The Jamaican culture "out of many, one people"

i first have to start by introducing how the culture of how the Jamaicans came about. it stems from a long history of colonialism. It begins with the original taino people, who were enslaved by the spanish and then overthrown by the british, which in turn, were brought to Jamaica to work on the plantations as slaves. despite their harsh history, the culture as a whole is very relaxed, and genuinely happy most of the time. hence the term, "out of many, one people."

i was fortunate enough to spend 6 weeks in jamaica for a volunteer program at an orphanage. What i gained from them, was so much more then they gained from me. this culture is rich in tradition, such as pudding at christmas time, christmas cake, fried fish and lent at easter. The culture is enriched by jerk chicken, and pork as well as curries and spicy beef patties. I have grown to crave these foods still as of today.

"out of many, one people" is the motto of Jamaica.

in the national flag, the big yellow stripes represent sunshine and mineral resources, the black shaded region represents hardship and struggle, and the green area represents agricultural wealth and hope.

like many other cultures, family plays a huge role to the Jamaicans. the entire extended family are involved in the childs upbringing, even the neighbors are involved to some extent. parents are stern, but also very fun-loving and will sing and dance all day long while cooking and cleaning. regardless of the age of the child, the parents always feel responsible. education is taken seriously despite some poor schooling conditions, and during the week children are not allowed any play time or free time. jamaican parents do not approve of "hanging out" or watching television during the school week. it is expected that the children decide upon a career immediately after finishing school, and to also find a partner and create their own family. all family is extremely involved in the children choosing their life mate.

in an interview with my neighbor "Pearl", a middle aged sweet jamacain woman with 7 kids and 30 grandkids, She was able to shine a light and fill me in first hand on her culture. With bright spirits and open arms, she welcomed me into her home and offered me an old time Jamaican chocolate tea called "Chahklit tea". She also had fried plantains and rice and peas cooking on the stove, (which smelled delicious!) She asked to hold my baby who is 5 months old, and repeated "Gimme da baby!" of course i handed him over, and she bounced him on her knee while we carried on our conversation. She taught me quite a few tricks for my 5 month old, and i trusted her as she has raised many, many babies. she stated that In Jamaica the babies are more nurtured then they are here in the US. They are allowed time to "grow into themselves" so they are always being held, and always sleep right next to the mother until they move into a toddler bed. She still travels to Jamaica quite often, but there were better job, safety, and educational opportunities over here. She told me to call her "Po" and to come back to sit with her and have some tea anytime.

No jamaican culture research project would be complete without mentioning the infamous Bob Marley. Bob marley was an advocate for social change, while allowing listeners to forget all about their troubles and dance.
bob marley was the third world "rasta prophet". his career stretched over 20 years and during that time he encompassed every aspect in the rise of jamaican music. His spiritual beliefs as a rastafari is the very core of all his music. even though he passed away in the 80's, his legacy still lives on, and still to this day he is extremely loved, celebrated, and respected in the jamaican culture.


Martin, Judith N., and Thomas K. Nakayama. Intercultural Communication in Contexts. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2007. Print.

Scott, Frank. "Jamaican Culture." Get Jamaica. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2017.

"Speak Jamaican." N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2017.

"Rastafarianism Rastafarianism fast facts and introduction." Rastafarianism - ReligionFacts. N.p., 16 Feb. 2017. Web. 07 Apr. 2017.

Drinklazarus. "Bob Marley interview about richness and money." YouTube. YouTube, 23 June 2012. Web. 07 Apr. 2017.


Created with images by jbjelloid - "Brown's Town Market, Jamaica" • betticohen - "man male person" • One Laptop per Child - "IMG_1589" • Free Grunge Textures - - "Jamaica Grunge Flag" • amslerPIX - "Jamaican Family" • Bernhard_Staerck - "bob marley marley hippie" • fak1911 - "hippie bob marley marijuana"

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