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Top Ten Jamaican Stereotypes

Updated on July 1, 2015

There are many false impressions about Jamaica. Many began in the 1970s and 1980s and are so deeply entrenched that some Jamaican residents seem them.

1. Everybody in Jamaica Smokes Marijuana

This is the most popular stereotype of all. People are still surprised to meet Rastafarians who do not smoke marijuana. "Do you smoke weed?" is the most popular question that I am asked when I travel abroad.

In 2009, approximately 13% of Americans uses marijuana, based on information provided by World Drug Report, 2011.

Based on the same report, approximately 10% of the general public of Jamaica smoked marijuana in 2006. The marijuana sub-culture in Jamaica is specific and small. It is however a powerful sub-culture.

2. Jamaican Men are Womanizers

Just because Jamaican men always say nice things to women, does not mean they are haveulterior motives. It is natural for Jamaican men to be polite to women. Women may sometimes misinterpret social signals and assume that men are interested in them sexually or romantically.

Many people believe that most Jamaican men have multiple children all over the world. This may be true for a select few wealthy popular Jamaican men, however most Jamaican men settle down and get married. The divorce rate in Jamaica is even lower than those in first world countries.

3. Every Jamaican is a Rastafarian

As silly as it might sound, a lot of people think that most of the Jamaican population are Rastafarian. On the contrary, only a small amount of the population is Rastafarian—less than 3%.

Propaganda Movies with Negative Stereotypes (indecent language warning)

4. Jamaicans Practice Voodoo

Most Jamaicans know about voodoo from what they see on TV. When I was much younger, I watched the movie Marked for Death and thought that Rastafarians were voodoo witch doctors. I was a bit shocked, because I was pretty sure Rastafarians do not practice voodoo.

Stevens Segal's Marked for Death movie portrays Rastafarians as selling drugs, practicing voodoo, and doing drive by shootings. If the movie producers had done some research about the culture, they would have known that Rastafarians do not partake in these activities. The makers of the movie may be trying to intentionally spread negative propaganda.

5. Marijuana is Legal

Smoking marijuana in public in Jamaica can easily get you arrested. Ever since slave rebellions were associated with marijuana, it has been illegal. I have seen tourists get arrested for possession of marijuana because they did not know the law.

There is some tolerance in rural areas where the penalty for possession can be a fine or a suspended sentence.

Source

6. Jamaicans Are Always Happy Because They Are Under the Influence

Whenever Jamaicans travel to other countries and people notice that the islanders smile and laugh, the first impression is that the islanders may be under the influence. The truth is Jamaicans just smile a lot naturally. According to the 2009 happy planet index, Jamaica is the third happiest country in the world, while the USA ranked 114th on the list.

Jamaicans can be spotted by their outbursts of loud laughter on trains and airplanes.

7. Jamaicans Have Lots of Children

Most people assume that Jamaicans hold the same reproductive beliefs like Bob Marley. This stereotype may have been true back in the baby boomer era, or even 30 years ago. Some popular Jamaicans, such as Bob Marley, may have had several children. The truth is that Jamaica is an under-populated country. The population growth rate is approximately 0.7% annually.


8. Jamaican Violence Affects Tourism

Tourists are much safer in Jamaica than actual Jamaicans. The violence in Jamaica is between specific gangs and crews. Jamaican crime is perpetrated against residents of poor, under-developed communities. Middle class communities are almost crime-free. Upper class communities and tourist communities experience almost no violence at all. Compared to Mexico, Indonesia or Las Vegas, Jamaica is much safer for tourists.

9. Jamaica Is a Poor Country

The government of Jamaica is in a lot of debt. However, there are a lot of successful luxury car dealerships in Jamaica. The real estate market is booming. A lot of people are migrating to Jamaica from first world countries. Even though the Island is not the wealthiest in the Caribbean, it does boast several of the wealthiest people in the region.

Jamaica has an abundance of natural resources which attract a lot of investors. The private sector is still healthy and the employment rate is good. The Jamaican infrastructure for tourism is among the most modern in the world.

10. Jamaicans Do Not Speak English

What language do they speak in Jamaica?

It's best not to ask this question in English. The creole or patois that is spoken in Jamaican is really broken English with several other languages infused. The official language is British English. Jamaican creole is the spoken language with British English being used only in formal settings such as school or work.

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    • Daisy Mariposa profile image

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Art,

      Thank you for publishing this very important article about your island nation.

      You have done a great job dispelling the misconceptions that some people might have about Jamaica. I learned a lot from reading your Hub.

    • mbyL profile image

      Slaven Cvijetic 5 years ago from Switzerland, Zurich

      This was an enlighting hub. I think you did a very job on writing this hub and telling the real situation in Jamaice. Too many people are sadly driven by those stereotypes. Voted up Shared Interesting!!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Rasta, Thank you for clearing up some confusion! I visited Jamaica a few years ago and it was one of my favorite trips!:)

    • im28beyond profile image

      Jazmine Llaguno 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      hi rasta1, we all experience some stereotypes at some point. I go through that a lot when foreign tourists would mistake for something you're not. So this article is something I can relate to very much.

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 5 years ago

      Breddren; I'd like to say 'a true' but some of the points you make are not. Most Jamaican men can't keep their pants on. They have sex with all forms of female beings.

      There is a thriving Rent-a-Dread business that has been going on from the 1980s

      There is a serious push to make 'patwa fi wi langwij' so as to disenfranchise the poor...(I can discuss this topic for hours)...hence an increasing majority can not speak proper English.

      (I live on the Rock)

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      I've never been to Jamaica and know little of the island and its people...mostly only what I've heard and seen in the media. Thanks for this informative article. I feel I've learned something very worthwhile today. Your mother's words bear repeating, about Rastafarians being Voodo witch doctors, "...its just peoples imagination gone wild and Hollywood builds fictitious characters in order to generate a hype." Likewise, the media builds a lot of fictitious things for the sake of hype. Voted up, useful, interesting.

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      @ Daisy, thanks for the serious love and energy shown

      @ mybl, Even Jamaicans have their own misconceptions of Jamaicans

      @ Beyond, The Islanders don't mind the stereotypes, they will even play into sometimes.

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Sunshine, Thanks for the sunshine. Hope you enjoyed the sunshine on your visit.

      Respect qeyler, all man in the world is the same. Formal work environments, call centers, schools, hotels require the use of straight english. Those, who only can speak patoi is a small %. I have played into stereotypes before not knowing it is a trick of Babylon.

      Respect Sally Trove, The media really hype things up and leaves lasting impressions. When visitors arrive on the Island, I think they breath a sigh of relief that the people are cool.

    • Loi-Renee profile image

      Loi-Renee 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Its about time somebody set things straight rasta1. I'm a Jamaican and I can't stand the smell of marijuana and I've never met anyone who works voodoo or obeah. We are a happy people because we know how to 'tek bad tings mek joke'.

      Voted up and interesting.

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Loi-Renee, I understand what you are saying. Jamaican Stereotypes are also enforced on local TV and music and is then followed by some people.

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Intertaining and informative. When I have to wear a name tag at work, people frequently comment that I speak great English because they assume a Russian first name means I'm from Russia! My usual response is "thanks, I guess that is an accomplishment since I am from South Carolina." That usually stops them from voicing too many more assumptions!

    • moncrieff profile image

      moncrieff 5 years ago from New York, NY

      Awesome article!! Never been to Jamaica but always wanted to go there.

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Wow.. I learned a lot about Jamacia and Jamacians. Very interesting. This is one place I hope to visit one day. Great hub and very interesting!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I readily admit to being ignorant about your island nation. Thank you for clarifying some issues that we in the United States know next to nothing about. Very helpful hub!

    • Turtlewoman profile image

      Kim Lam 5 years ago from California

      What an interesting article! And all this time... just thought you guys are only good at Bobsled racing.;-) There's so much to learn about Jamaicans! Thanks for sharing an enlightening us by clearing up the movie stereotypes. Voted up!

    • gail641 profile image

      Gail Louise Stevenson 5 years ago from Mason City

      I enjoyed your hub. It's nice to know what Jamaicans are really like. Jamaica sounds like a really great country and a great place to visit. I voted up, too.

    • TENKAY profile image

      TENKAY 5 years ago from Philippines

      Wow, the third happiest country! that means the citizens in your country is almost cancer free! compare that to other rich countries... that's saying quite a lot!

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Natashalh, just a name can get people to behave different towards you. They must feel real embarrassed when you say that. lol.

      Respect moncrieff, you should stop by as soon as possible.

      Respect Tammy, thanks for the interaction on this hub. I am sure Jamaica would love a visit from you.

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      @ billybuc, It is an international common consensus regarding the stereotypes of Jamaica. Some of these stereotypes are misunderstood by Jamaicans themselves.

      @ Turtlewoman, So much things to learn, so true. A lot of Jamaicans did not know about the bobsled team until Disney made the movie. Jamaicans are only stereotypical depicted as track runners.

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      @ gail641, It is a nice and interesting place to visit. It is also one of the easiest country to travel to, in terms of customs and immigration.

      @ TENKAY, Wealth is not one the factors used to judge this index. Jamaicans are just easily humored.

    • emilybee profile image

      emilybee 5 years ago

      This is awesome that you laid these stereotypes to rest. I've no doubt that Jamaica is a great, happy country. Useful and voted up!

    • THEHuG5 profile image

      THEHuG5 5 years ago

      This is really interesting! I had the chance to go to Jamaica about 2 years ago and I must admit I had a few of these stereotypes in my head before I even got there. I didn't see anyone smoking weed at all and it wasn't any different than any other touristy place outside the US. This was an enjoyable read overall.

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      @ emilybee, I was motivated to do this hub because I saw some of these on HP. So I just did the hub.

      @ THEHuG5, Jamaicans know that tourists expect to see some of the behaviors portrayed in the media. Few will still portray this lifestyle.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Rasta1 - wonderful, wonderful hub! Though I've never been to Jamaica - I intend to go sometime! - my mom has lots of Jamaican friends because they are always on work visas at a nearby hotel. So, I grew up hearing Jamaican creole and you know what? Jamaicans are like other humans on the planet: a little love, a little peace, a place to live and some good food and everything will be all right. ;)

    • jeyaramd profile image

      jeyaramd 5 years ago from Mississauga, Ontario

      Its great that you published this informative hub about how mass media sends the wrongs message about particular cultures.

      It happens in certain neighborhoods in the United States. If there is crime; its all over the news. However, seldom do they publicize the good side.

      Its unfortunate that what sells is not the truth. Thanks for shedding light on the Jamaican people. Ignorance is never any excuse for not understanding another culture; at least we should not believe everything we see in the media. We should question portrayals. Its funny how stereotypes are sometimes played out as facts by people. Its almost as if they are so certain. Thanks for writing this hub. It was very much needed!

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 5 years ago from USA

      Stereotypes are everywhere, about every race and culture. Thanks for clearing up some of them. I do hope I get a chance to visit Jamaica someday.

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect cclitgirl,Jamaicans in America are very nice and make a special effort to steer clear of the stereotypes.

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect jeyaramd, the media does try to influence the populace into negative thinking. Then people take on these stereotypes in order to be trendy.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Rasta, the other day a hubber stated that they disliked Jamaica so much that they actually compared it to Iran all because they believe that Jamaica is homophobic. That's another Jamaican stereotype. The few artistes that hit out against the homosexuals are just a handful. These are really the most popular stereotypes you have listed and they are so wrong.

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Cardisa, Thanks for giving me some tips on this one. The issue of homophobia is another one. In a couple weeks I will be writing about Buju. I'll touch on this issue with that.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      You are always welcome Rasta, any time you need anything just ask.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Having been born in another country, I must confess to not having any Jamaican stereotypes or much knowledge of your country. It's funny how people develop their impressions of others. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect alocsin, I like that neutral ground vibes, there is no predetermined impression to judge by. Treating people equally at first interaction is always best.

    • seo4site profile image

      seo4site 5 years ago

      While reading, I was just a lil scared but it was funny))))Thanks for such an informative hub for tiurists)))

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect seo4site, sorry to have scared you, hope you pass through Jamaica sometime.

    • Sunlight17 profile image

      Sunlight17 5 years ago from top secret...

      Lol! It's amazing, i'm a Jamaican national and some of the facts here really surprised and re-informed me. Especially since I've been away for so long XD

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Sunlight, it is good to be able to laugh about this situation and not take it too seriously.

    • krillco profile image

      William E Krill Jr 5 years ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

      Thanks so much for making important inroads into ending stereotyping. Jamaica has a wonderful culture; hope I get to visit some day!

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Krillco, Thanks for the energy, hope you have a safe journey to Jamaica.

    • getwellsoon profile image

      getwellsoon 5 years ago from US

      Wow, what an enlightening hub! A lot of facts that I did not know previously. Thank you!

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Getwellsoon, love the energy, I am glad that you liked it.

    • profile image

      AnnaBanana 5 years ago

      I found your hub very interesting,I've been to Jamrock 7 times now & Love,Love,Love it!Your Island & people are amazing! We usually stay at a resort but have been wondering off with our Ja.friends more & more each time we go to experience better the people & culture.. there is nothing better then eating fresh caught crab prepared by locals & enjoying a Redstripe w/them! I have been to all night beach parties where you may stick out like a soar thumb but no-one treats you any different.I've just had too many awesome experiences to mention & look so forward to returning back to my 2nd home

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect AnnaBanana, I understand what you are saying, You being at the party makes the part look a lot cooler. It is the tourist that makes going out fun for Jamaicans.

    • AnnaBananaonelove profile image

      AnnaBananaonelove 5 years ago

      Ah yes,then the circle continues because it is definatly the Jamaicans that keep us coming back to your glorious Island!! :-)

    • profile image

      Jhudah 5 years ago

      wow so Jamaicans are always happy well that's cool I love happy people. Honestly when I think of Jamaica, reggae music always comes to my mind.

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Jhudah, its all about happiness

    • TheMMAZone profile image

      TheMMAZone 5 years ago from Kansas

      WOW thank you for this hub. Out of ignorance I have to admit I had a couple of 'assumptions'. It is good that hub's like this exist to break through stereotypes. Thanks for the hub!

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect TheMMAZone, I am happy to have cleared up some of the misconceptions.thanks for passing through.

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Amaya31, I agree. It is important not to judge especially when the information given on the individual is assumed.

      Each person will have their own personality and characteristic irrespective of their background.

    • procreate-light profile image

      procreate-light 5 years ago from Charlotte NC

      Cool Hub, I knew some of these things from hanging out with locals while on vacation in the early 90's, but not all. I never knew the rate of Rasta's was so low...

      interesting and voted up.

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect light, It depends on where you go in Jamaica and when, there were a lot more Rastafarians in Negril back in the early 90's.

    • Scribenet profile image

      Scribenet 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have worked with many Jamaicans. They are wonderful warm-hearted and cheerful people. Awesome Hub!

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Scribenet, thanks for passing through and for the strength.

    • profile image

      El Ray 5 years ago

      Rasta thank you for creating and sharing this excellent hub article! I grew up in the Bronx, NY and developed friendships with guys/girls whose families were from all over the world, including Jamaica. In my opinion, I believe the only way we can smash these stereotypes is to suspend whatever preconceived ideas you have and deal with people on an individual basis ... then you can see how dumb, lazy, etc. it is to stereotype people.

      Keep up the great work. I'm voting this hub page Up + Awesome!

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect El Ray, that is real talk, dealing with people on an individual basis is the truest option.

    • profile image

      E. O. 5 years ago

      I am doing an English paper on what Rastafarianism is and how the culture has stereotyped Jamaicans. Thank you for this article!!!!

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect E.O. If you have any other questions, just email me.

    • cooldude123 profile image

      cooldude123 5 years ago from India

      Really informative hub,bro...will be watching out for ur next hub...:)

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect CoolDude, this hub is also a favorite of mine.

    • afriqnet profile image

      Joe Njenga 5 years ago from Nairobi Kenya

      I think people stereotype what they don't understand. I now look at Jamaica from a different point of view. Thanks for sharing.

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Afriqnet, that is true. That is why it is good to give people an open chance to express themselves before stereotyping.

    • bzirkone profile image

      bzirkone 5 years ago from Kansas

      Good article, Rasta1. Spent an afternoon in Montego Bay nearly 18 years ago. I did sense that the locals played into the stereotypes for our amusement. Our cabbie stopped to get us RedStripe. He drank a few and smoked a spliff or two as well. He drove us around like a mad man. It was a blast. Loved the hub and will follow.

    • profile image

      MichelleMyBelle7 5 years ago

      Rasta1,

      I visited Jamaica with my family a few years ago (we went on a cruise and that was one of the ports). So many of the other passengers on board carried with them the same stereotypes I read above.

      Fortunately, my dad grew up with a Jamaican family close by and they taught him a ton about music. My dad had an enormous amount of respect for the people of Jamaica and whenever he heard somebody speaking ill of them, he spoke his mind immediately.

      While we were in Jamaica, there were a lot of street entertainers. Rather than give them money and gawk on the side, my whole family got up and started dancing with them (my dad of course asking to step in and play the drums for a bit).

      I'm going back to Jamaica in the fall and I cannot wait. It was a wonderful experience and I enjoyed the culture very much.

      Thank you for posting this article! Like you said, Jamaicans are a happy people - simple as that. Instead of stereotyping against them, we should learn from them. I know more than a handful of people that need a lesson on how to be happy and how to take a joke! :)

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 5 years ago from North America

      This Hub provides a lot of information - I had not even heard of half of the stereotypes. Rated Up and Awesome.

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Thanks for the interest patty. We also like to eat patty in Jamaica. Lol

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Your comment has assured me there is hope. Being yourself in Jamaica is most important. They can tell when your being real versus being a snob tourist. Thanks for being real. Respect Michelle.

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Jamaicans do drive fast. You have to ask them to slow down to take some pictures. You see, it is pretty exciting for us islanders to hang around tourist. It looks so cool.

    • Djaak profile image

      Djaak 5 years ago from Johannesburg, South Africa

      Best article ever. Could not stop laughing :D

    • PenHitsTheFan profile image

      Amy L. Tarr 5 years ago from Home

      I think it's probably like visiting any place....you'll find rich areas and poor ones.

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect penhits, both the rich and the poor are approachable and polite.

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Glad you enjoyed it Djaak, it is humorous.

    • Melbourne31 profile image

      Melbourne31 5 years ago from Ogden, Utah

      There is only one thing that I must say: We must learn how to respect each other's culture and beliefs. People judgment are always base to what they hear and see. Hearsays as far as I know are always invalid.

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Melbourne21, it is best to treat people according to how they themselves treat others.

    • p10kabhijita profile image

      Abhijit Aswath 5 years ago from India

      Media should be penalized for creating stereotypes. The way things are projected affects the judgement of several people across the world. I am glad you wrote this hub.

    • T4an profile image

      T4an 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      Great hub. We went to Jamaica on our honeymoon, stayed in Port Antonio. It was incredible. Jamaica will always hold a special place in my heart.

    • Shanique E profile image

      Shanique E 5 years ago

      Great article!!! Love it let the world know so many misconceptions it is really ridiculous, keep on writing, Bless up!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

      Thank you for clearing up these stereotypes. Very interesting and informative hub!

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect P10, The media just does anything as they please. They do not care about the social damage that is done.

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect T4an, Only being Port Antonio once. Went over to Navy Island. It felt like a James Bond movie in 1970s.

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Vespawoolf. "It had to be done". Always wanted to say that.

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Shanique. I am happy you liked it. Your response has given me hope.

    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 5 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      Very good article!

    • profile image

      Susan 5 years ago

      Interesting article! Jamaicans are such warm friendly people. And they live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Question about 'women misinterpreting social signals and falling in love'? Jamaican men have no intention of falling in love? It always brings me back to "How Stella Got Her Groove Back".

    • be4real profile image

      be4real 5 years ago from Illinois

      I'm a newbie here and I was just looking and browsing the hubs to get a feel for things and your hub caught my attention. I guess it's because I am from an Island too (Hawaii). No, I’m not Hawaiian, I’m Samoan, and so, it is even worst because we are #1 for -walking around with a SMILE on our faces and no... It is NOT because we smoke wEEd. It is because we are humble, pleasant, and delightful.

      There for in your article, numbers 1-10... Yup! I know all about it. lol... Thanks the article and keep up the good work! Vote up! (Wait, I got to find it first) ahahaha. I told you I was new to this. (^_~)

    • Steve H Roth profile image

      Steve H Roth 5 years ago from Northbrook, Illinois

      Why wasn't Bob Marley mentioned?

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      @Angela. Thanks for the compliment. Lots of respect to you.

      @Susan. It is easy to fall in love in Jamaica. I guess the men show the same level of politeness to all females that should be shown to an intimate partner.

      @be4real. They say all islanders play reggae. Its just the vibe of life when your free from intense commercialism.

      @Steve. I did mention Bob Marley in point #7

    • reeder73 profile image

      reeder73 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I worked with a customer in quebec canada via email years ago, one time I had to call him on the telephone and i discovered he was Jamaican, was I surprised! and yes I was immature enough to ask how he ended up in Canada (ahh youth!) and he informed me that there are large communities of Jamaican's living in Canada. I learned a couple of lessons that day! great article.

    • maheshpatwal profile image

      maheshpatwal 5 years ago from MUMBAI

      Rasta superb hub fella. About jamaica and jamaican culture my knowledge was only limited to bob marley and the wailers. I also knew that jamaican culture is a mix of various culture.. there are many people in jamaica whose ancestors were from africa and india.. You have cleared many of my misconception including possession of grass in illegal...

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Glad I could help. Jamaica is indeed a mixture of various cultures. Respect Mahesh.

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Reeder73, there are more Jamaican s overseas than on the island. That is a sub-culture by itself.

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Jamaica offers more rights to women than first world countries. We have a female prime minister. Women can do whatever they want in Jamaica. Abusive relationships is an international dilemma. Nuff Respect Chantler.

    • Andy Mann profile image

      Andy Mann 5 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      I have never even thought about this subject. The headline of this page grab my attention. Once I did think about the subject of Jamaican stereotypes the #1 stereotype you listed popped in my mind. Shame on me! However, you have pointed out the obvious, there is more to Jamaica than those silly stereotypes.

      Great subject to cover...I really enjoyed the read.

    • esantiago340 profile image

      esantiago340 5 years ago from INDIANAPOLIS

      Good ting you brought it up i man been stereotype as well an had to tell lots of people that the media is wrong i don't smoke Ganja better known as weed but when i man talk everyone in the room know where i from so they think but i tell them i'm not from Jamaica i man from St.Thomas USVI so they assume that i am from there funny but oh well. good article.

    • profile image

      BethDW 5 years ago

      Excellent article. There are a lot of stereotypes in the media about Caribbean cultures (many of them homogenizing 'the caribbean' into one amorphous, falsely represented cultural group), and Jamaica in particular. Thanks for dispelling the myths!

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      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Andy Mann, I am happy to have cleared up some stuff for you. Number 1 is indeed popular.

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      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Esantiago340. My other friends from the Caribbean often complain of the same problem. Even Haitian's get referred to as Jamaicans. I use to think pressure the Rasta Artist was Jamaican.

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      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect BethDW. The Caribbean cultures are indeed grouped together. This is obvious in First world countries. For example, Jamaicans in New York who run restaurants name their restaurants after the Caribbean and not individual countries. This is done as to get the business related to all the islands since the island cultures are stereotyped into one.

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      Kommadant 5 years ago

      Very informative hub rasta. The only stereotype that I ever heard was that all Jamaicans smoke marijuana. It is interesting to see the other stereotypes.

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      jenp123 5 years ago

      Very nice hub. Thank you, rasta1! I'm actually getting married next year in Jamaica. I love it there! I was aware of some of these stereotypes, and I think it's definitely important that you set people straight. For instance, I didn't know marijuana is illegal! It seemed like it was everywhere when I was last there. Thank you for the info :)

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      johnsmitht 5 years ago

      Haha, this is very hilarious Rasta dude. I'm guilty of stereotype #6 :D

      Thanks for the great hub man!

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      Nicky Starr 5 years ago from Florida, USA

      I can't tell you how many times i hear, "Oh, you are Jamaican? You speak English well."

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      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect mcgreg28. I get that a lot too. It doesn't bother me at all. Sometimes I really wish that I knew another language.

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      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect John. It's okay, I still get surprised at the outbursts of laughter.

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      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Jenp123. Marj is readily available and lowly price but not legal like California. Hope you have a lovely reception here.

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      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect kommadant. That one stereotype is the most popular by far. #1 on the list.

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      jenmac 5 years ago

      I've been to Jamaica several times and its true the stereotype is set in by many before you go. I have had the pleasure of making lifelong Jamaican friend and they have shown me much of the island and teach me a little more about the culture every time I go. The people that go with a one track mind " the stupid tourist with pretty pretty shirts" should stay home if they are not open to new cultures and living life because that's what traveling is all about. If we all lived life the same it would be kinda borrowing!!! JA is my favorite country to visit and some of the men are (players) but men here and everwhere are the same. Jamaica and Jamaicans put my in my happy place (I don't mean smoking weed cuz I don't smoke nor do most of my friends in JA). I love the sun, music, drinks, hills and the people, it keeps me coming back for more (well the sexy guy I'm hanging with helps too). Planning trip number 3 for this year for sumfest :D......Thanks I enjoyed reading kinda brings me back. ;)

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      Mohan Kumar 5 years ago from UK

      Respect Rasta. Thanks for showing the world that stereotyping is alive and well even in this modern age where it has never been easier to check the FACTS! Many countries ( including India where I was born) suffer from such chronic stereotyping as you know. Your clear, succinct and thoughtful hub shatters some myths with facts. well done, my friend. voted up and shared.

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      Marvin Parke 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Docmo. I can see that you really liked the article. These stereotypes have damaged the reputation of Jamaicans. All because of the media.

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      Ebonny 4 years ago from UK

      Greetings Rasta1 - Your hub is a great reminder to us all not to jump to conclusions and judge people when we have no personal experience of them, and to give people the benefit of the doubt (i.e. treat others as we would wish to be treated).

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      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Ebonny, we have to learn to give each other a chance to show their own personality.

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      DoJamaicaYourWay 4 years ago

      I have been enjoying reading your hubs! Very good writing as it is so true the stereotypes Jamaicans get.

      Thank you for taking the time to write this.

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      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect DoJamaicaYourWay. The stereotypes are just too popular not to say anything about it.

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      jenmac 4 years ago

      Hey Rasta1, I just got back from my trip to Jamaica to visit my man and I sure did learn a lesson on this trip. The phone, email, facebook was all brought out when I got smart and pointed out to him that I am smarter than the average bear. I never thought in a million years that this guy would become first hand what we talk about when we talk of "sterotype". I always thought I was too smart to be fooled. Boi was I wrong. That being said he was pissed that I checked his account and has the mentality that if I never looked I never would have got hurt and he would have taken care of it all in time. I think he would have continued to do it regardless. In your experience and knowing/being jamaican if he says I'm the one and he's cutting out the bullshit should I believe it or like my country once a player always a player. Advice would be great. I don't want to get a sour taste for jamaica or jamaicans.

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      idigwebsites 4 years ago from United States

      I have always thought that all Jamaicans smoke weed and are all practicing Rastafarian faith. Nice to know you're clearing those things up. Great and informative hub. :)

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      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Jenmac. It is really hard to give a conclusive decision. From a cultural point of view, I would say 50/50.

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      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect idigwebsites, I am happy you found it informative. Thanks for the energy.

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      jenmac 4 years ago

      When I come to Jamaica again for Christmas I'll post it and we can all go for a drink ;) thx for the blog I love it!

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      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Jenmac. feel free to keep in touch or ask any further questions.

    • Steve West profile image

      Steve West 4 years ago from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

      Wagwan myoot! This was a great hub. I have made many Jamaican acquaintances and they are as diverse in their existence as any other country's people I have met, island nation or not. I have felt lucky to know a few of them just because of their comforting and friendly personality, no weed involved.

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      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Respect, Art.

      I can back to read and share your very important article another time. You are a great ambassador for your island nation.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 4 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Very good hub!!!

      I've never been to Jamaica, but I've had a lot of friends who have, and every last one of them spoke of it as a wonderful place that they definitely wish to return to when able.

      If I ever do get the chance to venture that way, well, I sure know where to look to get my perspective right. :)

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      Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Ha! It's funny how stereotypes form from the movies and TV shows. Being from the Deep South US, I fully understand. Not everyone down here lives in a mobile home or is a member of the KKK.

      I try visit Jamaica at least once a year if possible and always look forward to seeing my friends again. Great hub!!

      SSSSS

    • rasta1 profile image
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      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Wha Gwaan Steve West. Hope everything is good. Thanks for appreciating the diversity.

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      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Thanks Daisy. I feel like I haven't earned your kindness. You are so nice to me.

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      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Wesman. I am pretty sure you would like it. With your type of enthusiasm, the people will love you.

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      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Randy. The television really makes the deep south look bad while promoting the North as the more civilized part of the U.S. It is sad that people buy into this propaganda. I can definitely relate.

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      securityproducts3 4 years ago

      This Hub is awesome Mon! haha really nice pov.

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      Jalil 4 years ago

      Excellent Info that helps clarify common mistakes.

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      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Jalil, thanks for stopping by.

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      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect securityproducts3. Thanks for enjoying the hub.

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      David 4 years ago

      What really saddens me is how some stereotypes are FIFTY OR SIXTY years old and based solely on ancient, tired Hollywood ideas derived solely from Bob Marley's music. "Brotha Bob" been dead for 30 years.

      I would also argue that the crime-related stereotypes are newer and haven't hit the 'mainstream' yet, thank God. To hear mainstream media tell it, Jamaicans are the most happy-go-lucky people in the world (which is hilarious, considering how other islanders think of them).

      Still - this is very timely and very informative. And greetings from Trinidad.

      PS: Don't let anyone discount patois as "broken". Any linguist worth his degree will tell you otherwise. The way forward for the Caribbean is full proficiency in BOTH local and 'Standard' English.

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      jenmac78 4 years ago

      My 5th trip to the beautiful island of Jamaica in 2012 was one very special one....I took my 10 year old daughter for the first time. What a trip....she fell in love with the culture, people, food maybe dolphin cove and the fact that we got to tour the island with my local guy helped too....I don't care what people say or thing. Jamaica is like home to me and the stereotypes are carried on by a handful not all like in every other country.....be back soon.

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      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect David. Another thing that happens is that all the Caribbean Islands are assumed to be the same culture as Jamaica.

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      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect jenmac78. Children are very fond of Jamaica. it is so exciting for them. Not many tourist experience Jamaica outside of the hotels.

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      jenmac78 4 years ago

      Guess I lost the tourist factor after trip 8 haha. Good times. Thank care!! Every tourist should experience life off resort. The island has so much more to offer than want is seen on resorts and ok local tourist tours...happy to say I have met some of the most carrying friends for life in Jamaica.

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      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      I know exactly what you mean jenmac78. It is so much more fun outside the resorts.

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      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Hi Rasta1, thanks for the lesson for this Yankee Jamaican-American sis. Very informative and funny. I remember mom and aunts mention Obeah, never a lot of detail, very mysterious. Great hub. Up, useful, and funny.

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      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Janshares. I am glad you enjoyed it.

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 4 years ago

      Rasta, Wonderful hub! I am sure it well help to dispel some of the stereotypes about Jamaica. I have a long time childhood friend who has now lived in Jamaica for many years. She returns to the states occasionally but has grown to luv living in Jamaica and has adapted to and embraced the language as well.

      Thank You for sharing, Peace & Blessings!

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      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect DeBorrah. Thank you very much for stopping by.

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      jenmac78 4 years ago

      Morning Rasta....Just a quick visit to your blog.....I just returned from Jamaica (first trip back since November). It was a wonderful trip, I travelled to Port Antonio for a few days, back into Ocho then onto MoBay. I hadn't returned for several months as my last trip ended by finding out that the guy I was dating for the past year was and still is married to a JA lady. That being said I cut off all communications until recently when he called and offered me an honest and heartfelt explanation and appology.

      I thought for a while that I didn't fall under the stereotype type of island man. however I have he has explained to me that he cannot leave his wife until he has me fully (move to Canada). He has been to canada and the US in the past without needed me for the VISA however I would be bringing him here this time......Do you think as a Jamaican man he is being truthful about leaving his life (wife) in jamaica and being loyal to a canadian woman (me)? I have spoke to his wife several times and she knows about me and she aint the crazy baby momma type. She is willing to give him the divorce. Another thing they have not lived together for over a year however he has been honest with me and when he says he's going to his daughter he's also going to her. I just don't understand this part.... Do I run and cut my lost or do I try? Your thoughts?

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      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Jamaicans do not believe in divorce. They are more likely to separate. The harsh reality is that Canada is a much better option than USA. He will leave his wife for sure but it's his baby mother. There are too many dynamics, I can't really say. He may forsake his wife but he will still love his daughter.

    • Justlife98 profile image

      Justlife98 4 years ago from Georgia

      Good hub the media make big money off stereotyping everything.

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      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      Thank you for the informative hub about Jamaica. I really learned a lot. I've told you before I've been there and just loved it. I hope to return some day.

      Voted UP, etc.

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      Justsilvie 4 years ago

      Really enjoyed this Hub and learning more about the real Jamaica. It is on my list of places to visit before I die. Voted up and shared.

    • rasta1 profile image
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      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Justlife98. The media just portrays people in a way that draws the most attention. They do not care about the truth.

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      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Mary615. It was fun writing this hub. Thanks for the compliment.

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      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Justsilive. It a very enlightening experience to experience Jamaica up close and personal.

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      cbarbar 4 years ago

      Rasta1 thanks for writing this hub. I didn't know there were so many marijuana stereotypes with Jamaica. I find it interesting how many countries (especially developing) are viewed as poor. Although they may have debt issues, there are a lot of successful people and developed areas within these countries. Voted up!

    • rasta1 profile image
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      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Cbarbar. Every single country has a set of wealthy people that live off the poor or middle class.

    • Hikapo profile image

      Seet 4 years ago from California

      I have heard of stereotype number 7 from Russell Peters.

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      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Hikapo. Russell Peters is hilarious. That is one of the older stereotypes that people still joke about today.

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      anNA 3 years ago

      si rasta, :) these facts do indeed clear up the whole idea of Jamaicans, this could be great to debate in my law class. blessings.

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      Marvin Parke 3 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Anna. I am happy that you have found this article useful for academic purposes.

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      Suzette Walker 3 years ago from Taos, NM

      Respect Rasta: It is sad but so many do stereotype other cultures and people. But, you do have beautiful island music that I love. And, my image of Jamaica changed with the Olympic Jamaican Bobsled Team. I was mesmerized by those guys and their athletic ability. And, the fact they had to train and practice in a northern cold place. For me, that shattered any stereotype I had of Jamaica and Jamaicans. I still have not visited your beautiful island, but I must someday. I have heard so many good things about your island country.

    • rasta1 profile image
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      Marvin Parke 3 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Suzettenaples. It is funny how nationalism is used to shape the expectations of individuals. Jamaica has since participated in multiple winter events after the Bobsled saga. Jamaicans who could do ice skating and etc started showing up. They were always there but never taken seriously before.

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      Michael Valencia 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      very informative and well-written hub. voted up, useful and interesting!

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      Marvin Parke 3 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect SoundNFury. Thanks for stopping by, really appreciate the energy.

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      Tiff 3 years ago

      I lived in Jamaica for 8 years and many things are very true in this.. so perfectly valid stereotypes. Most Jamaican men are cock driven, wealthy people have now started to leave Jamaica because of how backwards the country is going ( I know this because I lived in an area ridden with nothing but wealthy 1st world country born people who joined the mass exodus to leave this bloody place)

      This island is full of ignorant un-evolved people who still perpetuate a slave and slave-master mentality. It is a beautiful country, but every stereotype that is portrayed in the media about Jamaicans is no fault other than the majority of Jamaicans themselves and the behaviour they carry on with both in their country and outside of it.

    • rasta1 profile image
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      Marvin Parke 3 years ago from Jamaica

      Hello Tiff. I guess I may be the only that does not fit the stereotype along with everyone I know. Yes, we do speak English, not all stereotypes are true. I have had bad relationships in other countries too. No country is perfect. If that was the case, no one would come to Jamaica.

    • SpaceShanty profile image

      SpaceShanty 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Excellent Hub! It is a shame that even in 2013 people are as ignorant and quick to believe what they are told as they were 100 years ago!

    • rasta1 profile image
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      Marvin Parke 3 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect SpaceShanty. The media has grown a lot more powerful over the years.

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      Prince 3 years ago

      I think most Jamaicans are extremely color struck because of slavery. And I noticed a lot their women are ratchet and men are pervert.

    • rasta1 profile image
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      Marvin Parke 3 years ago from Jamaica

      Hello Prince. I can bet you, that you are not Jamaican, never been to Jamaica. However, you have met a couple Jamaicans.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image

      Daisy Mariposa 2 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Mr. Parke,

      Stereotyping someone is wrong! I returned to read your excellent article another time. I'm sharing it with my HubPages followers, tweeting it, and posting the link on Google+.

    • rasta1 profile image
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      Marvin Parke 2 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Daisy, Thanks a lot for the shares. No one benefits from stereotypes.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 2 years ago from Taos, NM

      I came back for another visit to this hub. Yes, the world has stereotyped Jamaica and Jamaicans in this way. That is why it is so good of you to set the world straight about your country and countrymen. It is sad that so many people fall into believing these silly stereotypes. I still have not visited your island but I hope to some day soon.

    • rasta1 profile image
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      Marvin Parke 2 years ago from Jamaica

      The same goes for other countries, race, ethnic groups and religions. People expect to judge a whole group based on a single experience and based on what is seen on the media.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      I love it when stereotypes are busted open--thank you!!

    • rasta1 profile image
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      Marvin Parke 2 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Audrey. That's what we do. The truth shall set us free.

    • rasta1 profile image
      Author

      Marvin Parke 2 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Audrey. That's what we do. The truth shall set us free.

    • Dwight Phoenix profile image

      Dwight Phoenix 2 years ago from Jamaica

      Shellings fi yu hub mi fren.........A long time now mi a look fi a nada yadi pan hubpages enug!

      Jamaica to di Worl!!!!!!!!!

    • rasta1 profile image
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      Marvin Parke 2 years ago from Jamaica

      Respect Dwight. couple yardie on HP. Give thanks for the links.

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      John Pierre 16 months ago

      That's bullshit Jamaicans are very big cursors!!!

    • rasta1 profile image
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      Marvin Parke 16 months ago from Jamaica

      Hey John, I always thought a cursor is a pointer on the computer screen.

    • Dwight Phoenix profile image

      Dwight Phoenix 16 months ago from Jamaica

      LOL.....................................

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