05 Nov Jamaican Culture Series: Jamaica 101 Video
If you’ve been following our blog, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that we did Peace Corps in Jamaica. It had a major impact on our lives. Though we lived in Jamaica for 2+ years and completed our service not too long ago (Spring 2014), sometimes it feels like a distant dream.
In an effort to celebrate and remember that important part of our journey, and to honor all that we learned from the Jamaican people, we’re starting a blog post series about Jamaican culture. From time to time, we’ll share stories, photos, and videos, and revive some of the most popular posts from our Peace Corps days. We’ll keep a list of links to each addition to the series right here, if you’d like to check back.
Other Posts in This Series:
- The Real Jamaica: Photo Gallery and Video
- Jamaican Eats: Experiencing Culture Through Food
- Life Lessons from 5 Jamaican Sayings
To kick off the Jamaican Culture series, we wanted to share this awesome interview with Jedd’s former counterpart, who worked with him at the community center in town. An excellent communicator, Julien is the perfect person to explain the Jamaican vibe, the challenges, and the pride that characterize Jamaica. Below the video, you’ll find a transcript of the interview, in case you have trouble understanding his accent in some parts.
If I were to describe Jamaica in five words, it would be like: hot. That’s the first one. Hot, tropical, cool. Cool as in like radical, cool like, “Oh that’s a cool pair of shoes.” I said hot but then I said cool. I shouldn’t have said cool right after hot because that kinda didn’t make sense.
What’s the word? The word I’m looking for is like rhythmic. It has to do with the people, like Jamaicans have a rhythm different from all of the other people in the Caribbean.
Hardcore. It’s like rough around the edge, you know? Even really nice places around here, they’re still kind of gritty.
We have one of the most laid-back attitudes. So things that a lot of people would probably get angry about, Jamaicans don’t really angry about those things, man. We just go with the flow. So meetings start like an hour or two hours late and you would feel like people would get frustrated. No man, everybody’s alright. Everybody just, everybody understands, and they just work with it.
People in Jamaica we’re kind of too dependent. People are more inclined to sit back and wait until the opportunity is thrown at them. There are isolated cases [otherwise] and you can see them, but for the most part people just kinda lay back and if things happen, they happen.
Jamaica wasn’t really ready for independence in 1962. I think it kind of came suddenly on us. We weren’t ready for it. So now, we’re suffering the repercussions of that.
The reason I’m really, really proud to be a Jamaican is because of all the achievements we have done on a global scale. Being such a small country, you would never think that we’d be able to have like the fastest man in the world, or the fastest woman in the world.
“Out of many, one people” now, that is our national motto. So in Jamaica, we have people of Indian decent, we have people of asian decent, we have people of straight British decent, we have people from German decent in Jamaica. So it’s really out of many people that the Jamaican people was birthed.
The typical Jamaica is a fun-loving person, jovial, very helpful, warm and friendly.
Jamaicans are a very patriotic people, so we like all things Jamaican. We wear our national flag colors, we take that seriously. Yeah man, we have everything from head to toe and we wear it out here in Jamaica. We all know that we’re Jamaican but we still wear it!
What did you think? If there are any aspects of Jamaican culture you’d especially like to hear about, let us know in the comments.
If you’re traveling to Jamaica, don’t miss these posts:
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