Jamaica…The Land of Wood and Water
Claimed by Christopher Columbus in 1494, it was previously a Spanish possession known as Santiago. The island came under the rule of England in 1655 and was called Jamaica.
Jamaica gained its independence from the United Kingdom on August 6, 1962 and this date is recognized as a National holiday.
Jamaica is an island situated in the Caribbean Sea and is the fifth largest island in the Caribbean. It lies 90 miles from the south of Cuba and 100 miles west of Haiti. The entire island is a little smaller than the state of Connecticut.
Growing up in Jamaica as a child and young teenager has been the most memorable times in my life. Although I’m a city girl from Kingston, I never ventured to the rest of the island’s parishes including the north coast. Now when I visit home, I make a conscious effort to stay on the north coast and venture out to the surrounding parishes. Being a daughter of a Rastafarian Reggae musician and a Coach, I was exposed to music and sports at a very young age. Now as an adult, I still remember on Sunday mornings the music blasting, my parents singing and dancing to the sounds of Roots, Rock Reggae, Ska, Rocksteady and of course the wonderful aroma of Ackee & Saltfish with fried dumplings and chocolate tea…the mood was Irie!
These memories warm my heart; like the days I toured locally with my dad to many stage shows (concerts) and meeting artists and their families. To date, I still prefer the older songs from artists and legends such as Bob Marley & The Wailers, Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff, Toots and the Maytals and Sugar Minott not forgetting dub poetry by Mutabaruka just to name a few.
Fun Facts about Jamaica:
- Official Language is English, but we also speak patois (pa-,twa) which is a dialect
- There are 13 parishes (similar to states in the USA)
- Capital is Kingston
- Motto: Out of Many… One People
Although most of the population is of African descent, we have a mixture of East Indians, Chinese, and European. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwDgA9LUVMA & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flie8bD13ZU
- Reggae music originated from Jamaica
- National Dish: Ackee & Saltfish
Jamaica…No Problem Mon!