Jamaican Culture

Analyze class and power distinctions in Jamaican culture?

Jamaica is the third largest Caribbean Island, measuring 146 miles at its widest point. The population of Jamaica is approximately 2.8 million, with an average annual rate of growth of 1.1%. The people of Jamaica have a historical process in which peoples of many different continents were brought together within a well-defined social hierarchy. The vast majority is of African descent, but there are numerous small communities, Indian, Chinese, Arab, and European. Popular culture is heavily influenced by the African heritage, while recognized behavior is clearly British in style. The popular speech of Jamaicans is a distinct language from English; it was derived largely from English, which has been the official language for over 300 years. Early on in the film The Harder they come, it is easy to recognize Jamaicans distinct language.

Jamaica and the Rastafarians suffer their fair share of oppression. Rastafarians are members of a Jamaican messianic movement dating back to the 1930s; in 1974 they were likely to number at about 20,000 in Jamaica. According to Rastafarian belief the only true God is the late Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie (originally known as Ras Tafari), and Ethiopia is the true Zion. Their rituals include the use of marijuana and the chanting of revivalist rhymes. The character Pedro Ras showed us the rituals first hand, Pedro smoked marijuana out of a bong in part of Rastafarians religion. Reggae also known as Rock steady or Ska music, is the popular music of the movement. The Rastafarians, who stress black self-rule, have exercised some political power in Jamaica.

A major cash crop of the lower class is the farming of ganja (marijuana). Jamaican ganja farmers have a wide variety of terrain and conditions to work with. Outdoor pot growers in other parts of the world can learn from techniques used by their colleagues on this Caribbean I

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