Moving Back to Jamaica

A blog about my Move Back to Jamaica after 20+ years of living in the US. Most of the articles focus on the period from 2005-2009 when the transition was new, and at it's most challenging.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Moving to Barbados?

I came across a post in the Barbados Free press blog in which the author says that he said a prayer that he was happy to be born in Barbados, after reading about a recent shooting in Jamaica in Torrington Bridge.

The response from his/her readers was full agreement, with someone throwing in the old wive's tale about the "best" slaves being kept in Barbados, while the "dregs" were sent to Jamaica. Of course, the Trini version of the same story is slightly different, with the best slaves being kept Trinidad, the subservient ones going to Barbados, etc.

Another implied that there are Jamaicans who are trying to find their way to live in Barbados.

I am fairly sure that the post won't elicit many comments from Jamaicans because, for better or worse, I have yet to meet a Jamaican who wanted to migrate to Barbados (including the few who live there) and also because we don't care too much about what Bajans think about us.

Given the advent of CSME, this is probably not a good thing for us on this side of the Caribbean sea. With our focus on North America, we know more about what is happening in Miami than we do in Bridgetown (with the exception of cricket.)

But, I think Bajans are safe from us! The gap between our cultures just seems to me to be w-i-d-e. There really is hardly a trace of Barbadian culture here in Jamaica (but our music, food and even accents are all over Barbados.)

It's a good place to visit for those who are thinking of Moving Back to Jamaica -- it is Caribbean, but missing many of the things that we love about Jamaica.

Recently, Barbadian policemen were searched before they could enter the cricket world cup grounds by volunteers working on "security." In the news, there were pictures of some big, big policemen being searched by "who knows who?"...

In Jamaica, "nutten coulda go so." (Nothing like that could happen.)

I remember when Trinidad had their coup in 1990, and being amazed -- it just could not happen here in Jamaica. The various limes and fetes that were held during the coup still have me amazed.

Once again, Jamaicans know that "nutten coulda go so" here in Jamaica.

A friend of mine this morning said: "You really learn to appreciate Jamaica when you travel away from it."

Being in Barbados, Trinidad and other Caribbean islands reminds me that our assertiveness, aggression and willingness to fight against injustice are just one of the many strengths that we take for granted. That it often leads to violence, confrontation and murders is true.

But it also has a much brighter side -- we are a people who care, and care deeply -- even when we act badly, and even when it costs us too much.


At 3/10/2007 3:33 PM, Blogger eemanee said...

i don't like the tone of the Barbados Free Press article, neither do i appreciate the tone of your reply. Could we say equally patronising?

At 3/10/2007 3:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is so sad and pathetic. both blogs sound arrogant and out of touch with reality. its a pity that people can devote so much time to bringing down each other.

At 3/10/2007 6:11 PM, Blogger Mad Bull said...

I dunno, the Bajans I know are quite nice, I quite like them. Jamaicans bring all this disrespect on themselves too, a lot of the time. Don't fight the Bajans if they don't like us, there are a number of us not so likable at all and that number is very vocal and active..

At 3/11/2007 7:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am more amazed by the slave never fails to amaze me how people compare their slave history!!!! you ancestors were slave, period. that mean you were all treated the same inhumane way and it should not be used as bragging rights...I don't give credit to the english to divide the tribal groups who were sent where, for one, they did not want similar groups because that would make it easy for rebellions....
That being said, I am proud to be 100% prime Jamaican because i believe I am one of the lucky ones who got the positive teachings that Jamaica has to offer its children but I am also Grateful to be in the USA where I can use that teaching and work towards achieving a goal. However, when i read the news that comes out a jamaica via the jamaican papers, i get real angry..especially the killings!!!!! I just don't know why they kill, as this blogger once post, the personal aspect..most killings are from personal issues....people kill people because of stupid things like one drives a better car, one wears better clothes, one returns from england and suspected to have money!!! with that I think anyone who does not currently live in jamaica should breathe a sign of releif...because the crime rate is stupid...My friend from congo and i have the same feelings, we are afariad to return to the land of our birth...the only difference is hers was actually at war, fighting for freedom. Jamaica has deaths equal to war levels and we haven't been at war since the 70s and that is stretching it a bit!!! there is a warrior spirit in Jamaica, it helped us in teh past but now this band -mindness and warrior spririt combination is gonna destroy what could have been a place of constant paradise....the whole country needs to have weekly psych session...

At 3/11/2007 7:55 AM, Blogger fwade said...

Hmm... Warrior spirit... that's a new phrase I have not heard, and it sure seems to fit.

The maroons had it... but they also helped to hunt down Paul Bogle and turn him in to the British.

Food for thought.

At 3/13/2007 1:39 AM, Blogger Ronwood said...

I agree with anonyme, the 'warrior spirit' in jamaicans coupled with the fact that there is no real enemy to which it can be applied, which is then fueled by ignorance have real devastating consequences.. this is why the CSME is such a scary proposal for most of the other islands especially the smaller vulnerable ones...
jamaica have been blessed with not only natural resources but also human resources in the fields of music/entertainment, sports, but thanks to years of political mismangement their biggest export seems to be not reggae music, but economic refugees and a bad reputation..which quite a few seem to be proud of..
to whom much is given much is expected..

At 11/12/2007 4:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am fed up with the petty rivalry that exists between the caribbean islands, particularly Barbados, Trinidad and Jamaica (although Barbados and Trinidad to a lesser extent these days). I'm a Bajan that lived in Jamaica for 3 years and despite all the trouble and murders...I loved it. However, I'm a Bajan through and through and would not swap home for anything. We have to realise that each island has something unique to offer, and will have things that we like and dislike about each. Everyone will have different experiences everywhere that can leave long lasting, positive or negative impressions about the place. Barbados is peacefull, has fantastic beaches and great scenery. Some may find our dependence on tourism and perceived subservient attitude as a negative...however we have to eat. And we are not subservient, just more reserved than Jamaicans and will hold our tongues to "cuss off" the offending idiot behind closed doors. Jamaica has majestic mountains, amazing food, warm people and due to its sheer size compared to home, always has something going on. On the downside, parts of it, not all can be pretty scary to live in, and the grinding poverty that exists next to luxurious mansions is depressing. That said, I still love Jamaica. Why cant we all just get much to learn from each other

At 12/19/2009 2:04 PM, Blogger bathmate said...

Thank you for posting.
it is really helpful to all.
such a nice topics.



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