Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cultural and social values in Jamaica

Today we were working with social, cultural conditions and values in English speaking countries. My group chose to find information about Jamaica!
We have made questions that we will try to answer, and if you are able to answer the questions better than we are, please do!

Which religion is the largest in Jamaica, and is it important in the daily life?

64% of the Jamaican population are Christians(62% protestants). There are many different Christian movements ands cults, Rastafarian being one of them. Christianity is for many people very important in the daily life, and has been a part of the culture since the 1700s, when the Europeans brought slaves over from Africa. Since the Europeans were Christians, the slaves soon became to. On Jamaica they celebrate the Christian holidays, just like in other Christian nations. Exactly how religion affects peoples personal life isn't the easiest task to find out. If you know, please write a comment!

What's politics like in Jamaica?

The biggest political party in Jamaica is the PNP, or the People's National Party. They are a left-wing, labour party(like Arbeiderpartiet in Norway), but must not be confused with the second biggest party, the Jamaican Labour party ,Which is a conservative party(like H√łyre in Norway). 

In Jamaica people are very active in the political questions, and they have a parliamentary government, based on the United Kingdom model. If any of the readers knows in what way people are active in politics, please write a comment!

What languages do they speak at Jamaica?

The official language is English, because Jamaica once was a British colony. Now, they are a part of the Commonwealth of Nations, which is an organization that cooperate with values and goals, such as promoting democracy and human rights. But, they do not speak the same English there as in England and USA. Most of the population consists of descendants of former African slaves, and immigrants from Asia and Europe. Therefor the English they speak at Jamaica contains many words from other languages, especially African languages. Another language that is used is called “patois”, which is a mix of English, African and slang words from many different languages. This can also be called “Jamaican creole”, and is the languages that is mostly used among friends, and in not formal occasions.
Does anyone in here know anything else about the languages they use at Jamaica? Are there any other languages than those I have written about?

What is a typical Jamaican teenager’s life like?

I believe being a teen in Jamaica is not that different form in Norway, or in USA. Being a teenager is mostly the same, no matter where in the world you are living, I guess is depends a bit of how wealthy you are. However, it seems that rules are a bit stricter in Jamaica than in Norway. We do not have to wear uniforms, which they do there. They are not allowed to bring cell phones to school, and may be beaten if they don’t obey the rules. But, this may vary from school to school, so I may not be right. How is the school system in Jamaica? I have read a bit about it on the internet, but I don’t really understand it. It seem sto me that they first have preparatory school, from 1. to 6. grade. Then they go to lower school and upper school, which is 7. to 11. grade. Then they graduate. I don’t know anything about how a normal day at school is, so if would be nice if anyone knew something about that.
I don’t really know much about how it is like being a teenager in Jamaica, so it would have been wonderful if anyone could help me out? If anyone from Jamaica is reading this, how is your daily life?