This week, there has been quite some excitement in Jamaica. On Sept 11, Jamaica welcomed Bruce Golding as its new prime minister. And just two days earlier, Jamaica’s Asafa Powell ran the fastest ever 100 meter race. He finished in 9.74 seconds, breaking the previous record of 9.77 seconds (which was his own!). As the 100 meter record holder, he gets the title of the “fastest man on Earth”!
Jamaica is an island country in the Caribbean. Its original inhabitants were the Taino Indians – they gave the English language words such as “hurricane”, “barbecue” and “hammock”. Jamaica was discovered by the Europeans when Christopher Columbus landed there in 1494. The country was ruled by the Spaniards and then the English. Slaves and workers were brought from Africa, India, & China. Jamaica’s population today is representative of its history – a majority are descendants of the Africans, and the rest of Asian and European origins.
The official language of Jamaica is English, but most people speak Patois, which is based on English-African languages. Try guessing what the following mean!
“Nuh bodda mi.” – “Don’t bother me.”
“She a mi bess bess fren.” – “She is my best friend.”
“Mi love chaklit cake with nuff icenin.” – “I love chocolate cake with plenty of icing.”
“Yuh inna big chobble.” – “You are in big trouble.”