Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Research Paper on Jamaica

Research Paper on Jamaica

What makes the Jamaican culture so unique? This question is one that I've failed to answer and failed to share the answers with people while growing up in America. Because of people making fun and ridiculing me, I've been too afraid and embarrassed to share the beauty of my culture with others. I am happy to say that it is not like that anymore and I am determined to let people know about the place where I'm from. This new found pride in my culture did not come to me until recently, so I take it very seriously.

The Jamaica I know is the place where a lot of my ancestors were from. It was my home for six years of my life and I wouldn't change that for anything. This country is not all about beaches and having a good time. I've seen people go through the hardest times in their lives, but the spirit of the people continues to be "irie," which means everything is all right. This is a motto that Jamaicans live by even when they might not have all the things they need or want, but "we appreciate everything." (Kevin. Personal interview. 3 Dec. 2002)


I know that Jamaican parents are by nature very strict. Growing up in my household is a great proof of this. On a school night my brother and I were unable to watch television or go out, because what we had to do for school was the most important thing in my mom's eye. She also expected us to do our chores such as, making our beds, washing the dishes, and sometimes cook. This type of behavior is normal for the typical Jamaican household.

I also know that Jamaica has some of the best food around the world. The food is known to be very spicy and well seasoned. A lot of people that I ask in America about what's the first thought that comes to their minds when they're asked to think of a Jamaican dish, usually say Jerk chicken, but I know there's a lot more different and delicious foods than that. I grew up eating a Jamaican meal every night, even when I moved to Milwaukee.

Although I knew all of these things about my culture before doing my I-search, there's still a lot more that I don't know and would like to find out to know exactly why our culture is so unique. I hope to discover what makes me a "black" person even though I am Jamaican. Does being "black" just mean being an African American or am I still a "black" woman even though I am not African American? I would also like to know if all Jamaicans are just black people from African ancestry.

Being "black" is not just a color it's a culture. Our culture differs in some ways depending on where you are, but is very similar because of our descendants. Slavery was an important thing in Jamaica for the plantation owners. Slaves were brought from Africa to Jamaica to work. The British, French and the Dutch quickly followed suit, making a transnational industry out of the African slave trade and the super profits that it generated. "The Maroons -independent Africans who thrived in Jamaica after the Spanish left Jamaica and before England seized control in 1655- gained self-rule from the British colonialists in 1738 after a protracted guerrilla war. Queen Mother Nanny (Jamaica's only National Heroine) is the best known Maroon leader, along with Accompong and Cudjoe." (A Brief History of Jamaica)

This is the reason why I am a black person. My ancestors were African people just like the African-American's, the black French's, and all black's ancestors. "The rich origin of African descent and the struggle our forefathers endured to get here, " (Thompson, Keron . Personal interview. 2 Dec. 2002) is the uniqueness of the culture of black Jamaicans as well as all blacks. The only difference is the title that's given to us. I don't call myself African- Jamaican, but the title African-American is given to the blacks in America. We are black people with similar histories.

Jamaica is a small island with a lot of different types of people. The island consists of Africans, Afro-Europeans, East Indians and Afro- East Indians, whites, Chinese, and Afro-Chinese, and others, which means there are a lot of different influences and religions. Religions include Protestant, Church of God, Baptist, Anglican, Seventh-day Adventist, Pentecostal, Methodist, United Church, Roman Catholic, and other including some spiritual cults, which was developed in 1982.

The official language of Jamaican people is English. English is spoken and understood by all Jamaicans. Patois is a derivative of African, French and the Spanish languages, "This is a very unique aspect of the Jamaican culture," and language. The majority of the people speak patois. (Wilson, Amoy. Personal interview. 2 Dec. 2002)

All that I've learned from doing this search is what I want to share with all people, but more specifically black Americans. Throughout my childhood and adulthood I've encountered more black Americans being ignorant about my culture and who I am because I was born in Jamaica than anyone else. For this reason my choice of audience is black Americans. There are many different types of genres that I chose to include in my project. Poetry, art, music, teachings of patios, interviews with Jamaicans, and stories are some of the genres I decided to include in this project.

I specifically chose art and poetry, because the creative and artistic abilities of Jamaican people is a beautiful part of the way we express of our culture and ourselves and that needs to displayed for people to get a better understanding of where we are coming from. This poem is one that best describes what I am talking about.

The Jamaica I see...
by Margaret Bailey

The Jamaica I see has so many memories
A land of beautiful trees and greenery
I remember the sweet juicy mangos
that when you eat them you dance the tango
The naseberries and guineps, in abundance
as far as you can reach, unless you have vertigo
Cherries, etioti apples, guavas and casava
The fruits of the island with real flavour
Fetes, carnivals, garden parties and sports day
These festivities are all part of our culture
Preserved to enhance our future
Art is a way of life, and the rastaman who avoids strife
Reggae music and Sunsplash, one experience and you'll be coming back
Beautiful women with minds as sharp as a tack
striving to be different, never part of a pack
My Jamaica is not faraway
I recall my thoughts and visit everyday.

I chose the teachings of patois, because I think this is a very good thing for people to see. To show them that the language is English, but with a different flavor. It's what I spoke for 10 years of my life. As I got older my accent diminished, however it is still a part of me and I will always understand when a Jamaican says to me, "A fe me cyar" Translation: "It's my car."

Stories are a big part of the Jamaican culture. My friends and I told each other stories just for fun when we got together. My mother would read a story to us every night when we were kids. I loved every moment of it, because the stories she read were my favorite Anansi stories like this one.

Anansi and the Squirrel

Once there was a squirrel that was the smartest in the village. The squirrel walked by a corner and saw a spider named Anansi. Then Anansi asked the squirrel to get him some water.

The squirrel said, "Why should I?"
Anansi said, "I will get you a great dinner."
The squirrel made a deal with Anansi. So the squirrel set of and walked to the stream. Then he gave the water to Anansi.
Anansi said, "Thank you," with a grin on his face. That night squirrel waited at his door for Anansi. He wondered. So the squirrel went to Anansi's house.
Anansi was singing, "I have a slave. He can do my chores ha! ha! ha! I can sit on my web all day ha! ha! ha!"
The squirrel said, "I've been tricked!" I got an idea!
The next day the squirrel walked by the spider's web.
Anansi said, "Can you please give me some water? I will give you a bag of gold."
So the squirrel walked out the gate and climbed up a tree and watched Anansi.
Anansi got very mad and walked out the gate. In the morning squirrel made a fake bird out of leaves and scared Anansi away. Anansi never came back to the village.
Jamaican folklore is a tradition among the adults and the children and stories like this one is very popular wherever you go on the island.

I love Jamaican food, music, stories, people, and language. I have a beautiful culture that's different from other cultures, not necessarily better, but very unique. It's a great and very evident part of my personality that I can not hide. I cherish it and will always represent it.

Warning!!! All free online research papers, research paper samples and example research papers on Jamaica topics are plagiarized and cannot be fully used in your high school, college or university education.

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