Jamaica History Culture and Tourism

Jamaica is the 4th largest Island Country in the Caribbean Sea, by area located to the South of Cuba and to the West of the Island of Hispaniola. Its an island country of the West Indies. It is the third most popular anglophone country of America after United States and Canada and remained as Common wealth realm by Queen Elizabeth II and standed as Head of State. "Kingston" is the capital of this Island in 1872. Jamaica is also considered as the melting pot of African, Asian, European and Middle Eastern cultures.
 
Map of Jamaica
 
Map of Jamaica
History of Jamaica:
 
The History of Jamaica dates this Island to be residence to the indigenous people of South America namely the Arawak and Taino around 4000 and 1000 BC during which Columbus explored in 1494 and named it St.Lago. Before the British possessioned Jamaica, it was ruled by Spanish till 1655. Under British rule during its first 200 years, it became the world's number one leading in sugar exporting and slave dependent nations.
 
It got slowly indepencence in 1958 from United Kingdom and became the province in Federation of the West Indies before full independence by leaving the federation in 1962.
 
It lies in the "Hurricane Belt" of the Atlantic Ocean which results the Island sometimes experience damage from the storm. 
 
It was in 19th century that its slavery resulted mostly blacks (Africans) than whites (Europeans) with a ratio 20:1, which British brought for work on the plantations. Chinese and Indian migrants were transported to this Island as indentured workers, who brought ideas from the Far East after the abolition of Slavery.
 
The Blacks now work in all types of jobs which include the highest political and professional positions of the Island, the Chinese working largely as retail and wholesale traders. The Indians are rapidly moving into professional and commercial activities. The Women of Jamaica as Indian women are traditionally associated with domestic, secretarial, clerical, teaching and small-scale trading activities.
 
The "National Flag" of Jamaica has a motto which was adopted after its independence from Great Britain in 1962, as "Out of Many, One People". It consists of two black triangles representing historical struggles and hardship,the green triangles are representing agricultural wealth and hope, and the yellow cross-stripes are representing sunshine and its mineral resources.
 
National Flag of Jamaica
 
National Flag of Jamaica
 
People and Culture of Jamaica:
 
The people of this island does not belong to one racial group as their are mixed races of Jamaicans and it is the second largest racial group were genetic roots of many people can be traced to their origins. 
 
The indentured workers migration lead to a drastic change in the Culture of Jamaican's people's language, music, dance, religion, social norms and practices.
 
The official language spoken by Jamaican people is English (British influence) with a local dialect called Patois which is spoken by majority of its people. 
 
'Christianity' is the main and largest religion followed by the people of Jamaica. There are some Roman Catholics and spiritual sects, including Rastafarians. The other religions practised in Jamaica are Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam.
 
'Daggeringis a form of dance originated from Jamaica which incorporates dry sex, wrestling and other forms of frantic movement.
 
Their Cuisine involves, in breakfast boiled bananas or roasted breadfruit, sauted callaloo with "saal fish" (salted cod), "bush" (herbal) or "chaklit" (chocolate) tea. Majority of the population consume Rice at lunch time ie., in the lunch as we Indians do and use to have snacks like light meal of bread, fried plantains, or fried dumplings and a hot drink in the evening. The dinner consist of stewed/roasted beef, boiled yam/plantains, with rice and peas, or rice with the fried fish. "Ackee" is a local fruit of Jamaica, and is the key ingredient of their national dish-'ackee and saltfish', but officially named as the 'national fruit' and a 'national symbol' of Jamaica.
 
Ackee -Key Ingredient and National Fruit of Jamaica http://prodcolumbuslost.azurewebsites.net/au/images/
 
Ackee -Key Ingredient and National Fruit of Jamaica
 
Jamaican's National Dish-Ackee and Saltfish
 
Jamaican's National Dish-Ackee and Saltfish
  
Jamaica's main resources consists of coffee, papaya, bauxite, gypsum, limestone and majorly sugarcane.
 
The Birth and Death ceremonies are similar to Indian culture. Education plays a vital role in the success of its country and owns Two major Universities for Higher Education as the 'University of the West Indies' and the 'University of Technology'.
 
Tourism and Cuisine in Jamaica:
 
Nowadays, Tourism in Jamaica has become the main economy along with mining, manufacturing and services in addition to agriculture of this Island. It will give a wonderful experience to the people who visit this place which has long beaches, protected coves, rugged mountains, waterfalls, caves,sunshine, chances to play in the surf, ride horses and a chance to swim with dolphins. It has strong crafts tradition which performs arts and gives distinctive dining options, like ackee and saltfish with roast breadfruit.
 
The other famous places are the 'Nine Mile' which is a small village,the Birthplace of 'Bob Marley' who is the Reggae Music Legend, one can view standing on Mt Zion Rock the Bob's meditation spot, by resting their head on the 'pillow' which is famous in the song 'Talking Blues', the Dunn's River Falls with scenic landscape below, the waterfalls and get a fantastic view of the Blue Mountains. One of the best holiday spot with friends and family as this island country will make live one's dream. If somebody is interested in learning about different ethnicities, then this is the right place. 
 
Bob Marley-Singer, Writer and Musician
 
Bob Marley-Singer, Writer and Musician
 
Popular Tourist Destinations of Jamaica:-
 
Jamaica has six regions and they are each different in nature. Come and explore them as:
 
1)Montego Bay:- It's Jamaica’s most energetic city, known as a spring break party town and the destination for those seeking a low key adventure. It is well known for its Shopping, clear water snorkeling, diverse nightlife and natural beauty, altogether which makes a perfect Jamaican weekend getaway ideal for those who want to relax with drinks on the sandy beaches. Jamaica's first marine park was established here in 1992,which is covered in 6 square miles (about 15km²). Margaritaville restaurant or bar on the "Hip Strip" is one of the popular destinations among tourists.
 
The Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park were created the following year roughly 300 square miles (780km²) of wilderness supporting thousands of trees, fern species and rare animals.
 
2)Ocho Rios:- It is an island on Jamaica. It has many cruise lines luxurious resorts and spas in the Caribbean. This island is a great stress buster and after having the sunbath, one can enjoy the night with dancing and reggae music. It is a Shoppers paradise. It is home to two of Jamaica's Jamaica’ most famous tourist attractions namely Dunn’s River Falls and Fern Gully
 
3)Negril:- It is located on west coasts around 50-mile drive from Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay nearly 2hrs depending on the traffic and full of sunny sands. One can enjoy leaving the sunny sands to crocodile watching or horseback riding. The Seven Mile Beach is the one which draws most visitors to Negril which was a sleepy fishing town with its 500yrs history until the 1960s and 70s. Today this Beach stands one of the best strands in the world and is lined with both small and big hotels, all-inclusive Resorts like Couples Negril and Sandals Beach Resort and Spa. One can enjoy lying down the beaches having sun bath depending on how much sun they want. Negril Cliffs are a perfect spot for underwater diving-jumping, dance in the nightclubs and lie down on the beaches.
 
4)Kingston:- Kingston being capital, this region is the cultural district and one can see colonial architecture as well the modern Hope Garden. The National Gallery of Jamaica is a museum which displays, chronologically in ten galleries, the finest items of Jamaican art from 1922 to the present day located in Kingston and is open from 10:00am to 4:30pm on weekdays.
 
5)Hopewell:- It is a historic beachfront resort settlement and fishing village in Hanover Parish, Jamaica located 15 kms west of Montego Bay. It is the location of Round Hill Hotel and Villas. A small fleet of fishing boats is visible which operates from the beach to the west of the center of town.
 
6)Falmouth:- It is the capital of Trelawny Parish on Jamaica’s north-central coast as renowned for its well-preserved Georgian architecture. It is home to several big resorts and is one of the location of Jamaica’s newest cruise port.
 
7)PortAntonio:- Its located northeast coast of Jamaica, famous for crafts and jewellery and South Coast for the natural landscapes. Its backed by legendary Blue Mountains and considered the center for eco-tourism. Travelers or tourists can raft the Rio Grande, bask under secluded waterfalls, go caving, or surf on Boston’s Bay Beach, which is also famous with birthplace of Jamaican jerk cooking. Every year each July, thousands flock to Port Antonio for the annual Portland Jerk Festival to indulge their temptation for spicy meats and traditional Jamaican cookery.
 
Portland Jerk Festival - Jamaica
 
Portland Jerk Festival - Jamaica
 
8)Treasure Beach:- It is is a perfect gem for travelers in search of the off-beat. One could not find alternate charming and relaxing place in Jamaica than this. It has four public beaches well suited for swimming, snorkeling and body-surfing also giving one an opportunity to learn about the island's vibrant culture and rich history from the people who live here. There are day trips for sightseeing, exploring and many more.
 
9)Silver Sands:- It is a combination of luxurious residences and beach cabins which boasts one of the most beautiful beaches in Jamaica. It is situated along 3000 feet of a powdery white sand beaches having daily lifeguard, Terrace Bar, Beach Grill, tennis courts, disco, commissary and ofcourse gift shop. There are lounge chairs, deck chairs and tables available with sun shades so that one can relax and enjoy the scenery or have a drink or bite to eat. 
 
10)Rose Hall:- It is a mansion in Montego Bay, Jamaica, noted for the legend of the White Witch of Rose Hall. It is a Georgian mansion built in the 1770s in Montego Bay,at a cost of about £30,000 in Jamaican  with a stone base and a plastered upper storey,high on the hillside with a panorama view over the coast. It subsequently became the property of John Palmer.
 
11)Runway Bay:- It is a popular destination for Landlubbers who enjoy the Runaway Bay Shopping Centre, while sports enthusiasts will be drawn to the aquatic and sports centres nearby. 
 
12)Discovery Bay:- It is one of the famous natural harbors in the Caribbean. It was renamed in 1947 to commemorate the place where Christopher Columbus first landed in Jamaica. It is home to Columbus Park an open-air museum facility featuring various Columbian and Colonial artefacts.
 
13)YS Cascades:- It is a natural attraction and the most beautiful place of Jamaica with its eight cascading falls surrounded by forest area and limestone cliffs which  fall from 36m from top to bottom. The Frenchman’s Cove features white sand beach and fresh water river.
 
14)Luminous Lagoons: It is one of Jamaica's most famous attractions shortly after sunset, when one can walk to the the launching point, board a small boat and head out onto to see the Luminous lagoon. People can even hier a guide who would tell why the lagoon glows as one cruise to the center of the lagoon, less than 5 ft (1.5 meters) deep and can enjoy a complimentary beverage. As the water gets disturbed, one can see an eerie light illuminating from below.
 
Luminous Lagoon in Jamaica
 
Luminous Lagoon in Jamaica
 
Anyone feeling adventurous can take a swim in the glowing water which is one of the only like present in the world. There's nothing to worry as the lagoon’s eerie-looking water is actually completely harmless.
 
Cultural Attractions of Jamaica:- 
 
There is an exhibit of 90 minute show which elaborates the history of Jamaica from Tiano days to the present day to help the tourists know more about Jamaica. Its conducted daily at 3pm in 'Outameni cultural village' which is opposite to Royalton Resort. Kingston's 'African Caribbean Heritage Centre' houses a huge library preserving the folklore traditions of Jamaica and the socio-cultural aspects of the African Diaspora. The Ocho Rios Jazz Festival, Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest, Caribbean Heritage Fest, World Reggae Dance Championships, Port Royal Seafood Festival are the other festivals and celebrations which are held on this Island and are worth attending.
 
Famous Landmarks of Jamaica:-
 
The 'Fort Charles' is the only surviving fort after the 1692 earthquake.  The longitude and latitude of Jamaica is only measured from this flagstaff fort. The Morant Bay Rebellion of 1865 took place in 'The courthouse of Port Morant' which was rebuilt and ruined again in 2007 by a fire that broke out.
 
Some Important Monuments of Jamaica:- 
 
1)Peter Tosh Monument is located in Bluefields at Belmont, is a tribute to the reggae superstar Peter Tosh and tomb of the music star and also a mausoleum.
 
2)Rodney memorial was designed and planned by John Bacon in 1801 and was built in Parade Square to honour Admiral George Rodney. Being the Commander-in-Chief of the West Indian Naval Station he had saved the country of Jamaica at the Battle of the Saints against a combined invasion by Spanish and French fleets.
 
3)Stony Gut Memorial was built in remembrance of Paul Bogle who was a national hero born in Stony Gut. In 1865 he practiced Baptist Minister and led the Morant Bay Rebellion. This was destroyed as the rebellion came to end and now has been preserved and restored as a Memorial garden built in the honour of Bogle. Instead of Bogle’s church now stands a plaque on a concrete mount.
 
Flora and Fauna of Jamaica:
 
Jamaica having tropical climate supports the diverse ecosystems (Flora and Fauna) with a wide range of plants and animals. Its Biodiversity ranked it 5th among all the countries worldwide due to endemic plants and animals. As most of the country was deeply forested many plants were imported as sugarcane, bananas, and citrus trees. A small portion of land was used for agricultural purpose.
 
The British established a number of botanical gardens in 1800 which are as follows:
 
a)Bath Garden-1779 replaced by Castleton Garden-1862 as it was affected by flood
b)Cinchona Plantation-1868
c)Hope Garden-1874
 
Its a must place to be visited by people who are interested in flora and fauna of endemic species.
 
Best time to Visit Jamaica:
 
Jan-March is the peak season to visit Jamaica. Oct-Dec is the ideal time to visit this Island.The weather at this time is pleasant and makes one stay comfortable. 
Summer is not an ideal time to visit Jamaica as it is extremely hot and humid.
 
Modes of Transportation:
 
By Air: Jamaica has three International Airports like Norman Manley International Airport,Sangster International Airport and Ian Fleming International Airport. In Kingston(Capital) the Boscobel, St. Mary’s Parish and Montego Bay(Resort city). It is well connected to other countries of the world through a large network of International flights.
 
By Sea: Jamaica's ports like Kingston, Montego Bay, Port Antonio and Ocho Rios are very busy all through the year with numerous liners halting at these ports with tourists. 
 
Jamaican Music Band
 
Jamaican Music Band
 
Passengers of the Cruise Liner
 
Passengers of the Cruise Liner
 
The Cruise Liner
 
The Cruise Liner
 
Image Courtesy:www.goddardenterprisesltd.com, jamaicaexperience.com, hdimagelib.com

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