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Characteristics Of Jamaican People
Why Are We So Loved By Everyone?

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dunns_river_falls_guest_posingCharacteristics Of Jamaican People

By Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer

It brings a massive smile to my face whenever people from different cultures get excited each time they meet a Jamaican. As a people, we have quite a reputation globally for our unique ways of expressing ourselves, vibrance and penchant for enjoying life. So what are the things that make us so unique?

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We may have a turbulent history, but our affection for one another knits us tightly together. From Africa to Asia, Europe to the Middle East, Jamaica embraces them all, making us the epitome of racial tolerance.

Add to this our Joyful spirit. Like seriously, have you ever met a Jamaican who wasn't full of life? Despite facing challenges, we exude vitality and humour like no other. Our national happiness isn't just a facade; it's a way of life. And it doesn’t matter the social class either! With or without money we are joyful and always grateful.

Then there is the way we speak and I am not just referring to our dialect, although that is a big part of it. We believe in speaking our minds, loud and proud, with a little more than a sprinkle of humour.

That’s just the start though, so let’s dig into the characteristics and traits that truly define us.

We are passionate about our food, culture and music

As Jamaicans, we are very passionate about our cultural identity, the things we are well known for and that’s our food, culture and music. We wear it like a proud badge of honour wherever we go in the world. If we could wear it on our foreheads we would. If you want to see a Jamaican get upset or as we like to say “bringle” or “cross”, say anything disapproving of our culture, food or music. These are the things that at the core make us who we are and it is always a joy to be able to share them with others.

Music and Dance is in our blood

Music and dance have always been a major part of our lives since childhood. It is a part of every form of celebration in every aspect of our lives, from school to church, weddings, parties, holidays and even down to the customary blasting of gospel music early on Sunday mornings by our parents and grandparents as our wake up call to get the day started.

We are clean freaks

That blasting of music on Sunday mornings wasn’t for no reason, it was mainly to start the day’s cleaning, as culturally, Sundays and Saturdays are the official days for deep cleaning our homes and our mothers and grandmothers ensured that we were good at it. This is a trait most of us bring with us into adulthood and wherever we go.

We are bold and honest

Sugarcoating isn't in our vocabulary, it's probably even frowned upon. As we love to say “ wi back broad” so we speak our minds with unfiltered honesty, even if it ruffles a few feathers along the way.

We are very religious and superstitious

It may come as a surprise to many just how religious and devout we are as a people. Yes, it can be quite contradictory as some aspects of our music and dancehall culture may be quite lewd and outrageous, but behaving in a “Christian-like” manner will earn you much more respect in our culture. With more than 1,600 churches, Jamaica is the country with the most churches per square mile according to the Guinness Book of World Records! That says a lot. Add to that our many many religious and spiritual superstitions.

We are friendly and hardworking people

Welcoming smiles and strong work ethics go hand in hand for Jamaicans. It’s why many developed countries speak highly of Jamaican immigrants and seasonal workers. Many Jamaicans are recruited yearly for opportunities to work abroad and others establish businesses here, commonly, BPOs and franchises.

Visitors love it here for this very reason. We have a habit of greeting strangers as if they are long-lost friends. This isn’t just here though, travellers will tell you that all over the world Jamaicans are warm friendly people, who are thoughtful, extremely kind and very helpful.

We love the water but can’t swim

As the land of wood and water, you would think that most of us would be able to swim as soon as we were born. That is furthest from the truth. We have so many beaches and rivers, yet, most of us can’t swim, or have very limited swimming skills. Take me for example, I live right beside a gorgeous river and can’t swim at all. This is definitely a trait we need to work on fixing.

We love Sports

From our local community games to international competitions, sports unite us like nothing else. And when our sprint athletes take to the track, the whole nation cheers them on with pots and pans in hand.

So Jamaica isn't just a place on the map; it's a state of mind, it's who we are. We're bold, vibrant, and unapologetically ourselves and our uniqueness knows no bounds.

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References & Sources For Characteristics Of Jamaican People

  1. Edwards, A. (2023) 12 things to know about Jamaican people, Jamaicans and Jamaica - Jamaicans.com. Available at: https://jamaicans.com/12-things-to-know-about-jamaican-people/ (Accessed: 15 May 2024).
  2. Jamaican people (2018) Jamaica Global Online. Available at: https://www.jamaicaglobalonline.com/jamaican-people/#:~:text=The%20national%20penchant%20for%20being,fun%20of%20themselves%20and%20others (Accessed: 15 May 2024).
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