I have to start by saying we have an amazing training staff. We go through a lot of dense material and for the most part they keep us engaged. The other day during culture training our LCFs (language and cross-cultural facilitators) dressed up as “the people of Jamaica.” It was hilarious which is why I feel the need to share it.
Typically a woman who lives in the hills. When she has dreams about the future and events that are going to happen she will put a pencil in her hair to signify the amount of dreams she had.
The street sellers are very aggressive. They are the ones who tell you how amazing a boyfriend you could be if you buy her lingerie and if you don’t your gal a leave ya.
Most people have their vision of a Rasta because of Reggae and Bob Marley. In a generally negative social culture the Rastas try to spread a positive message. Some are quite extreme and will try to convince you that they only way to be true is to go back to Africa.
A lot of the men here have a wife and a mate. The wife is the married to him and the matey gets to sleep with him. There is a saying, “ You have the ring, but I have the man.”
There are some Jamaicans who try and bleach their skin to make it whiter and essentially wash away signs of the history of slavery in Jamaica. These people will be covered head to toe on the hottest day of the year in order to maintain their light skin. Once bleached skin is exposed to the sun it gets darker than it was before.
All school kids are required to wear uniforms so they are pretty obvious. They will sit at bus stops waiting for a certain bus to come by because it plays certain music—mainly dance hall.
This is obviously not an exhausted list of the people of Jamaica, but it gives an idea of some of the characters in the culture.