….Jamaica, Jamaica, Jamaica land I……

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Patriotism is defined as devoted love, support and defense of one’s country; national loyalty, but what is the basis for patriotism?

I was born in a particular country, therefore I am obligated to devote my love and support to her?

Jamaica is the land of my birth, I had absolutely no control over that. I grew up pledging my undying love and support for this isle of the indies, but became critical as an adult after realizing I was relegated to being a third-class world citizen because I am Jamaican.

I contrasted what Jamaica offered to me with what I was denied and this made it more difficult to accept the idea of patriotism.

I don’t believe in obligated love, it is like a duty and thus loses its true essence.

I do not love my mother because she gave birth to me, I love her because she is a great human being who gave of herself unselfishly to me and others. I don’t think I should love Jamaica, just because…, that is simply ridiculous. I must admit that Jamaica is possible one of the most beautiful place on earth, this beauty is used well in hiding the hideous underbelly of her culture…and it is this that makes it hard for me to be patriotic.

Jamaica is my home, my family is there, happy memories of my childhood is intrinsically linked to Jamaica. I miss her because she is familiar, not because she is different from any other country; Dubai buy sand and build beach, South America has majestic mountains that helps to keep the sky above us and reggae, which originated in Jamaica, has more significance in Europe than it does in the Caribbean isle.

Lately people who claim particular personality traits as indigenous to Jamaicans annoy me. When you are not exposed to other cultures it is easy to assume that Jamaicans r the only ones who say particular things, or do things in a  specific way, but then you meet others from various cultures and realize people are people, and these traits exist all over the world….what do you do then? I think nationalist should focus on celebrating humanism and then the world would be a better place.

Yet with all this, I find it easy to sell Jamaica as a great destination to visit and I will quickly defend her honour if people speak ill of her….but I am not blindly devoted in love and support. It may be possible that I am harping on semantics, I may need another word to explain how I truly feel, but as it is right now, patriotic is not the word and it r the truth.

Stranger than fiction…o_0

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I pledged never to write about the people around me in my blogs. This is if we become friends and they stumble upon it eventually, that would be awkward. However, I have to write about my experience last night which still has me pinching myself.

Last night I had an encounter with a random girl, she might as well have been a ghost because I don’t know where she came from, neither where she went after.

I live in a shared space with five men. We all have our own rooms, but we share bathrooms and kitchen area. Now this situation lends itself to so many stories, but we will have those on another day.

This particular Saturday I sat down to dinner of curried chicken and white rice. I heard a knock on my door and there was this red-head waving to me in the doorway. This is unusual, because I have never seen a woman in this house. She introduce herself and was kind enough to apologize for the alcoholic fumes leaving her body because it is her day off and she has been drinking, so she maybe drunk. Wait, it isn’t awkward yet.

She said she smelled my dinner and it smelled so good that she was wondering if I have any more so that she may have some. Please understand that this is a common joke among Jamaicans back home. We will ask to share in a stranger’s meal as a compliment to how good it looks or smell, but will definitely not accept after the polite consent from the cook. A Jamaican friend of mine shared how he was severely beaten by his mother because she caught him accepting food from the neighbours; What made it worse was that it was a dumpling… that warrants the death penalty in Jamaica. This tacit rule is rooted deep in our culture and we all blindly obey it without thought to question its origin. Anyway, back to Miss Thing….I nervously laughed at the request and she laughed too, but I became confused because she was looking with expectancy. I said to her that I don’t have any left as I only prepared for one . Now please understand my surprise when Miss Thing takes the plate from my hand and starts eating….as God is my witness it r the truth. She shovelled too clumps of chicken into her mouth before I even registered what was happening. She handed me back the plate while informing me she graduated from George Brown with a Food Management degree and my dinner is very tasty… as if I didn’t know; I told her thanks with a smile.

She goes further to take my cup and begin drinking. At this point I started looking around for a hidden camera because clearly this was a prank, it had to be. She then steps beyond me, sits on my bed and starts shooting questions at me about where I’m from and what I am doing in Canada …looking around the room as she speaks. Then Miss Thing removes her shoes, so I say, “This feels so surreal, like I am in an updated version of Goldy Locks and the three bears.” She responds, “…but there are only two bears,” and starts to cackle…0_O She eventually left, well not before taking some more of the rice and giving me a high-five. 

Can somebody explain to me what happened? I’ve never had this experience in my life and I am too shock to be angry. Can anybody say if this has happened to them and if I should expect more encounters like this? Clearly I am not in Kansas any more Toto…and that r the truth.