10 Cool Facts about Jamaica
1. Jamaica has the Fastest People on Earth
USA and China are the only two countries that have more Olympic medals than Jamaica. USA has also naturalized a lot of Jamaican sprinters like Sanya Richardson because our government does not pay our sprinters. Our athletes represent the country as a social duty. Other first world country sprinters like Tyson gay and Linford Christie are of Jamaican parentage. Most USA athletes also train in Jamaica like Justin Gatlin. Canada has also benefited from Jamaican born runners like Ben Johnson who has multiple world records.
Why are Jamaicans so fast?
1. They come from a genetic pool of Africans that are naturally athletic.
2. Jamaicans mostly feed on ground provisions such as yams and a lot of fruits.
Maroons were Fast
Based on the accounts of the colonial slave masters, the maroons would just run away from the slave plantations. By the time the slave masters would load their guns, the maroon would already have gone out of sight.
3. Sprinting is the number one sport and the coaches are brutal.
4. Jamaicans have huge egos and think they are better than everyone. (Just kidding)
Furthermore, most Jamaican sprinters like Usain Bolt are from a rural section of Jamaica called Trelawny. It is not coincidental that this where the most yam is grown and consumed on the Island. Most of the sprinters are descendants of the maroons. A maroon is a free man/woman that escaped slavery.
The top three fastest men in the world are Jamaicans. We also have the fastest women too. This is an undisputed fact about Jamaica.
Usain Bolt, The fastest Person on Earth
2. Jamaica Produces the Most Music per Capita
It is a fact that Jamaica is the dominant authority for reggae music but it is not the only form of music that is indigenous to the Island. There is Ska, Rocksteady, One Drop, Mento, Nyahbinghi, Folk, Drum and Bass, Soca, Reggae-Gospel, Dub, Festival, Rubba-Dub, Roots reggae and Calypso. Dancehall music is the most popular in Jamaica.
There are other music forms that are not native to Jamaica that are being produced. Examples are pop, western, rock and roll, soul, hip-hop, Jazz, rap and R&B. And yes, there are Jamaicans who only produce rock and roll or country and western as a full time career.
A lot of the music produced in Jamaica is by foreigners. Record companies often launch a new artiste in Jamaica before they launch them internationally. If the song is a hit in Jamaica, the rest of world will catch on. This was done with Rihanna, UB40, Harry Belafonte and Steel Pulse for Example.
MUSIC IS JAMAICA'S BIGGEST EXPORT.
Video shows the Basics of Producing Reggae Music
3. Jamaica has the Most Churches per Square Mile
Within my small beach sub-urban community of less than 1000 residents there are four churches within a half mile radius of my house. It is a known fact that Jamaica has the most churches per square mile. According to the National Library of Jamaica, there are approximately 2.75 Churches per square mile. This is also recognized by the "Guinness World Book of Records". There are Churches that are in people's backyard and living room that hasn't been taken into consideration.
Jamaica is a very Christian based country. The education, political and social system is also Christian based. All the schools have a Christian devotion in the morning before commencement of classes.
There are over 100 different Christian denominations in Jamaica. The most popular one's being Baptist, Catholic, Anglican, Jehovah Witness, Seventh Day Adventist, New Testament, Church of God and Pentecostal. Then you have the less popular ones such as Mormons and Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
There are also churches that still incorporate elements of the African culture such as the Poco and Revival church. Almost every Jamaican believes in spirituality, the continuance of life after death and a final judgment day.
Below is the small cruise ship town of Falmouth (via google maps). There are easily over 30 established churches within Falmouth.
4. Jamaica has the Most Rum Bars per Square Mile
This fact about Jamaica is very hard to measure because most rum bars may not be registered with the government. However, where there is a church there are two bars down the road. Rum is deemed as the strongest drug possible on the Island. Jamaica is the first Island to produce rum for export and commercially. This is in reference to days before piracy.
At any local bar, you can order "Jancrow batty", which translates to English as "vulture's ass". It is the strongest form of rum. This is a favorite amongst hardcore alcoholics and avoided by social drinkers. Available on the black market at any rum bar but not displayed on the shelf. It is illegally distilled by professionals at the sugar cane factories. The strongest variation originates from Trelawny (same place where the fast people are from).
Whenever pirates robbed ships leaving Jamaica, the number one loot was of course rum. You could not run a successful pirate enterprise without rum and Jamaica was the number one producer. That is why pirates and Jamaica went hand in hand.
Did you know that tourist to the Island are more likely to get injured from a rum overdose than from a water sport accident? The rum in Jamaica is indeed potent and even banned in some countries
Rum in Jamaica is also widely used within the kitchen (rum cake) and for first aid purposes.
Jamaica also has the most expensive rum in the world Appleton Estate 50 Year Old Jamaica Rum 750ml at over US $4000.00.
5. Jamaica is the Number One Consumer of Cranberry per Capita
Cranberry is very popular in Jamaica. It is perceived as a luxury item. Because cranberry does not grow in Jamaica, it has to be imported. Cranberry water is the most popular derivative. It is an amazing thirst quencher especially during regular heat waves. It has even become more popular than coconut water for surviving the hot environment.
The other reason the cranberry juice is popular is because it is used to chase rum. If you tell the bartender that you want a chaser, they may assume that you are referring to cranberry juice.
The most popular reason for the consumption of cranberry is due to the medicinal properties that it possesses. Jamaicans will buy anything that is organic, natural and unprocessed. The tangy tasting juice fits the criteria. It is used to recover from flu's, boost concentration, aid digestion and to boost the immune system.
6. Jamaica has a Bobsled Team
Jamaica is the first tropical country to take part in the Winter Olympics. This event has always been dominated by countries that are further away from the equator. It was a big joke in Jamaica when the government announced that they are sending a Bobsled team to the 1988 Winter Olympics.
THE JAMAICAN BOBSLED TEAM DID NOT OWN A BOBSLED AND HAD TO BORROW ONE FOR COMPETING. Things have changed since and the Jamaicans have secured gold at the 2000 World push championship in Monaco.
In Jamaica there is an equivalent to bobsled that is called push cart derby. This is basically racing downhill in a handcart. This consists of one driver and passenger. The driver stares with a steering wheel while the passenger uses his body mechanics to help the driver stare.
This is a well-known fact about Jamaica that was depicted as a true story in a Disney Film called Cool Runnings.
7. Jamaica is where the James Bond Series was Written
Dr No was the first James Bond movie and was filmed in Jamaica. The crocodile farm where James Bond ran on top of the crocodiles is still in operation and is still popular amongst tourist.
Ian Fleming who came to Jamaica to write his novel was a real English spy and was in charge of a covert operation called GOLDEN EYE. This was also the name of the 15 acre property he bought in Jamaica which was an old donkey racecourse.
Prime Minister Anthony Eden of the UK was also known to spend some time on the Golden Eye property along with other celebrities.
While in Jamaica, Ian Fleming assumed the role of a journalist. He was known as a bird watcher in Jamaica and got the name James Bond from a Ornithologist (bird expert) that frequented Jamaica.
The first James Bond novel to be completed in Jamaica was CASINO ROYALE.
The James Bond novels to have Jamaican scenery are Dr No, Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun.
"I wrote every one of the Bond thrillers here......" by Ian Fleming
The late Mr. Flemming has since had a private jet airport named after him in Jamaica.
8. Jamaica was a Spanish Speaking Country
From the year 1509 to 1655, Jamaica was under the rule of Spain. The capital of Jamaica was Villa de la Vega which was called Spanish town by the English. It is stilled called by this name today. There are many other towns that still keep its Spanish name such as Ocho Rios.
The buildings that were built during the Spanish rule are still standing and serve as tourist attractions. Jamaica was the country that the Spanish used to launch out more ships to other destinations such as Mexico and Peru.
The reason that the English were able to take Jamaica from Spain was because most of the Spanish soldiers were in other colonies and did not have a strong concentration in Jamaica.
Jamaica is the first country to be captured by an English conquest.
9. Jamaica is the Home of Beautiful Women
Jamaica won Miss World in 1963 with Carole Crawford, 1976 with Cindy Breakspeare and in 1993 with Lisa Hanna. Jamaica has made the semi-finals of competition several times with the last time being a controversial second in 2007 with Yendi Philips. The only countries to win the Miss World competition more often are India, UK and Venezuela which is an interesting fact about Jamaica.
Cindy Breakspeare who is also a reggae singer is the mother of Bob Marley's last son, Damien Marley.
Lisa Hanna later became an elected political member of the Jamaican Parliament.
The Prime Minister of Jamaica
Another fun fact about Jamaica is our dominance in the modeling industry. There are many talent scouts that come to Jamaica searching for their next major star. There is even a modeling agency that is listed on the Jamaica stock exchange. There are many modeling agencies on the island that offer professional services and training. On national TV there is always a modeling competition going on. The most popular models out of Jamaica are Naomi Campbell, Grace Jones, Stacey McKenzie and Tyson Beckford.
Jamaica also offers equal opportunities for women on the Island. The Prime Minister of Jamaica is the Honorable Portia Simpson-Miller, who is in her second consecutive term at the time of this article.
10. Jamaica Supports Equal Rights for Humanity
It is alleged that Jamaicans helped Haiti to become the first independent black state by fighting in their revolution.
It was a woman that led the Jamaican maroons that raided plantations and freed slaves. The English had to sign a peace treaty. Her name is Nanny, the only national heroine of Jamaica.
Marcus Garvey the first national hero of Jamaica traveled to New York and started the largest black movement in history called UNIA. He also launched the only corporate black entity, The Black Star Liner which was a fleet of ships.
The Rastafarian Movement was born out of Jamaica and grew to be a global power house for freedom and peace for humanity. The hippie movement bonded with the Rastafarian movement empowering each other in the 60's and 70's.
Bob Marley became a freedom activist when he started to support various peace movements across the world. He also did free concerts in Africa, especially Zimbabwe when they just gained their independence.
Jamaica was the first country to sanction South Africa for their apartheid regime. (Purely diplomatic and political)
- Marijuana is Decriminalized
Marijuana is not legal in Jamaica. However, steps are being made by the government to decriminalize the use of marijuana in small quantities.