Dutty Fridaze 04: Finale!!
February is coming to an end so hip-hop hooray! Let’s hope winter decides to call it a day soon.
I know there should’ve been more activity on here but let’s face it—going to school, working, writing exams and making time for social activities is hard. But I hope you had fun because I did!
So how are we going to wrap up this deliciously chocolate Black History Month? Now that I think about it, we didn’t learn much history at all, now did we? We mostly tried to learn about the language, customs and culture of Jamaica and as far as I’m concerned, that’s counts as history.
Here are the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about Jamaica that I often receive as a Jamaican person. Never ask me them again.
Is Jamaica Only Full of Black People?
No. Jamaica’s population is mainly Black people but there are populations of Chinese, East Indian, Jewish, Maroon and German, American, Irish and Latino people in the mix amongst others and yes; many if not most of them also speak the language affluently. Thus the national slogan, “Out of Many, One People.”
Why Do Some Jamaicans Not Eat Pork?
The Christian branch of Seven Day Adventism (amongst other branches of Christianity) has a strong following in Jamaica; the rules of which forbid the eating of pork. Rastafarai also preaches vegetarianism (although a few Rastas do eat chicken and/or fish) but also has a “no pork” rule. Other Jamaicans who do not fall into this category simply view pork as an “unclean” meat. I do not eat pork nor do most people in my family.
Is Jamaica Dangerous?
Sure can be. Most of the violence takes place in Kingston and hasn’t spread all over the island and the violence seems to have its periods—some days people will be getting murdered like crazy while on others, it’s extremely peaceful. If you are going on vacation I highly recommend staying on a resort just for safety reasons. *Le sigh* I wish things didn’t have to be that way.
What Do Jamaican People Eat?
We went over this in detail in Dutty Fridaze 03 but to recap, popular diet staples include rice, fish, dumplings, bananas, carrots, pumpkin, potatoes, chicken, beef, goat, pork (for some), peas, beans, jack fruit, lychee, mango, spinach and so forth. There are Western foods like hamburgers and KFC (but no McDonalds, it didn’t do well in Jamaica and they left the island 2 years ago! EAT SHIT, COLONIALISTS!) and there are also Chinese food restaurants by Jamaican-Chinese people.
What Is the School System Like in Jamaica?
You start school when you’re 3 and you graduate from highschool at about 16. The lucky few proceed to college or university. Everyone wears uniforms until then.
What is Jamaica Like?/What Are Jamaican People Like?
Hot and sunny, quite mountaineous. Beaches. People like to keep dogs as pets. You can’t really *know* how people are like until you actually meet them of course. In general, Jamaicans are warm and friendly but as the saying goes, “there are good people and bad people from every race” and we’re not an exception to that rule although I will say that the good ones aren’t just good; they’re wonderful.
What is Rastafarianism?
First of all, it is NOT called Rastafarianism as it is a “Western” quality to “ism” everything. It is called Rastafarai and yes, Jamaicans love God so much that some of us came together and started a whole new religion dedicated to him loosely based off the Judeo-Christian paradigm so I’ll leave theistic interpretations of the average Jamaican open to your scrutiny (take a WILD guess). Rastas (and Jamaicans for that matter) are not lazy, laid-back, people as they stereotypically portrayed; I know three Rastas; two of which I am related to. One is a lawyer, the other a construction worker and the other is a building planner. Rastafarai has a long, complicated history so if you REALLY care about what it is, click these words. It’s not all about getting high or being a doormat but like any other religion it requires dedication, discipline and practice, practice, practice and those who are truly dedicated to it take it very seriously.
What is “Babylon”?
Babylon is a negative synonym for the Western World. Conversely, “Zion” is the opposite of Babylon and is seen as a prophesied “Promised Land”.
Who Are Some Famous Jamaicans?
Have you ever heard of Marcus Garvey, the first Black man to begin fighting for the rights of Blacks and uniting them against the racist establishment during the early 1900s and founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (aka the UNIA-ACL)? He’s Jamaican. The movement he led during this time was bigger than the Civil Rights Movement that occurred twenty years after his death. He met Malcolm X’s parents at a convention in Canada and was also honoured by Martin Luther King Jr and his wife post-mortem. The man is a legend.
As a matter of fact, after much fighting and resistance from the Maroon tribe peoples of Jamaica were the first free Blacks during the time of slavery—they were freed 50 years before the enslavement of Blacks ended anywhere else. Up until that time, those who were hiding within the hilltops spent over 300 years fighting and killing British soldiers and slave owners then freeing all slaves on the plantation before burning it down. The Maroons of Jamaica remain the only Blacks to have never been defeated or recaptured in battle by colonialists of any nation. They are so highly respected and honoured in Jamaica that they have their own town, land and society that remains completely owned and regulated by them for over 280 years.
What about singer, actress and super-model Grace Jones?
Most people already know Bob Marley, Beenie Man, Elephant Man, Bounty Killer and so on but there are also other great Jamaican entertainers like Desmond Dekker, Peter Tosh, Lady Saw (famous for openly singing vulgarly about women’s sexuality in Jamaican songs) Eek-a-Mouse and many others.
We’ve really gotten ourselves into the bloodstream of the world as more and more people have Jamaican parents.
People like who?
People like Colin Powell, Busta Rhymes, The Notorious B.I.G, Alicia Keys, Naomi Campbell, Goldie, Roots Manueva, Maxi Priest, Tyson Beckford, Sean Kingston, will.i.am and leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan.
We’re taking over the world in all segments as CEOs, writers, painters, poets, activists, entertainers, athletes, and the list is very long. You might be living next to some Jamaicans RIGHT NOW. BOM-BOM-BOMMM!! So get your google and wikipedia on to know what’s up.
So why did I do these segments this month?
To show you Jamaica is not all the stereotypes and poorly-spoken Patois you see on TV. We have traditions, music, cultural icons, food and a language. This February I wanted to tell the whole world one that yes, I am happy and proud to be Jamaican and that despite the war, hate and stereotypes that plague Jamaica within and without, one thing will always remain fiercely true: Jamaica Nice.
Thanks for joining me as we ran around on the beaches of Jamaica and as promised, your final patois lesson featuring other nouns and YES, the long-awaited how to insult in Jamaican is below.
*DISCLAIMER*: I will NOT be held responsible for anything that may occur if you choose to go up to a Jamaican person and insult them. Use all insults at your own risk. Also, many Jamaican words do not have a direct English translation so I will attempt to explain and give as close an estimate as possible in such a case.
“Suck yu maddah!”= “Go give oral sex to your mother!”
“Mi ah go tump yu inna yu face!”= “I’m going to punch you in your face!”
“Yu pussyclatt, yu!”= Literally “You’re a vagina cloth!” or to be more accurate, “You are a maxi pad”. Yes, I know it’s worse than being called a douche.
“Ratid!”=No English equivalent but pretty close to “Oh, shit!”
“Ratid’ole!”/ “Pussy’ole!”= “Asshole!”/ “Pussy hole!”
“Fassy/Fassy’ole”= Doesn’t really have an English equivalent but is close to asshole…but worse. This is typically applied to someone who is cowardly or annoying.
“Mi a go box yu!”= “I’m going to slap you!”
“Nuh ramp wid mi!”= A threat. Literally “Don’t play with me!”
“Bumbaclatt!”=The most powerful curse word in the Jamaican language. Literally meaning “Ass wipe,” it has a worse reputation and reception than the word “fuck” (which, by the way, is only somewhat used in Jamaica).
“Bloodclatt!”= Literally “Blood cloth”.
“Yu tink mi ‘fraid a yu? Heh!”=”Do you think I’m scared of the likes of you? Ha!”
“Yu a ginal!”= “You’re a liar/swindler!”
“Shut yu mout!”= “Shut your mouth!”
“Nuh chat to mi!”= “Don’t talk to me!”
“Chat to mi back!”= “Talk to my back!” is also one of the most insulting terms.
“Yu fowl an’ rank!”= “You’re fowl and smell rank!”
“Yu nassi!”= “You’re nasty!”
“Yu a fuckri”= “You ARE fuckery” (OK, I laugh everytime I hear somebody say this one. I’m not sure how much it’s used but I think it’s priceless)
“Mi nuh tek no back chat!”= “I don’t tolerate ANY back-talk!”
“Yu nuh know a wah yu a chat seh!”= “You don’t know what you’re talking about!”
As a sidenote, you might also need “Mi sarri, mi nuh did mean dem ting deh weh mi seh” which means “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean those things I said”.
Well, I hope you all had fun this month because I know I had fun writing!
In Jamaica, sometimes people can’t go clubbing so they set up speakers in the street and everyone gets together and dances in the middle of the road. “Chaka Chaka” by Elephant Man is one of the happiest Jamaican songs I can think of 9and one of my favs) so I’m sharing the video with you.
Let’s kick off our shoes, run down to the river and dance till the sun comes up!