Jamaican culture and lifestyle - my class project

by Lisa
(NY, NY)

QUESTION: Hey, everyone! My name is Lisa, I'm 24 years old and I live in New York. I'm working on a project for a class called: The

Social, Cultural & Economic Aspects of Foods.

I chose Jamaica for my project, and I am looking for some first-hand accounts! I know that I can find plenty of information online, but I really want to see what those of you who actually LIVE in Jamaica have to say!

Basically, I'm not just looking for the types of foods you eat, but WHY you eat them, and what's eaten at certain times of the year (for
example: holidays). I've come up with some standard questions below & if you could answer even just ONE that would be helpful!

All I'd ask for is your NAME / AGE / LOCATION IN JAMAICA if you are willing to participate.

If you don't feel comfortable writing your last name, that's fine! I really, really appreciate any input that anyone has to give!

I hope you all don't mind if I "troll" around posting this same thread in other places of the forum.

Again, please don't feel obligated to answer all of the questions. ANY input is appreciated! Feel free to elaborate as much or as little as
you'd like. :)


- What kinds of foods are common in your household?
- What is the place setting like when you eat your meals?
- What is your favorite holiday to celebrate (if at all) and why?
- What kinds of rituals or traditions are common when you celebrate holidays? (for example, it's custom to eat turkey for Thanksgiving or have a Christmas Tree for Christmas)
- Do you snack between meals?
- If you've moved from Jamaica to the US, did you carry over any customs? If so, what are they?
- Do you practice a religion? If so, what is it?
- Is healthy food considered cheap?
- What do you consider healthy food to be in Jamaica?
- Where do you shop for food? How do you get there, and how far from your home is the shop located?
- Who lives in your household? (family? friends?)
- Is your family tight-knit or do many family members live further
away?
- Is it easy or difficult to receive medical attention?
- What is your favorite food & why?
- Do you cook? If so, what do you like to cook?

ANSWER: by Wellesley November 18, 2012



Well thanks for choosing Jamaica as your subject Lisa!

That's a handful, but I am going to take a shot at each question.

I'm also going leave the comments link open for my fellow Jamaicans, home and abroad, to add their input as you requested.

Remember now, I am answering as a Jamaican (from Montego Bay) but moreso personal, meaning per my household :-)


  • What kinds of foods are common in your household?

    Staples would include Yam, Flour, rice green banana, sweet potato, dasheen and other ground provisions. Protein would be mainly fish,
    chicken. Chicken Eggs and cereal are also heavily consumed :-)


  • What is the place setting like when you eat your meals?

    We try to have a family meal around the table, but it is not always likely. Most times we serve the children's meals and eat later - or probably just take it to go.

  • What is your favorite holiday to celebrate (if at all) and why?

    Independence and Emancipation is always fun here, but Christmas in Jamaica is super special here Lisa.

  • What kinds of rituals or traditions are common when you celebrate holidays? (for example, it's custom to eat turkey for Thanksgiving or
    have a Christmas Tree for Christmas)

    Yes, we have our own. They are more tradition than rituals though :-) Fruit Cake with Sorrel is extremely popular at Christmas time here.

  • Do you snack between meals?

    Yes, I do, and almost everyone does it- if it's possible :-)

  • If you've moved from Jamaica to the US, did you carry over any customs? If so, what are they?

    I'll leave this one for my friends in the diaspora to answer, but expect them to say that they eat their rice and peas and Chicken on Sunday evenings still, for example (lol)

  • Do you practice a religion? If so, what is it?

    Yes, Chritianity. I would say that over 95% of Jamaicans who are spiritual are Christians, albeit different denominations. More on Jamaican religions here.

  • Is healthy food considered cheap?

    Actually Yes, relatively speaking. I'm speaking more to the raw, ground (earth) foods though; fruits and vegetables.

  • What do you consider healthy food to be in Jamaica?

    Naturally/Oganically grown fruits and veges - those coming straight from mother earth :-)

  • Where do you shop for food? How do you get there, and how far from your home is the shop located?

    Most Jamaicans will go to the supermarket or market. The market is usually located in a city or town center.

    Of course their are also corner shops in almost every community, especially the rural parts and the more deprived areas. Those are integral to the economy of some neighborhoods.


  • Who lives in your household? (family? friends?)

    Family; friends visit.

  • Is your family tight-knit or do many family members live further away?

    Actually very tight-knit Lisa, even those that live further away, we still stay in touch and visit when we can.

  • Is it easy or difficult to receive medical attention?

    Medical attention is easily have, the problem is probably more the cost (for private practioners) and excessive wait times (in the public hospitals)

  • What is your favorite food & why?

    My favourite food? I wish you didn't ask Lisa :-) I'm gonna say fish tea, with all the good stuff in it- carrots, okra etc. Tomorrow I may have another favourite though :-)

  • Do you cook? If so, what do you like to cook?

    I'm learning yes :-) I can cook most Jamaican meals.

    I hope this helps Lisa. Good luck with your grades now.

    Regards,
    Wellesley

    P.S. This Q&A will also be posted on our popular facebook fan page so I am inviting you to follow the responses from my fans over there as well. Our address is http://facebook.com/myislandjamaica

Comments for Jamaican culture and lifestyle - my class project

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Nov 28, 2012
Help with university project
by: Viktoria

Dear All,

I have a project at my university which is about Joe&The Juice café and in my project I am conducting a research whether it could be possible or not to adopt that café to Jamaica. In the research I am examining Jamaicans’ preferences and habits regarding cafés.

Can you help me by filling out the survey below? It would be a huge help for me. ;)

Thank you in advance. :)

The link is available here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8DCLFV9

Best regards,
Viktoria
Denmark

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