Commentary Jamaica Magazine

The Caribbean Remains No Problem, Mon

It’s winter again in some vast areas of the north and snowbirds are looking to come in from the cold.

Sand, sun, sea and sensual excitement fill the air of our neighbours just south of us. The Caribbean basin is probably the only true vacation getaway spot that has remained gentle, rustic and youthful, cuddling the spirits of millions of tourists yearly without it being a problem.

It’s just part of the culture in the Caribbean to be free, to be relaxed, jovial, casual, laid back, fun, easy, loving and pleasant. With bountiful adventures to be told of and enliven oneself in, music, dance, food, art, sports, spas, natural country side and wonders of a harmonious community.

Jamaica and Jamaicans were one of the first, if not the first, English speaking Islands in the Caribbean to wholesalely package the social fabric of it’s society to it’s friends in the freezing icebox zone. The raw, the natural, the uncultured, fresh, pure, colourful and loud, all wanted to showcase their tasteful, realistic candy for the eyes and spirit. They wanted to treat that individual who for whatever reason was trapped in the urban Metropolis and needed a break from it all.

Today 40 years later, Jamaica remains a classy tourism product. One that has rejuvenated itself, maturing but looking much younger than 40 years old. It’s a treasure to behold, bold and courageous, especially when you can stand tall and remain nonchalant in an era of shifts in global culture, shifts with your own uniqueness.

It’s almost ironic that although Jamaicans represent a genuine freestyle personality, that the messengers, scandal-mongers and news carriers carry on about this resourceful palm of clay paradise and the difficulties she faces, her failures or disappointments has less to do with truth than it has to do with history and stature.

The land will not be caught in self-pity, for it breathes such natural excitement. From hills to the valleys from rivers to the sea, a community of people wonder from where are these reports being posted.

The Island though small in comparison to continental wildernesses and land masses such as America, Africa, Europe and Australia; is yet a far cry taller, longer and wider in its’ capacity than news directors give her credit for.

In 2002 Her Majesty, the Queen of England, visited four countries of her colonial empire, this as a token to heritage for which the Crown and the most powerful country on the face of the earth has been blessed to witness.

Kingston, Jamaica is where Royalty first stopped. She then went on to Australia, New Zealand and Canada. She, however, was most honoured and gracious in the achievements of the nation of a dominant people. For unlike the others, Canada, New Zealand and Australia it is Jamaica that has had a most difficult route to its Independence. A slave colony for over 400 years, Jamaica was described as the most rowdy and toughest of their possessions. As history will account, Jamaica sat the most westernly of the British prized assets in the Caribbean. She gained the distinction of being called the King of Sugar, for at one point the Island produced the greatest portion of the worlds’ supply of sugar.

For most of its history, Jamaica has been a resistant country, rebellion and riots have catalogued the walk of this nation. Some place this to the fact that Kingston was the point where most of the more anti-social African slaves were dumped. It remained a fierce countryside & the British and their armies found themselves out gunned before officially signing a peace treaty with a dogged bunch of run away slaves called Maroons. For many years the Governor of Jamaica and Her Majesty’s royal offices were in Grand Cayman, for they the high and mighty were afraid of the people of this land.

The capital, Kingston, which was once called Port Royal, the home of renegade pirates and labelled the wickedest city in the world in the 18th Century, stretches from the 7th largest harbour, to the peak of the Blue Mountains, its highest point at well over 1000 feet above sea level. A masterpiece of a mountain; it can be seen from South Florida on a serene and cloudless day.

Gaining independence in 1962, after mass demonstrations and successful people mobilization, Jamaica was the first to emerge from the Caribbean as a free micro-community.

In 2002 the Island celebrated its 40th anniversary as a self-determined nation, democratic and free. Her Majesty was greeted on her Jubilee visit not by a violent, frustrated or angry people. No terrorist plots or sniper killers but a community that has even while being resistant on other profound issues of local importance, the natives are today mature, organized, purposeful, ambitious and expectant global citizens who have managed to lay the past to rest.

Jamaicans are hospitable and make friends with all people. Many are amazed at how a country so battered and bruised by an oppressive order, (being sanctioned from far north hypocrites) be so forgiving, so harmonious and so inclusive.

That’s the splendour that sweetens and enriched this distinctive body of people, making them a toast to the God of the Universe. For in spite of world governing policies that have sunk the weakest and least prepared nations into chaos on a macro level, the spirit of community and the hope of togetherness remain explosive in Kingston.

Don’t be fooled by the reputation that idlers wish to shroud progressive people in; for many times it’s the hearts of these pseudo liars that are filled with envy, jealousy, holding of grudges and being bad minded, that cause them to be in the upscale jungle of haughtiness. They speak words of wickedness, in order to destroy the work of an honest and beautiful people, but the soul and hearts of these people will not be shattered.

Like a peaceful sage, Jamaica remains fearless though vulnerable. Her strides towards hitting her friends with songs of peace and arms of love, makes this destination a no problem hassle free journey into a safe haven of celebratory realism.

About the author

Phil Dinham