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The Culture Of Jamaica - Questions For A Project


Hello sir,

I am currently working on a cultural anthropology project for my Socio / Anthro / Psychology course at school.

I was lucky enough to find your website and so far my research has been going great!

I just had some questions to ask...

  1. I understand that Negril, Ochos Rios, Montego Bay, Kingston, Port Royal and Portmore are some of the major cities in Jamaica. But I was wondering what makes them different from the other city. I read that those cities are more industrialized than others and attract more tourists. Is that the only reason that makes them important?

  2. I learned that Jamaica has a lot of rivers and mountains. How would you describe the Jamaican landscape in general? Is there a landscape that is unique to the country? I saw the list of mountains and rivers but how do they affect everyday lives of Jamaicans?

  3. I read a page on Jamaican authors and it was very helpful. Is there another page about Jamaican Literature I can refer to?

  4. I have already read the answer to the question about taboos in Jamaica.

    I was hoping you could add more to that. I’m specifically thinking about "Cultural Do’s and Don’ts" that a foreigner (such as myself) might find surprising.

    Many of the websites I’ve been on only talks about "Tourists Do’s and Don’ts", such as ‘Do not flaunt large amount of cash in public’. (which is not the kind of information I am looking for!)

    I heard that in Japan, it is rude to show your teeth to teachers or elders because it is considered a sign of aggression. This is the type of information I am looking for.

Thank you for taking the time to read my questions!

Best wishes,
from Toronto, Canada.

ANSWER: by Wellesley

Hi there!
You didn't state your name, but thanks for asking!
And thanks for the commendation on the site.

Outside of what I share on my culture of Jamaica article,
I'll try and respond in the order your asked the question, starting with number...

  1. Negril, Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, Kingston, Port Royal and Portmore - What's Make Them Important.

    They are important for different reasons. Montego Bay is the hub because it is home of the largest airport in the country and so, by default, other businesses inevitably gets creating around this industry. It is also the hub of the freezone activity for outbound businesses and the sea port activity.

    Negril stands out for its long stretch of white sandy beaches and it's laid back atmosphere, hence called the 'Capital of Casual' in Jamaica.

    Ocho Rios, in my opinion, stands out because of its many and varied natural attractions, including the world famous Dunn's River Falls, it also boast a thriving cruise ship port.

    Portmore is the fastest growing city in Jamaica, as many Kingstonians had moved there for various reasons. And where people go, business goes as well.

    Port Royal is technically a part of Kingston, the Capital of Jamaica, but it stands out because of its rich history with pirates and earthquakes, you can read more about Port Royal here.

    Kingston, the capital, is synonymous with increased business, and commercial as well as governmental activity. I am not sure if the business activity preceded its capital status but or vice versa, but there-in lies its main importance.

    Just one thing though, remember that what I state is certainly not the only pull, reason or attraction for their popularity. Those, in my opinion, are just the main reasons. There are indeed a lot more to each of these places and destinations in Jamaica.

  2. How The Jamaican Landscape Affect The Lives Of Everyday Jamaicans

    That's an interesting one. But I can tell you that we have learned to make the most of the landscape we have.

    From the days of slavery where the Jamaican maroons used the hills and caves to runaway and hide, to the farming of some of of best produce, including coffee, Jamaicans have found a way to make the best of what we have.

    The rivers also form and important part of the livelihood for those of us in the interior, away from the cities, example, farming, fishing and even tourism.

  3. Jamaican Literature - Where To Get Information?

    You said you already read my page on Jamaica's top poets right?

    I'd also suggest you read this page on Wikipedia for additional insight.

  4. Cultural Do's And Dont's In Jamaica

    I'm picking my brain on this one.

    The first that came to me was food. I find that we, for the most part, eat goat intestines and crab, that many in other cultures might see as taboo.

    But on the flip side, we don't eat snails, iguana, frogs, etc. that some cultures treat as a delicacies.

    Here are a few others as well, submitted by Kai, one of my readers sometime ago.

I am going to solicit the collective help of my readers with this one again though, so stay tuned.

I hope this is helps!


Get more answers to other burning questions here and here.

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A patriotic Jamaican who adore its culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' since April 2007.  

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