Cultural Norms of Jamaica

Topics: Japan, United States, Religion Pages: 10 (2897 words) Published: October 9, 2010
Cultural norms of Jamaica

Jamaica is a land of diverse cultures. It has a number of different racial ethnic groups .The largest group however is the blacks or Africans so 'Jamaica’s culture' is predominantly black. Interwoven is also the European culture which these blacks learnt from their former white slaves masters. You will find Indians living in Jamaica also. Many Indians came to Jamaica as indentured servants and stayed, they too have an input in the Jamaica’s culture. There is a thriving culture of Chinese on the island many came and are still coming as merchants. Jews and the Syrians also are a part of this cultural mix. All these different races have made the country what it is, hence the motto written on the Coat of Arms ‘Out Of many One People.’ The different races gave to 'Jamaica’s culture' a richness in food, dance, music, language, most of all a life-style. The skin of many of the blacks is not very blue black as many other black races but is different hues light to dark chocolate brown because of the different mixture of blood. The people are also a pleasant set of people, many are beautiful in physical features.

Jamaican Language

English is the official language. But all Jamaicans speak a “jamaicanized” form of English often called patois. Some uneducated Jamaicans speak only patois but understand standard English while some educated people speak patois in informal conversations. Jamaican culture has a language that is one of the most colourful of all the Caribbean. You really should hear a Jamaica curse. There is nothing that can be compared with it. It has a musical sound and a resonance to it, spoken in different decibels, one word can mean many different things. Listen to a Jamaican poet reading poetry. The language carries a lot of feelings and can sound very aggressive to those who do not understand it.

Jamaican Food

The Jamaican diet consists mainly of fish, poultry, rice, vegetable and fruits. Jamaican food is a mixture of all the cultures. Jerk meat- African, Curry - Indian, Christmas pudding- European and .Chop Suey - Chinese. Traditionally the food is very hot and spicy and goes well with the alcoholic beverages that are made on the island from sugar cane. The national dish includes ackee and saltfish, rice and peas with chicken, pork or fish are also very popular.

Religions in Jamaica

Jamaica is said to have the most churches per square mile than any other island. Religion plays an integral part in the Jamaica’s culture. Some religious groups found in Jamaica are as follows; Anglicans, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, Quakers, Methodists, Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, Moravians, Jehovah’s Witnesses. There are also members of the Hindu community also members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Rastafarianism is seen as a religion as observers consider it as such. Traditionally there are certain times of the year that most people will not miss going to church, New Year, Easter and Christmas. Occasions such as funerals, crusades and gospel are well supported. Many Jamaican believe in spiritual healing so there is a culture of the supernatural entrenched in the Jamaican culture carried over from slavery. The Holidays in Jamaica are categorized as secular holidays and religious holidays. The religious holidays are: •Ash Wednesday

Good Friday
Easter Monday
Christmas Day

Jamaican Clothing /Dress

Dress is one of the marks of the people. They are known to be one of the best dressed people in the world. They like bright colours and very fashionable styles. If you find one who differs, it may be because there is not the means to do so or because of religious practices. The ladies do not consider themselves dressed without a fabulous hair style which can run into thousands of dollars. The national costume is a creation of bandanna plaid of red and white and can be trimmed with white red or blue. Jamaica's take pride in these costumes and create various...
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