Are you Jamaican if you’ve done these 15 things?

As we draw close to August when Jamaicans celebrate ‘emancipendence’, we take a look back at what it means to be Jamaican – the things that drive us, feed our souls, make us so beloved and so unique.

Two kids playing in Roaring River, Westmoreland
There are some experiences that are truly Jamaican. It’s just hard to picture a childhood that doesn’t involve these things.

We’ll explore why no matter where we go, we stand out in any crowd not only because of our ‘accent’ but also our actions. Jamaica is indeed a brand and we just need to accept that the world loves us for being apologetically and indescribably us.

Here are some things that most Jamaicans, home and abroad, can attest to being part of our experience.

To some it may seem like hardship but to us, it’s just life. The list was compiled by asking random Jamaicans what they think every ‘yaadie’ has done at least once in their lives.

Read our list and see if you are indeed Jamaican or if you need to return your passport. 

1. Swim or ‘bade’ in a river.

Please note that swimming in a river is a rite of passage, feel free to fight me.

2. ‘Bade’ in a bucket or bath pan….outside.

3. Taken a country bus.

4. Go bird bush, mango walk or ‘grung’.

If you’ve never bee to ‘grung’ to dig yam for your dinner then you’ve missed out on a huge milestone.

5. Stoned a stranger’s tree.

6. Eaten boiled dumplings and butter.

7. Gotten beaten by your parents.

If you’ve never stoned a tree for fruits or food then how else did you eat? Buying them?

8. Taken off your school shoes and walked home barefoot in the rain.

9.  Used newspaper or brown paper to wrap your text books.

10. Launched paper boats in a gully when rain fell

11. ‘Ketch up’ coal stove or wood fire.

Wait, you’ve never had to start a wood fire to cook your food? Must. Be. Nice.

12. Burnt your finger on a Dutch pot trying to steal food.

13. Worn shoes two sizes big because your parents said you will “grow into it”.

14. Eaten the ice that formed on the top and sides of the fridge.

15. Had your foot size drawn on cardboard and then sent off to ‘farrin’.