In spite of the aggressiveness and sometimes harsh nature of life in Jamaica, one of the sweet contradictions lies in how Jamaicans greet each other.
Of course there are the regular greetings of "Hello," "How are you," and "Good morning."
Then there are the others...
"Blessed" has become a popular greeting that I have never heard in another country. I suspect that its origin lies in the Rastafarian faith.
"Respect" is another greeting that has been around for longer, and is just a typically Jamaican way of sending a clear affirmative signal to another person.
"Yes" or "Yes, Yes" accompanied with a nod of the head are also popular ways of merely affirming that you are recognizing another. Older similar forms include "Easy" and "Cool nuh."
These are warm greetings of well-wishes passed between strangers who are sending positive signals or vibes between each other. They are uttered over the unspoken and unquestioned assumption that we are in each other's lives forever.
Of course, this vastly different than the plastic-smiling "Hello" that I remember from the U.S.
Labels: Ja culture