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    Jamaican culture is about relaxation, great foods, friendly competition, and so much more. A good place to start is on the beach. Begin Your Journey!

Culture & Identity of Jamaica

Introduction

Jamaican Culture - People playing in the falls
People playing in the falls

Life in Jamaica is relaxed and moves rather slowly. Life is meant to be enjoyed and the Jamaicans understand this better than most people as time is more often spent with family and friends than it is working.

However, the daily life and routine from person to person varies to a significant degree. About half the population in Jamaica is urban and about half lives in more rural areas. For many of these rural dwellers farming is a popular occupation, although many people also work in services industries in these areas. For the farmers life is based on the lands as the sun, weather, and seasons do more to dictate the daily routine than the clock.

For those with jobs in the industrial or services sectors most jobs have more consistent hours. Many of these people work from about 8:30 am to about 4:30 pm, although even in these jobs hours vary. In other words, every individual seems to have their own personal or family routine, but for most of the working population it involves working from Monday to Friday with evenings and weekends spent with family or friends.

There are many forms of entertainment in Jamaica as some forms are more readily available in cities and others more common in rural areas. However, sports, particularly track & field (sprinting), cricket, and soccer (football), are among the most popular after school activities throughout the country. While sports are popular, the cities also offer great restaurants, bars, and clubs, while the more rural areas seem to offer more accessibility to nature.

Ultimately, what the people do for a living and how they spend their free time is an individual choice, giving rise to many different lifestyles, but one culture that includes all of these lifestyles and more.

Identity

Jamaicans, no matter their ethnicity, class, or religion, tend to claim that they are Jamaican and wear this politically- and geographically-based identity with great pride. Although a small nation, Jamaica is well known the world over for their music, laid back lifestyle, their food, and their athletes. The people are proud of their homeland and are eager to teach others about their foods, their music, their history, their architecture, and their citizens both past and present who have gained fame. Jamaican is defined by their culture, but also by their attitude as they view themselves as one large family and all visitors as guests who must be treated as such.

This page was last updated: December, 2013