Culture: Its significance to me.

Ever heard the sayingYou have to know where you come from to understand where you are going” ? Culture more appropriately defined is the way of life of a group of people .  It includes our values, beliefs, customs, languages and traditions. It is reflected in our history, in our heritage and in how we express ideas and creativity. This culture, my Jamaican culture, has been shaped primarily by influence from the European (British, Spanish, and French) and African (Taino inhabitants) customs and tradition. As migration becomes and inevitable factor across the world, we are able to see its influence from the  Indian and Chinese culture, and in most recent times  our neighbour , the ‘Great United Sates of America. We can all agree , culture changes based on our own individual socialization and migration, but what is permanent , is the our origin, our starting point. Understanding this is the foundation for understanding society and socialization. Culture is the root of all our personal idenitiy, establishing our moral, value, tradition, culture . In undestanding `our past it allows us to understand effectively the process of communication and set the benchmark for our values, attidues and contributions .

Jamaican culture has been has been dominated by the British model, for the most part. Where our inhabitants were forced to find their own identity. Their expressions came in the form of music , religion, language  and dance. The desire to find a commonality between who they were led to the culmination of our culture. The oppression felt through slavery led to rebellion from what was being instilled , though inevitably accents of European culture where still adopted, social graces, mannerisms , and the other qualities which they(our ancestors) admired  . The importance of this  served as a reminder of where I came . A reminder that I too am worthy of rising out of oppression, a reminder that as people we are all connected, all one, with a common objective. When I listen to stories of the Nanny of the Maroon, Paul Bogle rebellion, I feel connected , I feel inspired in my pursuit of life. I often wonder if we didn’t rebel; if we had chosen to be complacent, accept oppression, What type of nation would we be? Would we have had as many leaders making global impact? This identify fosters growth, confidence, and a deeper understanding of who we are as social beings.

Communication ideally is a two way process of reaching a mutual understanding in which messages are encoded and decoded. The communication process with an eighty year old Jamaican woman living in rural Jamaica  will be different than communication with a 20 year old living in the city of Kingston. Their individual morals, attitudes and values will differ. Understanding the roots of this communication, the intention behind every sentence is key.  With each  expression  , we are able to identify pigments of our culture, culture of the past,  the new and emerging culture. The co-relation is essential. “If you stand for you nothing , you will fall for anything. “ We’ve established that culture is always changing, it does not remain constant. Hence, knowing what to accept or reject comes deeply from how we’ve been socialized within our immediate environments . What we hold to be true is set by our culture. Just imagine if there wasn’t a cultural development commission aimed at promotion and education of culture, Jamaican culture in itself would be next to non exist. The core of who we are as a people, out of many one people, out of oppression would be replaced with new and adopted forms of attitudes , morals and behaviour. Our culture sets a benchmark of understanding , allowing us to choose what to embrace, and what to adopt and how to contribute further within society. When we enter the global sphere , mass amounts of  messages are communicated through media and technology. This can serve as a threat to our culture s much as it can serve as a means of enhancement. When you are able to establish firmly what is true to you, you’ll stand up for what you believe in an empowering way . Just as Bob Marley did for Racial oppression and Miss Lou did for our Jamaican ‘national language’ As a nation we are fighters, believers and conquerors and culture serves as a indication of that as the past will always continue to influence our future.

The Jamaican flag beautifully depicts the spirit of our people shaped by our culture.


 “Hardships there are but the land is green and the sun shineth”:

Black represents the strength and creativity of the people which has allowed them to overcome the odds.

Yellow symbolises the golden sunshine.

Green represents our lush vegetation and agricultural resources.

One Love,



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