These are the things you would miss if you ever visited or lived in Jamaica.Jamaica is an island you will easily fall in love with. Being away from Jamaica, you realize how much the small things matter and how easy it is to miss them. Here is my list of the top ten things I miss from the island of Jamaica.
6. The Beach
The culture of Jamaica has a way of drawing you in and inspiring your curiosity. This Caribbean island is known for its friendly people, warm climate, and in particular, its amazing beaches. Sun, sand and sea are the perfect combination. Jamaica is blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches you will ever see. The ambiance is breathtaking. The island’s unique geography has created some of the world’s most sought-after beaches.
Jamaica is the land of reggae music, jerk chicken, Blue Mountain coffee, and of course, beaches. With more than 900 kilometers of coastline, Jamaican beaches range from long sandy stretches, like the popular Negril Beach, to the more secluded and tucked away coves.
Set sail on a sunset cruise, try your skill at windsurfing, head out for a snorkeling adventure, or do nothing at all on the soft, white sands. No matter what kind of beach experience you enjoy, there is a reason Jamaica is known for its stunning sun-and-sand experiences.
The most popular sports in Jamaica are imported from Britain. Football, Cricket and Track and Field, basketball and netball are our main sporting interests and for Jamaicans, sports are a big deal. We love sports so much that we play them at every chance we get — at home, at work, at school and even at church.
Jamaica is one of the leading countries in sprinting and has established and maintained a remarkable sporting record. Since 1948 Jamaicans have won many Olympic gold, silver and bronze medals. Jamaica's track and field athletes are acknowledged to be among the best in the world. Also, Jamaica has held several world records, and produced world famous cricketers, boxers, footballers, cyclists, weight lifters and wrestlers.
Other sports played include golf, domino and water sports such as wind surfing and scuba diving. Tourist resorts offer water sports such as sailing, water skiing, snorkeling and jetskiing.
In Jamaica, most people are Christians, but we also have other religions present. Religion in Jamaica, according to the most recent census (2001), consists of a breakdown of 66% Christian (62% Protestant, 2% Roman Catholic, and 2% Jehovah's Witnesses), 3% unstated, and 10% other. ... More interesting is the fact that there exists over 400 denominations of Christianity alone. Salvation through Jesus Christ, is the main foundation of the christian faith.
For us, church symbolizes togetherness and a time of gratefulness to our Creator. Mass is an important aspect of life for most Jamaicans, who attend church regularly, particularly on Christian holidays such as Easter and Christmas.
Christianity was introduced by Spanish settlers who arrived in Jamaica in 1509. Thus, Roman Catholicism was the first Christian denomination to be established. Protestant missions were very active, especially the Baptists, and played a key role in the abolition of slavery.
Jamaica has the most “churches” per square mile of any country in the world, with over 1,600 “churches” all over Jamaica. Source: Guinness Book of World Records.
9. The People
Our motto is: "Out of Many - One People." Jamaica is a melting pot of cultures. Though we are all different, with different descents, we are one. We are one nation with a diverse people who have a supernatural ability to find happiness in all things and situations. Jamaicans are a set of warm-hearted people who care for those around them, both family and strangers.
The true beauty of Jamaica is the mix of people who call this island their home. Today, 92% of Jamaica’s residents are of Black African descent, East Indians and African-East Indians make up about 3.4% of the population, while Caucasians represent about 3.2%. Chinese and African-Chinese residents compose a little over 1% of the population.
When you visit Jamaica you’ll meet upon friendly smiling faces and a people endowed with an innate spirit of hospitality. We’re loud and joyful; just hear us at a sporting game! We’re effervescent and exuberant, with an energy that is felt worldwide through our music and culture.
We’re great storytellers and song writers, beauty queens and bobsledders, sprinters and social activists. We are little but 'tallawah', a nation of significant influence despite its small size.
10. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Jamaica has plenty of fruit trees and a vast variety of vegetables. You can create a meal from the fruits trees and vegetables available in about every backyard. Jamaica is in the tropics so fruits and vegetables are available all year round. If you ever get a chance to visit, drink some coconut water and bite into a mango.
With a warm and wet tropical Caribbean climate year-round, Jamaica has a long, fertile growing season where both native and imported fruits, vegetables, and spices can flourish. With nearly 3,000 species of flora on the island, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with all the new produce you might encounter.
Many have come to know (and adore) Jamaica for our reggae music, our sporting legends, pristine white sand beaches and amazing sunsets!
Aside from all that, you'd also agree that we are well known for a lot more, not least is our delectable foods, from what we grow to what we create in the kitchen.
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Jacqueline Cameron is a writer with decades of writing experience running the gamut from blogging to reporting. She lives in Kingston, Jamaica and is the chief writer for the Jamaica So Nice Blog. She is a trained engineer and musician and loves to see people transformed through her work.