CAR | Nov 20, 2022

5 Jamaican things that confuse the rest of the Caribbean

Shemar-Leslie Louisy

Shemar-Leslie Louisy / Our Today


People in the Caribbean have a lot of similarities, especially as it relates to language, societal norms and cultural values. However, when examined closely enough, the differences come to light.

In the interest of good fun, Our Today asked students from other Caribbean countries, who are currently studying in Jamaica, just what observations they found that were unique to the island and that have left them with questions. Here’s what they had to say:

5. Why do Jamaicans name body parts that way?

Why do Jamaicans name body parts back-to-front? It’s the middle of your hand, not your hand-middle, it’s the top of your head not your ‘head-top’.

4. What is the obsession with curry gravy?

We love curry just as well, but in Jamaica, a lot of people eat it like a sauce and just top up their food with it – fried chicken and curry gravy? Make it make sense?

3. What about the number two makes it gay?

I know about the homophobia and all of that, but what is it about the number in itself that’s so gay that people go out of their way to avoid it? How can a grown man say ‘number few’ with all seriousness?

2. Why do you play the national anthem at the cinema?

Jamaica must be the only place that plays their national anthem at the cinema of all places. What is the point of that?

1. How does ‘hush’ mean ‘sorry’?

How is ‘hush’ supposed to mean ‘sorry’? I can’t understand it. This one time a woman squeezed my finger in a glass door and she told me ‘hush’. My finger was getting big and red and tears were swelling in my eyes and I’m supposed to feel better from that?

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