Jamaica is a small country with a big reputation and has quite a few stereotypes attached to it. We likkle but we tallawah as we Jamaicans say.
The Top Three
The Stereotype of Jamaicans Being all High as a Kite
All over the globe people think all Jamaicans are busy puffing away at weed and feeling alright. Thanks to Bob Marley’s wide flung popularity. I have been pretty much called a liar when I shared that marijuana is criminalized in Jamaica – disbelief I tell you. There was one man in Kenya who I was chatting with about this and he pretty much believed this hook line and sinker.
What was not amusing was that time I was shown pictures of weed by a customs officer upon seeing my passport.
All Jamaicans Run Fast
Thanks to Usain Bolt’s popularity this stereotype is more prevalent than ever.
All Jamaicans Can dance Well
Yes, many Jamaican can dance well but I am sure there are others who can’t. It is never fun being asked this by a random stranger who waits poised for a demonstration. Cue me walking away and shaking my head.
I enjoy meeting people who are open to learning more and reimagining the stereotypes of Jamaicans they have. Though I get annoyed by those who greet me with their vast knowledge of Jamaica that they get from the media, it is always great to give my insights and make cultural connections.I love how the people on the African continent love Jamaica even those who unthinkingly buy into all the stereotypes. I remember the awesome conversations in Cape Town, Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, Kisumu, Cairo and Victoria Falls.