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Town or Country-Jamaican Style

Jamaicans are funny people. No one wants to give the impression that they live in the country, or rural areas of their beautiful island.  To a Jamaican, any place outside of “Kingston” is country. 

  • It is unfortunate to hear how Jamaicans talk about where they are from.  If you want to insult someone, just tell them a country them come from.  Make them feel like the only place to live is behind a zinc fence, in a tenement yard.  Make a person feel that living in the country is the worst thing that could happen to them.

How many times have you heard the belittling way fellow Jamaicans refer to the second city, Montego Bay, Saint James, or any area outside of where they think “Kingston” is as, “A country dat.” Many on radio like to incite with the town versus country mockery.  If we are proud Jamaicans, whatever part of the island country we come from we should proclaim that loudly.  We should not let others make us feel less than a Jamaican.

  • How many times have you had conversations with a Jamaican and they can’t give you a good idea of where they come from. To many of them, the idea of Jamaica having fourteen parishes is just something they talk about.  Ask them to identify areas in these fourteen parishes and many will be at a loss to tell you anything.  They are proud Jamaicans however, telling people that they are all from “Kingston.”  Most, if not all of them do not have a clue where the parish of Kingston begins and end (North Street, East Street, West Street, and The Harbor.)  All they know is that they live a town.

The parish of Kinston is not the only parish that has urban roots.  The parish of Saint Andrew for example, which now houses most of what is referred to as Kingston city is part of that urban landscape.  Kingston 2 to 20 are all areas that encompass the parish of Saint Andrew.

  • If country living is so bad then every Jamaican should really move to town.  They should forget about planting and growing food to feed our nation.  We should forget the country when town a run red and people are looking for an escape from the crime and violence.  We should forget the wisdom and the teachings from the ‘country folks’ that were instilled in us. We should forget about the country if we believe that only an urban area is going to contribute to our development. We should forget about the country when we need some cool water sea or river to wash away the city grime.

They can all come to town like Ivan from the movie, 'The Harder They Come,' and become a star.  Country living is not dignified.  That is part of the reason why so many Jamaican will feel comfortable saying they come from “Kingston.” 

  • When these same Jamaican migrate however, they have no problem living in some back bush area and proudly tell people they live in the suburbs, out of the city or upstate.  Some are loathe to mention any type of city living. Put them back in their country however, and they all want you to believe that they all reside in “Kingston.”

Them is truly some funny people indeed.

Mi deh yah now!



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