By Chelsea Singh

Most people who have never been to the small, friendly and cultured island of Jamaica envisage it to be a just a place of only beautiful pristine beaches, golden white silky sands and waters so calm and tranquil. But what some people don’t know is that Jamaica is more than the beaches.

The island is filled with colorful people so rich in culture. Jamaica’s motto is “Out of Many One People”. This simply means that it is a huge melting pot stewed together as one. We are a country of different ethnicities. Being a Jamaican, having started university in the United States, I have found that a number of students fail to believe that Jamaica has people of different races. To some people’s disbelief, on the small island there are people of African, East Indians, British, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, and Lebanese descent. Our population is also mixed with immigrants from Cuba, Colombia, Panama and other Latin American countries. Jamaica is filled with very strong determined, resilient and talented people such as Usain Bolt who has three world records from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Jamaicans are also apart of the famous West Indies Cricket team. Bob Marley is also a famous reggae icon that was born in Jamaica.

Jamaica is surrounded by the calm, crystal clear Caribbean Sea. I have also found that people who are foreign to the island of Jamaica tend to think that the entire population lives by the beach. Jamaica has 14 parishes with coastlines of the Caribbean Sea. Even though the island is surrounded by water, not everyone lives on the beach. Places such as Negril, Ocho Rios, Portland and Montego Bay are where you would most likely find people living by the beach as these places are known as tourist destinations. In the city of Kingston you find high rise buildings just as you would see in the city of New York and other cities in the United States.

People are sometimes oblivious about other countries excluding their own. Being from Jamaica I have been asked some dim questions; “Do you have electricity?”, “Do you live in a tree?” , “Is your ethnicity Jamaican?”, “Does it snow?” Along with other obtuse questions. There are answers for all these questions. Jamaica is located in the tropics near the equator, hence the reason why it does not snow.

Jamaica is a developed country. There are many interesting facts that many people do not know about Jamaica. Jamaica was the first country in the Western world to construct a railway, even before the United States. Jamaica is also the first Caribbean Country to gain Independence and also the first island in the Caribbean to produce rum on a commercial basis. Apart from the United States, Jamaica has won the most world and olympic medals, and was the first Caricom country to liberalize the telecommunications sector.

Due to the fact that Jamaica is such a small island, people tend to put a stereotype on Jamaica. Jamaica is full of exciting people and things to do.


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