I’ve been thinking about old time Jamaican wedding customs. Why? Because my younger sister recently got married, and, oh, what an occasion it was! Being so integrally involved in the planning process got me wondering though: What about our local weddings in the past distinguished us from other countries? And are these customs still practiced today? After some extensive research, here are nine old time Jamaican wedding customs that were once very popular, especially at country weddings.
The very dangerous habit of promiscuous spitting. So read a section of a letter to the editor of The Daily Gleaner for Friday, April 30, 1948, pg. 8. I already see the question marks over your heads, readers! Why all of a sudden my interest in the very disgusting act of spitting in public?! Location, location, location, that’s why. Let me explain.
I found out just this afternoon that today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Yup, I see your eyebrows reaching into your hairlines! But it’s true! September 19 has been recognised internationally as Talk Like a Pirate Day for several years now and is a day just for fun to let out the pirate in each of us. Ahoy maties!!!
Do you remember the Jamaican film, The Harder They Come? I’m sure you do! After all, I already dealt with this in a former post, The Harder They Come: “Jamaica’s First Full Length Motion Picture.”
So why am I back to The Harder They Come? Remember, our history echoes all around us, and even those echoes have echoes of their own. The main character in the movie, Ivanhoe Martin, was loosely based on real-life escape convict and gun-slinger, Ivanhoe Martin aka “Rhyging” and “Ivan Brown.”
Today is being observed as the 125th anniversary of the birth of Jamaica’s first national hero, Marcus Mosiah Garvey. He was born on August 17, 1887, in St. Ann, Jamaica.
Do you know the FACTS about Jamaica’s only national heroine, Nanny of the Maroons? As the 174th anniversary of the full Emancipation of the enslaved people of Jamaica approaches (full Emancipation was granted on August 1, 1838) I’ll be writing several posts on the historical events that propelled this to eventually happen and to look at the persons who fought to end this abominable practice.
While Nanny of the Maroons, Jamaica’s only National Heroine, and her resistance activities against the British and the institution of slavery, occurred during a much earlier period in our history, as the Hon. Prime Minister, Michael Manley, declared in October 1975 when announcing Nanny and Sam Sharpe as National Heroes: “we should never forget the earlier history that preceded the fact of Emancipation” (The Sunday Gleaner, October 19, 1975, pg. 1).
Have you ever been to DownTown Kingston and traveled around Parade? Yes, that area at the centre of Kingston – an area that was once used to house military barracks before these were moved to Up Park Camp in the mid-18th century – with that lovely park that somehow people have either forgotten or are totally ignorant (and not the fault of many) of the historical significance of this park.
This is the place of interest in today’s blog post, especially focusing on the person after whom the park was named. This piece of green and beauty in the centre of Kingston is called St. William Grant Park, and is named after the notable labour leader and Black nationalist, St. William Grant.
In December 2011, I kept hearing this name popping up on Fame 95fm, one of Jamaica’s radio stations: Calico Jack. The name sounded very familiar but I wasn’t quite sure where I’d heard it before. So I did some light investigative work (yeah, I’m a real Sherlock Holmes!) on what or who this Calico Jack is Fame 95fm was so excited about. Result? Calico Jack is a new rum punch from Tru-Juice, Calico Jack Rum Punch. Oh! So that explains so many mentions of Calico Jack during the party season in December on Fame 95fm, a very popular, all-about-entertainment radio station. Surprise, surprise!
But I still had that nagging thought that I’d heard the name before and not necessarily within the context of rum-stimulated parties.
Serial killers. This phrase seems synonymous with the United States of America. Why they do what they do is not a subject of this post and is way out of my expertise but what I do know is that Jamaica’s own history is haunted by the horrific acts of our own serial killers. Yes, Jamaica’s past echoes with the acts of several individuals who have been deemed serial killers. Does the name Lewis Hutchinson sound familiar? I’m sure your history teacher never mentioned him, right?