Jamaica has world recognition. There may be millions of people who cannot pinpoint it on a map but who will have heard of it, helped in no small part by the contribution of its bass-heavy heritage—it’s one of the only countries with its own soundtrack. This island overachieves for its small size, and its people are bursting with energy and drive—Jamaica’s dominance in athletics is just another example of that.
Music and sports aside, Jamaica’s greatest export and asset is its warm, strong, and spirited people. Their ancestors, forced into a system designed to break the human spirit, remained unbroken. Despite the many hurdles the country still has to clear, the overriding feeling is that the Jamaicans will do it.
The country’s recent history has been dominated by the rocky road to independence and the path its leaders have since trodden. It went from a situation where a small minority controlled much of the wealth to a form of socialism that saw much of that same wealth and experience flee.
There is a great deal more to Jamaica, however, than its troubled politics or the palm-fringed beaches and “all-inclusive” holiday resorts that have come to typify it. One of the most intriguing countries in the region, it leaves an impression that is, like the character of its people, larger than life. Culture Smart! Jamaica will take you through the gates and beyond the clichés to the real life of the island. It will show you the roots and explain the nuances of modern-day Jamaican society, and help you to enjoy and make the most of your visit to this amazing and invigorating country.
Jamaicans love to turn out looking good. If you’re heading out around rush-hour, you might think casual dress is the norm in the workplace. However, almost every laborer will have a change of clothes for heading to or from work; the idea of hitting the street not looking clean or sharp is unthinkable.