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10 Things Jamaica Is Known For

Carolee is a passionate writer with a love for learning and teaching. She is a published author, poet, blogger, and content creator.

Jamaica is one of the most beautiful places on earth, and is known around the world for the various treasures we possess.

Though we have had our negatives, we have some very positive and even famous things which we are known for.

Jamaica has its stereotypes and people will easily recognize us by the way we dress and talk. Some very famous slang expressions and gestures used around the world actually originated in Jamaica.

Gestures

  • Punching the fists together to signify friendship or agreement.
  • Rubbing of the thumbs together to signify brotherhood.
  • The "Lightning Bolt" made famous by Usain Bolt.

Slang

  • Yeah Man (sometimes pronounced "yeah mon")
  • Irie
  • No Problem
  • Cool no man
  • Mi Cool man
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10. Always Summer

Jamaica is located in the tropics so our weather conditions are limited to sun, rain and storm. You could say that Jamaica experiences one season. Though it gets very cool in December and January, there is no real autumn or winter. Because there is no winter there is no real spring, though we do get some amount of rainfall during the months of April and May.

Jamaica basically has two seasons which are "dry" and "wet"! For the most part, it is mostly sunny here. You can always enjoy our beaches and get a tan.

9. Marcus Mosiah Garvey

Most Americans and British will remember Marcus Garvey because he spent most of his adult life in those two countries trying to fight segregation. In the United States, Marcus first published a journal called the UNIA. He also started a project which was geared towards repatriating black people back to Africa.

The project included the purchase of a ship called the Black Star Liner which was supposed to have been the means of transportation for those who wished to return. But before the ship could be paid for, the project went bankrupt and 10 million dollars vanished. He was charged with fraud, then subsequently deported to Jamaica and ordered never to return to the US.

He later went to Europe where he spent the rest of his life.

8. Jamaican Rum

Jamaican rum is known to be one of the strongest around the world. The white overproof rum, used in cocktails, is the only liquor that cannot be drunk without a chaser. You can't drink it in shots or you run the risk of damaging your throat. Neither can you drink it on the rocks. The most popular rum chaser is Coke or Pepsi.

Red rum can be had in shots and on the rocks. It's smooth and goes down like a whiskey. The most popular red rum is the Appleton brand.

7. Blue Mountain Peak Coffee

Rated as one of the top coffee beans in the world by Espresso & Coffee Guide, our coffee is one of the best you can find anywhere. Grown in the cool of the Blue Mountains and harvested just at the right time, Jamaica's Blue Mountain coffee is a dream come true.

There are different flavours depending on the roast or age. Your coffee comes in granules, instant or percolator ready. Whatever your choice, you know you are getting the best.

6. Patois

Patois is the official name for the Jamaican dialect, soon to become an official language. The language is so pleasing to the ear that many people across the world want to learn it or have learned the basics.

Patois is influenced by Spanish for the most part. It is really a mixture of the African languages which the slaves brought here with Spanish and English. Because different African tribes were brought here as slaves, there were different languages. The Africans, in an attempt to please their masters, tried to speak Spanish, and what came out was a new language which was a mixture of Spanish and African.

When the British took over the dialect changed once more, and new words were added to make it what it is today.

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5. Sandy Beaches and Beautiful Waters

One of the most famous beaches in the world is Seven Mile Beach, seven miles of golden sand located in Negril. According to TripAdvisor, it's ranked No. 1 for attractions in Negril and rated 4.5 stars by over 8,000 reviewers.

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4. Jerk

Jamaica is the home of Jerk, and most famously, Jerk Chicken. It's not the method of cooking that we are known for but the combination of spices which our jerk is known for.

We have an annual jerk festival where you can get anything and everything jerk. The most popular jerk foods are chicken, fish and pork. However, in recent times we have jerked lobster, beef, goat and lamb.

The jerk spice comes in spicy and mild flavors. You also have a choice of the wet marinade or the dry spice rub.

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3. Track and Field

More specifically, track!

Everyone knows that the fastest man in the world comes from Jamaica. What they probably don't realize is that Usain is only one in a long line of track stars.

  • Herb McKenley
  • Donald Quarry
  • Ben Johnson (Jamaican born)
  • Merlene Ottey
  • Grace Jackson
  • Juliet Cuthbert
  • Asafa Powel

And the list goes on. Currently, Jamaica boasts the three fastest men in the world and the fastest female.

Fastest men:

1. Usain Bolt

2. Yohan Blake

3. Asafa Powell

Fastest woman:

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

2. Reggae Music

Reggae was born in Jamaica in the '60s. What preceded it were ska, rocksteady, folk, mento, and kumina.

The reggae sound was created to parallel the faster dance music from the US. What the musicians did was combine several genres to create one unique sound, and it worked.

Some of the people who made reggae popular were Dennis Brown, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff, Toots and the Maytals, and many others.

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1. Bob Marley

The number one thing Jamaica is known for is the Legendary Bob Marley. Not only is he the one people associate with Reggae, but he is also the only Jamaican icon who has reached almost every corner of the world with his music. People who have never spoken a word of English know of Bob.

If you go somewhere and ask someone if they have ever heard of Jamaica, and they say no, ask them if they ever heard of Bob. I guarantee they'll say yes. For some, the only association they will have with Jamaica is Bob Marley.

Other Things Jamaica Is Known For

  • Seventh largest natural harbor in the world: Kingston Harbor.
  • What was once the wickedest city on earth: Port Royal
  • Home of the Buccaneers
  • Captain Sir Henry Morgan
  • Home of Ian Fleming (he actually wrote most of the James bond movies here)
  • Location where two James Bond movies were filmed ("Dr. No" and "Live and Let Die")
  • The only snow-free country to have a bobsled team entering the Winter Olympics
  • Jamaica's best-known waterfall: Dunn's River
  • First snow-free country to participate in ice hockey