Culture Article 1 – Welcome to Jamrock

Welcome to Island Worldwide a new media platform dedicated to “Bringing Jamaica to the world and taking the world to the Caribbean Islands.”  Jamaica in many ways is an aberration; with our musicians, athletes, music, dialogue, and food known worldwide. Such a small landmass- 4,243 square miles to be exact- packing a lot of power globally.  But did you know there are many unique and interesting facts about our little island that many off of Jam Rock may not be aware?  Here are six little known facts that may shed light on the greatness, that is Jamaica, land we love:

  1. Jamaica Was Once a Spanish Speaking Country– From 1509 to 1655, Jamaica was under Spanish rule; with a capital called Villa de la Vegaor Spanish Town. Spanish Town remains, as do many of the original towns with Spanish names, like Ocho Rios or Eight Rivers.  (Parke, 2018)
  2. Out of Many One People’ is the National Motto of Jamaica. It is represented on the Coat of Arms and is based on the population’s multiracial roots; showing a male and female member of the Taino tribe standing on either side of a shield which bears a red cross with five golden pineapples. (JIS, 2020)
  3. James Bond is Jamaican.  Okay, maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration, butmuch of the James Bond series was written in Jamaica, and ‘Dr. No’ and ‘Live and Let Die’ were filmed on the island. Today, journalist and Bond writer Ian Flemming’s home and additional cottages make up the sum of the Goldeneye Hotel and Resort in St. Mary. (Allwood, 2018)
  4. Mento, Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady, Dub and Dancehall are six distinct musical genres birthed in Kingston, Jamaica, making Kingston a UNESCO City of Music, since 2015. Kingston- the island’s capital- also has the highest number of recording studios per capita and produces the most music per capita globally. (UNESCO, 2020)
  5. “No to Apartheid” and other human rights violation has been Jamaica’s message to the world, when it became the first nation to declare a trade embargo against South Africa.  As early as 1957 even while the island was still a colony of Britain, Jamaica consistently and unequivocally opposed apartheid and supported all United Nations’ decisions aimed at its elimination. (United Nations, 2014)
  6. Innovation and technology abound in Jamaica. Jamaica was the first country in the Western world to build a railroad and in 1994, became the first Caribbean nation to launch its own website. (Ball/MapQuest 2020)

Enjoy the sun, sea and sounds of Jamaica, and KNOW Jamaica!

By line:  Andrea M. JohnBaptiste is host of Synergy Radio Show: Where Music, Business and Culture Synchronize, and Executive Director of Cultural Affairs for Island Worldwide.   She is also CEO of Axum Management Capabilities, Inc- a business development firm and serves as adjunct faculty at two universities in South Florida, where she lives, works, and plays.

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