non verbal communication jamaican culture

one simple statement could mean multiple different things, depending on how exactly you say it. The speakers body language makes a huge impact in how you respond to the message. body language is culture specific, and jamaicans are very flamboyant. they wear their emotions straight on their face, can be very loud and are not afraid of what you think. the loud and flamboyant tone would be considered obnoxious and rude in the american culture, but is completely normal in their own society. They often use the "loaded glare" to let you know that you have done something that disgusts them. in the american culture, facial expressions like eyeballing and glaring is often not used. Americans tend to put on a poker face in a lot of public situations, and more so ignore their surroundings.

Fist bump!

in the Jamaican culture, the fist bump is much more common than a hand shake or any other greeting. they often add a joint cross of the thumbs. Unlike the american culture, which is always a handshake or a hug if more informal. In the american culture, this could be misunderstood and considered rude to fist bump in a formal, or semi formal situation, but it differs in Jamaica. The Jamaican culture is much more laid back and easy going culture than most. "Most nonverbal communication about affect, status, and deception happens at an unconscious level. For this reason, it plays an important role in intercul- tural interactions." (Martin and Nakayama pg.270)


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

Dommdotcom. "It’s not what you say: a lesson in Jamaican non-verbal communication." Two Years pon di Rock. N.p., 15 May 2015. Web. 22 Apr. 2017.


Created with images by MicraShed_UK - "Yell" • flavionunespt - "just fist firmness" • kiwanja - "Fist bump with "The Arch" during the "How to change the world" session at #UnreasonableatSea / #SemesteratSea. Great fun, great memories."

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