Jamaican People & Culture
Jamaican Culture is known all around the world. The Jamaican Culture, has become “Pop Culture”, and inspires many tourists to visit the Caribbean Island of Jamaica, year after year. Jamaican Culture has many components that make up its uniqueness. The Jamaican people, Jamaican music (Reggae) and Jamaican food are at the top of the list.
More components of Jamaican culture include the influence of Rastafari, The Religion of Christianity, some deeply rooted Jamaican Values, and African Culture and Tradition. All in all Jamaica is one of the most, if not the, most popular Island of the Caribbean.
Rastafari on Jamaican Culture
Rastafari is everywhere in Jamaica. Figuratively and literally. It is unfortunate that Jamaican friends of mine tell me that Rastafari is not highly regarded in Jamaica. I believe it comes down to the individual. When I visited Jamaica in February 2012, I felt respected as a Rastafari woman, as if my presence was appreciated. So everyone has his own opinion.
Rastafari has influenced…
• Reggae Music
• Jamaican Culture
• Jamaican Tourism
What is Rastafari?
Rastafari is a spirituality. It is an inborn concept. A way of life and set of principles that surround cleanliness and a love of The Almighty. For one reason or another Jah (God) has chosen to make his presence strongly known among the Jamaican people.
Rastafari has popularized Reggae music, and Jamaica, worldwide. We know this is true because Bob Marley, who was the biggest musician out of Jamaica, and one of the biggest musicians of the world, was Rastafari.
In Jamaica you will find much Red yellow and green wall murals, clothing, Flags, Street Signs, even cars. Red for the blood Shed of the African (Black) People, green for the agriculture of the African Land, and yellow for the sunshine that falls all over the Beautiful Continent of Africa. This combination is representative of The Spiritual Way of life Ras-Tafari. Rastafari and Jamaica run synonymous. Rastafari is Jamaica, Jamaica is Rastafari.
The Influence of Christianity
Many Jamaican men and women will tell you that they grew up as Christian. Going to Church on Sunday Morning is a common thing in Jamaican Households. Many Jamaicans can recite quotes from the Christian bible. Many Jamaican people are very devout Christians. Reading the bible each morning and each night. I know this is true for me. I truly believe that I found Ras Tafari through my devotion to Christianity. Therefor Christianity and Rastafari are viewed as related by some, but still entirely different, by others. Christianity has been an instrument of self-discipline, strength and love in the homes of many Jamaican families.
Show of Respect
Many people of Jamaica are very warm and Kind. Many of us put up a tough exterior, but many of us are very sweet and kind once you get to know us. Jamaicans like to deal with each other and others in a respectful, easy going, upfront way. Respect is such a big deal in Jamaican Culture, that this word on its own is often used in Salutation and Greetings. When dealing with Jamaicans, show respect, especially towards the elders. It is expected. The next paragraph explains how.
Saying “hi” is a big deal in Jamaican Culture. The reason? The implications of not saying hi are all negative. If a person does not say “hi” They may be seen as
· Putting their nose in the air
The consequences can be “out of this world.” I have lived it. For your own comfort, just be sure to great each and every single Jamaican person that you pass by on the street, with a “hello”, a “good morning”, a “good evening”, or “good afternoon.” If you do this, they will think of you in a bright beautiful light of love and kindness. If you don’t do this, you have just screwed yourself harder than you can imagine.
Jamaicans are some of the cleanest people. Many Jamaicans shower daily, but some shower 2 times daily. When I am in Jamaica, I tend to shower twice daily, as well, just because it gets so hot.
· When it comes to cleanliness, Jamaicans take pride in…
· A clean and organized home and yard
· Proper and Regular Hygiene for the and body
· Clean and wrinkle free (ironed) clothes
· Clean home
I have met many Jamaican people whose homes smelled like cleaning supplies, so much so to the point where, they could be out away from their home, and they would have the scent of household cleaning products on their clothes.
Proper and regular hygiene habits are of the utmost importance if you want to get along with Jamaican people, especially your Jamaican man’s Mother. This means…
· Showering daily (and hand washing your underwear in the shower)
· Brushing your teeth after each meal, maintaining fresh breath, so as not to be offensive
· Changing your bed sheets once a week
Please wash your panty!
If you are a woman who does not hand wash her underwear by hand while she is in the shower, and then hang it up to dry for everybody else within the household to see it, once they have entered the bathroom, you may be called “nasty.” Jamaicans have the mindset that a woman’s underwear is a very personal undergarment, which is full of sweat and vaginal fluids. Many of us feel that such an item must not be left sitting to “simmer” for any length of time, and that not washing your underwear the same time you take it off is just “laziness” and “nastiness” on the woman’s part. Please wash your panty the minute you take it off. It sounds silly but Jamaicans take this very seriously.
Make sure your clothes are clean
Wearing clean clothes is a very important part of Jamaican culture. It sounds silly that I mention it right. Well, Jamaicans take this very seriously. The way they handle a person who they feel is not wearing clean clothes is not to tell the person themselves, but to gossip about the person behind their back instead. So, it is very important when dating a Jamaican man, to wear clean clothes. If all your clothes are dirty, and the one item you have left that’s clean is your ugliest outfit from the 80s that you use to wear to go clubbing… put it on! Do not put on the dirty one.
Space and Privacy
In Jamaican Culture it is very important to give all family members, their own space and privacy. Sometimes a person needs time to think or to clear the mind. Nobody wants somebody nagging them when they need some time alone, especially a Jamaican man. A Jamaican man needs time alone from his woman to do the things that he feels he needs to do at that time. Respect his space and for goodness sakes respect his privacy too. This means don’t go sneaking through his stuff behind his back. We Jamaicans don’t appreciate that type of behavior at all.