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Reggae Sumfest and Expectations

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Reggae Sumfest 2019 Staging

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Jamaica’s annual summer reggae festival is here again! The 2019 staging of Reggae Sumfest has all the ingredients for an amazing event; feel-good music, great parties, exceptional entertainers, and delicious food.

When and Where?

This event will take place over the period July 14 to July 20, 2019 in Catherine Hall, Montego Bay. For this year’s staging, the sponsors that came on board were Caribbean Airlines, Pepsi, Jamaica Tourist Board and many others.

Entertainment Galore

Above all, the main element of this event is the festival night concerts, which usually feature local and international acts. The Reggae Sumfest organizers have been clever in choosing some exceptional artistes for this year’s staging. For festival night 1, electrifying performances are expected from the featured acts, which include Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Chronixx, Dexta Daps and Spice. Equally important, the festival night 2 will have an anticipated, spirited delivery from the Gargamel, Buju Banton, and an amazing delivery from the great Beres Hammond. Reggae crooners and warriors such as Protoje, Jah 9, Romain Virgo and Christopher Martin will also perform on night 2.

Will it surpass expectations?

The main question though is, “Will it surpass expectations?” Individuals from all over the globe will be at this year’s staging so that they can experience Jamaica’s music. Honestly, the whole world is looking at how Jamaica will showcase its magnificent talents. The one downfall with these forms of events is that entertainers are normally rushed. Slots and time frames must be wisely chosen so that entertainers can effectively deliver songs from their catalog. The hope of many is that the planning and organizing team will demolish that disappointment; so all can look forward to a great staging of this year’s Reggae Sumfest!

  • Reggae Sumfest 2019 Staging

  • Reggae Sumfest 2019 Staging

Shan Cousins is an avid volunteer, who finds pleasure in sharing and discovering new knowledge and experiences. Shan is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration at the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean. [email protected]

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Jamaican Patois: 50 Jamaican Dialect Phrases and Their English Translations

Alaina Hull

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Jamaican Patois: 50 Jamaican Dialect Phrases and Their English Translations

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What is Jamaican Patois?

Jamaican Patois is a language spoken in the country and by the majority of the Jamaican diaspora spread throughout the world. It is an English dialect with a very strong influence on the local language. It is also known as the Jamaican Creole language in which English, the primary language, is layered with a single, or multiple Jamaican local languages.

Origin of Patois

The Jamaican Patois is an English Creole language that derives most of its words and the entire slang from a West African language named Akan.

Patois is largely spoken in Jamaica and among Jamaicans in the diaspora. It derives its major influence and origin from the Akan language. The Akan language is popularly spoken in the Ivory Coast and Ghana. With the advent of English culture, English became the primary language over which the Jamaican Patois is built on, and it came to be widely used by people of the land.

Jamaican Patois: 50 Jamaican Dialect Phrases and Their English Translations

The Jamaican Patois might sound quite unfamiliar to a newcomer because it is a mix of English, African and Spanish. The origin of the language began with colonisations over the centuries and gradually evolved to widespread adoption of this local language. While Patios is prominently spoken by Jamaicans, English is regarded as the official language. The citizens are capable of speaking the Standard Jamaican English, known as SJE, which tourists and people who come to Jamaica for various other purposes can easily understand.

As the official language of Jamaica, English is used in all government institutions and educational syllabi making it easier for the locals and visitors alike.

Fifty (50) Jamaican Phrases and Their English Translation

For a person who has just landed in Jamaica, Patois might feel pretty much like English but you may not be able to fully understand it because of the local slang and the mixture of languages. However, with this helpful guide and Apps out there, it should be easy to get a hang of what the Jamaicans want to convey with their unique way of speaking.

Weh yuh ah seh? – What are you saying?

Inna di morrows – See you later/tomorrow

Duppy Conqueror – A brave person

Mash up – Damaged or destroyed

Bless Up – Best wishes

Mi Soon Come – I will be right back/there

Nyam – Eat

Jamrock, Jamdown, Yard – Jamaica

Yardie, Yard man – Jamaican

Bredren (male), Sistren (female) – Friend

Big up, Respect – Well Done!

Sell off, Tun up, Wicked – Excellent!

Whappen?/Wah yuh a seh? – What’s up?

Mi deh yah/Everytingcriss – Everything is good

Wah Gwaan? – What’s going on?

Mi deh yah, yuh know – Everything is ok/I’m doing well

Obeah – Black Magic

Lickkle more –Goodbye/See you later

Madda/Fadda- Mother/Father

Chaka-Chaka – Poor quality/disorganized

Raggamuffin – Street-wise/tough guy

Kick Up Rumpus – Having a good time!

Likkle more/Walk good – See you later!

Zeen – I understand

Ova deh – Over there

Wha yuh deh pon? – What are you up to?

Mi nuh biznizz – I don’t care

Badmind – Jealous

Fling – Throw

De Party Tun Up – The party was great

Jeezum Pees!– Exclamation similar to ‘Oh My God!’

Nuh romp wid mi! – Don’t mess with me!

Small up yuhself – Move Over

Passa Passa – Mix Up

A long time mi nuh si yuh – I haven’t seen you in a while

Mi name… – My name is…

Mi deh… – I am…

Weh yuh come from? – Where are you from?

Gud mawnin – Good morning

Mi nuh kno – I don’t know

Mi nuh undastan – I don’t understand

Yuh talk Patwah? – Do you speak Patois?

Weh de bawtroom deh? – Where’s the toilet/bathroom?

Merri crissmuss! – Merry Christmas!

Call di police! – Call the police!

Move from ya suh!- Get away from here!

Fiah! – Fire!

Galang! – Leave me alone!

Gweh! – Go away!

Mi luv yuh – I love you

Making Life Easier in Jamaica with Patois

While locals can understand and speak Patois as well as the English language, newcomers, tourists and those visiting the country for work may take some time to understand what the people are talking about. The Android store has an App that instantly translates the Patois into English for easy understanding and it can also help people reply in an authentic manner.

Jamaican Patois: 50 Jamaican Dialect Phrases and Their English Translations

Compared to how English sounds, the local slang is very expressive and colorful. Instead of spelling out the words or using the grammar, the people may just blurt them out as sounds. For a local, it will be very easy to understand but if you spend a couple of days or live long enough in Jamaica, it will be obvious that all the sounds are actual English phrases in one way or the other even though pronounced differently because the languages are mixed into one another.

Simple Guide to Understand Jamaican Patois

The advantage of visiting the beautiful island of Jamaica is that the official language is English. When you come across locals speaking a different dialect, there is always a way to have it cleared by your local tour guide or someone helping you out in understanding the location or situation.

With smartphones, traveling is easier than ever as there are dedicated Android and iOS apps to help you translate the Jamaican Patois into English. You can even capture the voice to translate it on-the-go. Besides, all the instructions and manuals are found in English. The Jamaican government offices use the official English language making it easier for outsiders to communicate instead of having to learn Patois in a few days.

Jamaican Patois: 50 Jamaican Dialect Phrases and Their English Translations

Give the 50 Jamaican dialect phrases a glance along with their English translations. Most of them are phrases that you should be able to make use of during a visit or stay in Jamaica. It also helps to communicate with the locals in a much easier manner. Besides, it’s also fun to learn something new because the Creole language based on English is a completely new experience when compared to learning an altogether different language.

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What’s in a Name?- Most Popular Names That Simply Have to be Jamaican

Alaina Hull

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What’s in a Name?- Most Popular Names That Simply Have to be Jamaican

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Origin of Jamaican Names

Jamaican culture is highly influenced by African and European backgrounds. Yet, when it comes to Jamaican names, the people of the country opt for names with their origins being from English and Spanish backgrounds. So, it is not uncommon to find people with names that are popular in these backgrounds. Names such as Nicolas and Dawn were much preferred over African names. The names also trace their roots to names of places, fiction, religion, colours, mythology, the elements of nature, and more.

However, throughout the generations, various other trends of choosing names began to show up among Jamaicans while naming their children. One such drift showed Jamaicans selecting names for their children from among names of popular American pop idols. Also, since Jamaicans traced their roots to several countries, it was not uncommon to find people who had surnames from these places.

Rules for Choosing Jamaican Names

Three basic rules are usually followed when it comes to selecting Jamaican names, irrespective of whether it is for boys or girls. These rules are as given below.

  1. It must be possible to pronounce the name properly without changing the way it is said originally. Jamaicans are very particular about the original name not getting destroyed and resulting in a new name altogether.
  2. Jamaicans like choosing unique names for their children. One way they do this is to opt for a name that is a combination of the names of both parents.
  3. Children are expected to be able to spell their names from a very young age. It is thus not surprising that Jamaicans choose names that the child can spell even when he or she is just three years old. So, Jamaican names are usually very simple and can be split into syllables if the name has more than five letters.

What’s in a Name?- Most Popular Names That Simply Have to be Jamaican

Some Male and Female Jamaican Names With Their Meanings

The list of names given here is not comprehensive. It is a list of some of the typical Jamaican names that you can consider if you are looking for a name for your boy or girl.

Ade (Boy) – Royal

Bembe (Boy) – Prophet

Chike (Boy) – Talented

Ekon (Boy) – Strong

Imo (Boy) – Knowledge

Jevaun (Boy) – Young warrior

Amoy (Girl) – Beautiful Goddess

Chandice (Girl) – Very talented and smart

Dada (Girl) -Curly haired child

Imani (Boy) – Faith

Kaleisha (Girl) –Strong-willed

Latoria (Girl) -Victorious one

During the period 1970 to 2000, there were quite a few Jamaican names that were popular over others. Some of them are:

Boys                                                                                                                      Girls

Delroy                                                                                                                   Jennifer

Mark                                                                                                                     Cynthia

Gary                                                                                                                      Tamara

Kevin                                                                                                                     Sharon

Paul                                                                                                                       Marlene

Nigel                                                                                                                     Kimberly

Nicknames in Jamaica

It may be interesting to note that almost everyone in Jamaica has a nickname. This practice has been going on for generations now. In many cases, nicknames have stuck to people till their end. As a result, these people have always been known only by these names. Like the normal Jamaican names, some standard nicknames have been in use for a long time.

These are some such nicknames that Jamaicans have used in the past and continue to do so. While most nicknames are irrespective of gender, some of them are gender-based.

Biggs or Bigga – A fat person

Cutie – A pretty girl

Stamma – A person who stutters while talking

Killer – Someone who is great at whatever he or she does

Screw Face – Someone who is always frowning or frowns a lot

Ticker – A muscular man

Lippo – A person with thick lips

Chin – A person who has oriental features

Red – A person with light skin complexion

Bready – A bread vendor

Jamaican Naming Trends Today

Jamaican names usually have two parts associated with it – the actual name and a family name. One trend followed is to name the person based on the occasion or the day of his or her birth. Jamaicans also tend to follow the Akan language tradition of naming their children in the order of birth. This is because they firmly believe that a person’s personality depends on the order, situation or day of his or her birth.

What’s in a Name?- Most Popular Names That Simply Have to be Jamaican

In some cases, a person may have a middle name apart from the actual name and family name. This middle name is often personal and is usually the name of an ancestor or it can be a name that indicates that the child is a twin.

Like the practice in most other cultures, Jamaican names for girls are based on various characteristics that are related to beauty and positive traits. These traits form a part of the name given to the girl child. The widely chosen positive traits comprise royalty, liveliness, and happiness to mention just a few. It is common to see girls’ names also include those traits associated with a Goddess, a queen or a princess.

Conclusion

Jamaicans give serious consideration to various factors when selecting a name. This is because the name is intended to be the same throughout the lifetime of a person. When choosing a name for their child, it is ideal for parents to opt for one that is appropriate throughout the lifecycle of the person starting from infancy to old age. They usually come up with names that the person will not be teased about by others or feel bad about at any point in time in their lives.

You may opt for names that others will be able to spell and pronounce easily so that it does not get misinterpreted. Last but not least, Jamaicans have started using the World Wide Web for new names. There are various websites available that are exclusively dedicated to helping you find many traditional and trendy Jamaican names for both your boy or girl. When you consider all these factors, you may be able to arrive at a name that you like and also one that best suits your child.

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The Power of Reggae: The Influence and Impact of Jamaican music on the World 

Alaina Hull

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Reggae Music

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Origin of Reggae Music

The history of Reggae music dates back to the late 1960’s when it made its maiden venture in Kingston, Jamaica. The music genre made its presence felt almost all over the world within a decade of its origin. Focusing on promoting Pan Africanism, it incorporates various elements from other music genres like rhythm, mento, jazz, and blues. Musical instruments like bass guitar, piano, drum kit, synthesiser, and electric organ, just to mention a few, are played along with the music to make it as lively as possible. Today, the term Reggae is used to denote any popular Jamaican dance music. The authentic form of this music is one of the major sources of income for the island country.

Effect of Jamaican Music on Europe

Modernists or working-class people began to cut their hair close, appearing fashionable like the crew of the music band. At night, they dressed up in their best attire and visited Black night clubs and dance halls to dance to Afro-American music and early Reggae along with Jamaican rude boys. This street culture, in turn, initiated the skinhead movement.

The Power of Reggae: The Influence and Impact of Jamaican music on the World

Reggae music also had a strong impact on the punk movement. This was partly initiated by Don Letts, a London based black young man of Jamaican descent. He introduced the genre at The Roxy Nightclub in London where he was a DJ. This had a great influence on British punk bands such as The Sex Pistols and The Clash. The bands started mixing their punk rhythms with Reggae. Although both genres were completely different from a musical point of view, they started propagating the idea of rebelling against the set norms and the establishment to open the doors to freedom.

Effect of Jamaican Music on the USA

Like Europe, Reggae music had a major impact on the American music scene. The primary influence was on rap music. The 1960’s saw a multitude of Jamaican migrants making South Bronx in New York their base. However, they never lost contact with their home country and made frequent trips to their home island. Thus, when artists like U Roy and Big Youth introduced toasting, a genre derived from Reggae in Jamaica between the 1960’s and 1970’s, the migrants brought it over to New York and infused the same with popular American urban elements. This gave birth to two new genres – hip-hop culture and rap music. Interestingly, it was the Jamaican DJ Kool Herc who had moved over to South Bronx in 1967 who introduced rap music.

Very soon, Reggae and hip-hop cultures began to share a cultural relationship with each other. Both of them portrayed the lifestyle of the blacks and protested against the establishment. For years, artists like Public Enemy, Afrikaa Bambaataa, Burning Spear, and Big Youth have been depicting the social injustice experienced by the blacks in both the USA and Jamaica through their rap, toasting and Reggae music. These artists also rebelled against Eurocentrism while fighting for Pan-Africanism.

Effect of Jamaican Music on Africa

As the Jamaican population is mainly of African descent, it is no surprise that Reggae music has a great impact on Africa and has a heavy influence on early African musical forms. Most singers continue to pay tribute to their motherland, Africa, through their songs. One of them was the well-known singer Bob Marley who created a sensation in the continent in 1979 with his albums Zimbabwe and Africa United. He is credited with enhancing the rave for this music in Zimbabwe. Africans could associate themselves with Jamaicans for more than one reason; mostly because of being black, oppressed by the whites and living in very harsh conditions.

The Power of Reggae: The Influence and Impact of Jamaican music on the World

 

The West African country Cote d’Ivoire is one of the key places in Africa that has been widely influenced by Reggae. This music genre has been widely adopted as the medium to pinpoint the various atrocities in the country such as colonialism and neo-colonialism, corruption, tribalism, political manoeuvres and plunder of natural resources. A good example of this is ‘Bloodshed in Africa’ – an African Reggae song produced in 1986 by Alpha Blondy. Today, this music is very popular in South Africa.

Other places that support reggae

For nearly thirty years, most French people have patronised Rastafarian ideology and lifestyle leading to Reggae becoming an integral part of the French musical world. Recently, this music played a key role in redefining the British electronic music scene by incorporating the remix technique with Jamaican music to give birth to musical genres such as drum and bass, trip-hop and jungle.

The Power of Reggae: The Influence and Impact of Jamaican music on the World

 

Brazil in Latin America is credited with developing samba-reggae in the early 1980’s following the influence of this wonderful music. The surrounding areas of Puerto Rico, Costa Rica and Panama have welcomed this genre since the beginning of 2000. The Aborigines, Kanaks, and Maoris of Australia, New Caledonia, and New Zealand respectively have also accepted the music wholeheartedly. This is primarily because they have also faced colonialism and enslavement like the Africans and Jamaicans. In Asia, Rastafarianism and Reggae music is very popular in Japan while it is equally welcomed in the South American countries of Guyana and Venezuela.

Conclusion

The influence of Reggae in various parts of the world cannot be overemphasized. Ever since its evolution, it has been gaining popularity day by day and is considered a revolutionary music genre. In today’s world, the one-of-a-kind four-beat rhythm music has become an international style with unique influences on different social and music genres. Although the music has undergone various modifications, the Rastafarian influence has not undergone any change and inspires a global audience. It explores the various economic, political and social injustices through a narrative style of music.

The Rasta colours related to the genre also became an inspiration for the fashion sector. Soon after the immense popularity of Reggae music, dance steps began to be developed to match the genre. Most artists patronising this music have started their careers in the United Kingdom. Thus, it is no wonder why the source of inspiration of many European artists and bands is from Jamaica followed by the Caribbean community based in Europe.

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