Jamaica: The Little Island that Could

In most instances, when a non-Jamaican does a video on Jamaican culture, it is cringe-worthy at best. However, this video is one of the most accurate run-downs I have ever seen of everything from our language to our international relationships and our food.

For all of you who requested more cultural posts, and more posts on Jamaica in specific, I hope you will enjoy this.


If the video doesn’t load automatically, then you can watch it here on YouTube. 

The only corrections or additions I would make to this video are:

  1. The $1 bill he showed as an example of our currency hasn’t been in circulation since my childhood. We now use a coin.
  2. Merlin Ottey’s name is pronounced Ah-tti, not O-tti.
  3. The UK and Canada are good friends with Jamaica. However, after 2010, Jamaicans became increasingly wary of U.S. involvement in our sovereign affairs due to the 2010 Civil Unrest. This led to the removal of our Prime Minister from office, unwilling changes to our Constitution, and a state of emergency in the capital that lasted for an entire month. You can read about that here.
  4. The one ally he did not mention is Japan. Jamaica is one of the few countries Japan takes Anglophones from to teach English in their schools. They were so impressed with us that in 2015, they almost doubled the number of Jamaicans they take in via a special program called JET. Japanese Anime has also left an indelible mark on Jamaican millennials. I know a lot of Jamaicans who understand, and even speak Japanese fluently, like my Junior Editor at the firm, Tristan O’Bryan.


What was the most surprising thing you learned from the video today? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below. 

Alexis Chateau Black Cat

Featured Image Photo Credit: John Samuels II

24 thoughts on “Jamaica: The Little Island that Could

  1. Great fun. I went and watched another one of this series, too. Wish I had learned geography like that. Biggest surprise for me were the names. In New England we also have wacky names like “Satan’s Playground” and “Roast Meat Hill.”

    1. Satan’s Playground??? LMAO.

      We have a lot of strange names in Jamaica. There was one called something like Devil’s Corner near my house in Portland, JA because it had a lot of accidents there.

      Glad you enjoyed it, Elizabeth. You were one of those who asked for posts like these ^_^.

      I’m working on one to be published this Friday that tackles Neo-Nazism and racial tensions in America. Stay tuned!

    1. Oh yeah, it’s HUGE. It started with Pokemon in the 90s, and grew from there. I used to love Inuyasha, but I’m too terrible at watching anything to keep up with it. 🙂

  2. He got the counties map wrong too, said ochos rios instead of Ocho Rios, “Moh-cho” instead of “Muh-cuh” like we pronounce Mocho and called our longest river the Black River instead of Rio Minho in Clarendon but that’s fine. I loved his attempt anyway 💕

    1. Black River is the one I learned as the longest river on the island. Rio Minho was discovered to be longer afterwards, so I guess it depends on when he made the video.

      Didn’t even notice the county maps was wrong. What was wrong with them?

  3. Very nice video and Jamaica’s a wondrous land , besides Jamaica has as nickname a Caribbean island very famous around the world and I remember English from Notting Hill and Portobello markets time ago…

  4. I had to laugh about the nick name and the place name bits. 🙂 It indeed is interesting how a rather small and not very populous island has become so well known and with a substantinl cultural influence in the world. The – funny! – teller of the story skips the Haily Selassi item rather suspiciously quick by directing to google. Fact is that Haile Selassi was a very cruel dictator madman who has put Ethiopia into deep despair.

    1. Haha, the nicknames are true. What’s even funnier is I knew a lot of Munchies, growing up. It’s very common for people to be called something other than their legal names, and sometimes the names they are called by are passable for real names. I know a Rose called Marla, a Marlene called Joan, and a Topaz called Kerri. I think women tend to do this, while men have more obviously non realistic nicknames.

      Our influence is contagious, possibly because we never try to force it onto anyone. Something is always infinitely more attractive when it’s exclusive, intriguing and you’re not supposed to mess with it. Jamaicans hate when people try to copy our culture 😂

      I don’t believe that’s why he skipped over Haile Selassie. The video is about Jamaica, and Rastafarians are a minority. To explain their religious convictions, which differs between different tribes, wold be a headache. I wrote my thesis paper on them in college. Never heard that he was a madman or cruel, though. But he did ask the Rastafarians to quit worshipping him. It didn’t work.

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