08 May 2010

on being bi-cultured!

Since I can remember, I've enjoyed being English by birth and Jamaican by blood. I've enjoyed being able to slip between speaking standard English and Patois (Jamaican dialect; NOT a language). I think it's great to be able to speak in my "native tongue", although it's not quite a good as it could be. Why? because over the years; primarily since living in the U.S, people have had a hard time understanding when I speak English (with my East London/cockney twang), so my speaking Patois can be that much more confusing; unless I'm around Jamaicans of course. The funny thing is that , Jamaicans can tell if you're from England or have lived in the U.S because you're dialect is "off". The exception to the rule is for those who speak Patois daily and only "flip" when absolutely necessary.

I love that I eat a variety of foods that to some seem odd. I like that I can eat something for breakfast that can also be served for dinner. I've been drinking liquor since childhood because Jamaicans put rum in many drinks or will turn a regular glass of Guinness in a "punch" so it's children friendly.

We can and do turn every event into a party.  I recall my birthday last year and I asked my cousin if she'd cook breakfast for me and she said yes, and a simple breakfast turned into a full-fledged brunch which lasted until 5:00pm.  We ate, danced, took pictures, and enjoyed each others company. 

Culturally, we'll have more than one generation living under one roof and family ties are maintained and drama gets squashed instead of people keeping their distance.  We like going "home" or "back a yard" because there is nothing like clean air, organic food, white sand beaches, and being able to just be.

I've never denied who I am or where I'm from and never will. I embrace every part of my dual heritage and celebrate it often.

It's all possible!


Lyrically speaking said...

Jamaican for life, huh? this is a great post, of course you can't deny your beautiful culture, I also appreciate mine. Last night I went to a Haitian Fundraising event in my town, I was so proud to be there and see so many other Haitians whom I didn't know existed in my area. It is an honor to carry your culture on your back and if you can cook the food, then that's a plus, lol. Hey, thanks for stopping by my page, come again to enjoy more poetic menus :)
oh by the way, went to Jamaica last summer, I ate late practically every night with fries before I went to bed, I must have gained like 10 pounds,lol

chele said...

... as you should!

Luv said...

aww shucks.. i now have a new place to come for some curry!!! you can't deny yourself