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13 Signs Your Neighbour Is Jamaican

by Sheree-Anita Shearer | Associate Writer

Jamaican Flag
Photo: Jamaican Flag

For such a small island, our people really are far-flung across this planet! It is quite hard to visit anywhere in the world and not find a Jamaican living there. No matter where we go though, there are a few things that will remain the same. While all may not apply to your Jamaican neighbour, I'm sure you’ll be able to pick up on a few telltale clues from the habits on this list.
  1. Ackee and Saltfish for breakfast - If you are lucky enough to get breakfast at your neighbour’s house (which shouldn’t be hard because Jamaicans are always willing and ready to share a meal), and you see this dish, I am almost certain that your neighbour is in fact Jamaican. No matter where we are in the world, we will find a way to get ackee and saltfish there. The chocolate tea is an added bonus too.

  2. Dominoes - It might be hard to believe, but there are actually domino tournaments in Jamaica. That is how seriously we take the game. So if you are visiting your neighbour and the game gets a little loud or spirited, don’t worry, it is because your neighbour is Jamaican.

  3. Reggae/Dancehall - We are known across the globe as the homeland of Reggae and Dancehall music. Not only do we enjoy the music, but it brings us a little closer to home. So that's one more way to satisfy your curiosity about your neighbour's nationality.

  4. Gospel music on a Sunday - If your neighbour is a Jamaican, you will hear gospel music, specifically reggae gospel, on a Sunday. One of two things can be happening, we are either getting ready for church or getting our weekly deep clean of the house done.

  5. Pot covers knocking - If this happens at your neighbour’s house it means there is something to celebrate. This happens quite often in athletics season, it means we have won yet another race, scored a goal or something else.

  6. There is always food - Food is always cooking in a Jamaican household especially if more than one person lives there. Be prepared to smell the most amazing dishes and don’t be afraid to ask for a taste.

  7. Long conversations on the phone - The loud and long conversations, with many different voices that you can’t really understand, will most likely come from a Jamaican neighbour. We love to catch up with loved ones, especially on weekends when everyone is usually free. There are grandparents, parents, children, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends to catch up with and that usually takes a while.

  8. An obsession with curry - Jamaicans believe you can add a little curry to everything. It makes everything better. Shrimp, goat, chicken, lobster, crab, vegetables, nothing is spared. If you get a chance to taste it I think you would agree.

  9. Knows the cure for every ailment - A Jamaican neighbour will know the herbal remedy for any ailment you mention you have. It usually works too as Jamaicans prefer to try a natural route before consulting a doctor. It doesn’t hurt to do a little research of your own before trying it though.

  10. Has a rebuttal for everything - I would like to hope that you have a wonderful relationship with your neighbour. That just makes everything easier. But in the unfortunate situation that you do have a row with your neighbour, and the said neighbour has a comeback or sarcastic remark for everything you say, then chances are they are Jamaican. Sometimes it isn’t even with arguments, Jamaicans are cynical by nature and will ‘tek bad things mek joke’ (find humour in any situation).

  11. Have Jamaica, Bob Marley or Usain Bolt branded paraphernalia everywhere - There will be Jamaica branded T-shirts, dresses or jewellery, a Jamaica Flag, cups, coasters, steering wheel covers and accessories hanging from the rearview mirror of the car. The same is done with Bob Marley and Usain Bolt items of the same kind.

  12. Barrels being packed - Especially during Summer and Christmas, barrels are sent back to Jamaica stuffed with clothes and food. It is very important for those living overseas to send a barrel back for their loved ones back home.

  13. They tell you “I am Jamaican” - A Jamaican will let you know off the bat that they are in fact from the island. It isn’t something we shy away from. Being patriotic is ingrained in us and with so many success stories, rich culture and cuisine, who could really hide it?
The next time you feel curious about your neighbour, read the signs, chances are you will pick up a clue or two to let you know they're from the rock. By the way, do you have a Jamaican neighbour? Let us know how you discovered that they are from Jamaica.

I also recommend you read, Nope, We Do Not Like That! - 11 Things Jamaicans Dislike.


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