamaicans Drive either a Mazda, Toyota, or Honda because of the heavy stocks they have invested in these companies and their cars.

Accent: If your accent is not Socially Correct then none of the above will ever help and you are probably a JA-FAKE-AN. The accent has to be strong patois even if you are an up-towner. I know Jamaicans who have been Socially Blacklisted for trying to speak the Queen’s English or American twang. I hope I have provided you with some insight on Jamaican Social Correctness and if anyone questions your behavior you may use this as a reference.

About the author

Delano George Bell