Jamaica in The Eyes of a Jamaican
My job gives me the opportunity to interact with people from around the world, which is one of its plus points. I have a friend so to say, who goes by the name of Kayode Anthony (Ka), who has been living his life in the Caribbean Islands, I know him because of this website. I happened to have a deep eccentric conversation with him, as we jumped from topics like life there and here in Mumbai, travel, culture, lifestyles, to the Indians living there.
To make it more interesting for you I have cut it down to a size that will enlighten you about a few islands that that lie on the opposite side of the world. So let me begin the journey with Ka shedding some light on how a whole lot of people of Indian descent started settling in the islands.
The Caribbean Inhabitants
A century ago Slavery was abolished from the Caribbean Islands and the slaves stopped working. The British who were in control there at that time were looking for new people to grow sugar. So they searched the colonies, they did all sorts of stuff, used criminals from jail, hijacked ships and looked for destitute people around the world and lured them with promises etc. That’s why a place like Trinidad is really cosmopolitan, but a lot of them left and now its mainly African and Indian descendants that remain. That’s the history of everybody in the Caribbean they were brought to work on the Islands by the British and Americans.
“To leave where you live and travel halfway across the world 100 years ago you had to be poor or really rich. You were either escaping something or in a position of great wealth. A lot of the people who stayed actually did because they were in a state of almost slavery and never could afford to go back,” says Kayode.
You would be surprised to see how the immigrants in the Caribbean are similar and also have changed. Its like time stands still from the time they leave their country and till they adopt the Caribbean ways. “That’s a lot of fun for me to travel the islands look at the same people and see how they are similar and yet different, so you’ll see little differences in Jamaica and huge similarities to Trinidad,” he added.
“Trinidad has a good amount of Indian descendents and a fair amount where I am staying in Jamaica. The Indians here although they do not practice a caste system they kind of believe in being to themselves, well you have to imagine that these people would have come from the smallest villages looking for work or opportunity about 100 years ago though, in terms of history is not that long ago, so they are gradually coming out of their shells.”
Jamaican Culture and Weed
“We all know that Jamaica is known for its ganja culture and the Rastafarians, people who come to Jamaica say the whole country smells like ganja. There are some people who really believe in it here. Rasta’s smoke it every day, every hour on the hour or practically I tend to think it would be impossible to get anything done like that, but ganja is just a part of Jamaican lives, it’s wrapped in a lot of guilt, denial and illegality, but I hear the same about India too.”
India used to be called the green country at a point of time and ganja and hashish were an essential part of our culture until a little more than a century ago. But in the villages and mountains of old Manali and Kerala it still is an integral part of our culture.
There’s Ganja everywhere and in fact I think a lot of the ganja here, came from India and Africa, but there are a lot of problems because it’s still technically illegal and Jamaica is a corrupt country. So the police might put you in jail for it, but it’s a wonderful island as well.
World Cup and Travel
Ka expects the Islands to be full of the British soon, as they are fond of the islands and when you put it together with cricket; you have an irresistible combination for them. People in the Caribbean have begun to leave their houses for the World Cup next year and renting them at ridiculous prices. So if any of you plan on visiting the Caribbean its better to do so a little later and to save on your costs don’t stay in the main cities. Traveling from one island to another island is expensive as you have to cover quite a bit of ocean.
About Cuba and American Propaganda
I am glad for things like the Internet there is a lot of propaganda but there always was especially for older people up to yesterday my grandmother was telling me how horrible Cuba is. Cuba is the next closest island to Jamaica and most Jamaicans believe it is hell but they have never been there. Yet people who have been there say it’s not so bad but we get constant propaganda here telling us that they are suffering because of communism etc. This is basically just an American thing, but when my grandmother was growing up it wasn’t as easy to get information so she is basically brain washed against communism etc.
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