To know a Jamaican is to love a Jamaican. Our warm and inviting spirit allows us to attract people from all walks of life quite easily. If you have met or are friends with a Jamaican, there are certain attributes about them that you either hate or just love and/or accept. Here are a few of these traits:
1. We are Food-Oriented – a big part of our culture is food. Tourist and locals alike enjoy the rich and diverse cuisine that comes from the island. Jerk is our most loved street food – whether it be chicken or pork – served with bread or “festival”. Some other famous staple dishes include the national dish, ackee and salthfish, oxtail, curry goat or curry chicken, fish prepared in different ways especially steamed or escoveitched.
2. We Love Music – “skanking sweet” as uttered by Chronixx is a very true account of how we feel about music. Reggae, dancehall and gospel are some of the main genres on the island with reggae being the most popular and impactful genre internationally. Through just about every community especially in the rural areas, there is always a shop or a household playing music.
3. We love Dancing – with our love for music, comes our love for dancing. Our culture is rich with dance, something that has evolved over the years and carries into present day. From our ancestural folklore dances, Jonkunnu, Dinki-mini and Kumina to Skanking, Bogle, Heel-and-Toe, to the more latest dancehall moves such as “Dirt bounce” or “Leggo di bird”. Jamaicans often use dancing as a form of unity and to have a good time.
4. We Love To Clean – A clean house is a standard set by mothers and grandmothers in every household on the island. The house should always be ready for visitors. Weekend mornings are usually the standard cleaning mornings, and includes sweeping and wiping the house, washing clothes, changing bed linens, while listening to music in the background. It is often said that once the music (most likely gospel or reggae) is turned on, it symbolizes the beginning of the cleaning day.
5. Bold and Always Will Say Our Piece – one thing you can do is count on a Jamaican to say what they mean and mean what they say. They may seem unfiltered in conversations but it is often times than not, them being “real”, dspite how brutal it may sound about a situation.
6. Religion is Important – It is a known fact that Jamaica has the most churches per square kilometer than any other country in the world. The main religion is Protestant with the Seventh-day Adventist and Pentecostal demoniations being the largest. Almost every baby born on the island is blessed or christened shortly after being born. This is usually the first place kids are exposed to religion and for some they may continue to attend and worship at that church. Jamaicans also embrace religion throuugh Gospel concerts, convention ceremonies and the popular watch night services.
7. Holiday Celebrations – holidays are important to us – Christmas, New Years, Independence Day etc, we look forward to them and the social gatherings associated. Christmas holidays usually see families gathered for a cook out or maybe for a reunion; Other holidays usually include parties or other smaller social gatherings and on some occasions – religious services e.g. New Years Eve watch party.
8. Honest and Friendly – Jamaicans are a very friendly bunch. We like to let people feel at home and welcome. We will also be honest about our feelings.
9. Hard-Working – If there is any adjective to describe Jamaicans, it definitely is hardworking. Jamaicans set goals and work assidiuosly towards them. This attribute is demonstrated whether they are working locally or have travelled abroad to work to support their family.
10. Most Don’t Swim – yes, even though we live on an island, do not always expect to see us in the water. Most Jamaicans go to the beach to sunbathe on the shore or as most would say “dip me foot inna di water”.
11. We love sports especially our Sprint Athletes – sports is major part of our being. As children growing up, most Jamaicans would be exposed to competitive sporting games from as early as basic school (preschool) and it carries with us until high school when we engage in more competitive sporting games, locally and internationally. Some sports afforded individuals to get scholarships to study locally or abroad. We love our sprint athletes, despite often times you might hear us cursing them. For every competition that they are a part, there will always be watch party with the infamous pot covers for knocking after a win.
12. We love “suss” (gossip) and a good story – call us the land of gossip. There is always somebody’s business going around to be discussed, a neighbour asking “you nuh hear seh?” or a family member beckoning to you “come ya, mek me gi yuh suss!”. We love it so much, in some communities in Jamiaca there is an Afro-Jamaican practice that includes drum beating called Burru where the hottest “suss” / gossip of the year is chanted along to drumming and a march thoughout the entire community all day long on Boxing day.
Photo – Deposit Photos