5 Real Reasons Jamaicans are the 3rd Happiest People on the Planet

  • 1.  Beaches——stress free

Jamaica has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world-and for this fact Jamaicans are the 3rd happiest people in the world. So beautiful are the beaches that raider would invade and move truck loads of white pristine sand beach front and hoard it off to some other location for own personal and commercial pleasure.

Jamaicans take special care to enjoy their beaches all year round in almost perfect weather ( except for the dodging of catastrophic hurricanes almost every summer). This is even more evident on weekends, public holiday’s, summer beach parties or just a quite Sunday morning swim before all the trappings of modern living. It is customary for churches, clubs or families to plan holiday excursions most notably to the north coast to enjoy the world class beaches. Great food and music thrown into the mixtures makes for great merry making.

Jamaica’s beaches are world famous; they lure many tourists here to enjoy them, tourism is Jamaica’s bread and butter industry. Negril’s seven miles stretch of white sand beauty is a favorite with tourists and locals. The Dunn’s River Falls/Beach is a major attraction all year round. Others include James Bond Beach, Cardiff Hall Beach, Hellshire Beach, Frenchmen’s Cove Beach and the Blue Lagoon made famous by the movie “Blue Lagoon” staring Brook Shields in Portland just to name a few.

With so much national and international spotlight on Jamaican beaches, some Jamaicans have conspired in sworn secrecy to keep a few of the wonderful gems secret from the prying eyes of international magazines and big hotel corporations who line the beach fronts in profiteering ventures.

They are Jamaica’s “hidden beaches”. These beaches are known to only a few locals and visiting Jamaicans. So secret are some of these beaches that are not accessible by normal transportation, most are located behind “bush”, up a hill, down a slope, through a hidden track and pass a shop.

  • 2. Churches—high on god

Happiness is next to godliness- If salvation does make you happy, what does?

Jamaica has the highest per capita of churches in the world according to the Guinness book of world records. This irony is not left unnoticed that Jamaica has one of the highest murder rates in the world. Yes they are a people of records both good and bad.

Just as the population is ethnically diverse similarly religious diversity is a part of Jamaica.  Jamaicans are deeply spiritual people. A country that strongly believes in god, Jamaicans are church going people.

Christianity is the dominant religion in Jamaica. Others include Catholics, Protestants and Seventh Day Adventists just to name a few from a diverse group.. Revivalists are a smaller group that some may refer to as a cult. It has strong African Voodoo (Obeah) characteristics.

Rastafarianism is uniquely position in religious/movement Jamaican culture as it is the only one to originate from the island. Rastafarianism has a very strong connection to Jamaican music as well as many famous Jamaicans practice Rastafarianism.

Although many Jamaicans profess their love for god, many do not actually attend church, except for special occasions such as Easter or Christmas of course. Many Jamaicans who celebrate secular culture such as dancehall will quickly draw for passages from the bible condemning homosexuality.

Children especially are encouraged to attended Sunday school from an early age. It is normal to see big broad hats line the pews on a Sunday morning, A Jehovah’s Witness may offer you a magazine on the street or knocks on your door, not even public transportation escape the teaching of the lord as the JUTC buses on occasions will have a pastor on board delivering the holy message.

Most Jamaican schools still begin the day with devotion much to the displeasure of some the youngsters, no separation of church and state here and prayer is a daily occurrence in school. The National Prayer Breakfast is a national event and politicians are warming up more and more to religious groups whose clout seems to grow yearly on national issues such as abortion, homosexuality and the death penalty.

The national anthem is laced with references to god, “eternal father bless our land, guide use with thy mighty hand” It would seem as if the very first lines of the national anthem was taken right out of the bible itself. Religion played a very important role in the movement to fight against slavery in Jamaica. National heroes such as Paul Bogle and Sam Sharpe where leaders in the church.

  • 3.  Comedy—numbing the pain with laughter

Jamaicans are naturally jovial people, very friendly and love a good story to laugh about. Jamaicans are very animated people; they love to amuse themselves in comedic delight in the form of poetry, songs and roots play or just plain social commentary in their native tongue Patwa.  Although Jamaicans might not be as world renowned for their comedy as they are for music or sports, several iconic figures stand out in Jamaican comedy. These include Louise Bennett (Miss Lou) and Oliver Samuels. Others include Professor Nuts, Twins of Twins, Joan Andrea Hutchinson and many more.

No other Jamaican is more recognized for this amusing part of Jamaican culture than Louise Bennett, her poems are legendary in Jamaican culture and has inspired many others who have followed in her footstep and a source of great laughter.

Oliver Samuels’s Oliver @ Large was a very popular comedy on Jamaican television and although it has been off air for years now Jamaican still send copies abroad or just watch them again and again at the enthralling humor.

Roots play is undoubtedly the most riveting and popular aspect Jamaica’s comedic side. Jamaicans love to attend plays in numbers to watch what some might call crude humor. Many roots play edgy and poke fun at various figures and social dilemmas in Jamaican society.

Roots plays features some of the most colorful characters, where else can you find a preacher who is a conman, landlord and a murderer in one who recites quotes from dancehall acts such as Bounty Killa instead of the bible. A few well known plays include Una Mi Noise”, “Backslider”, Brotha Desmond” “Di Driva” and of course arguably the most popular Jamaican roots play “Bashment Granny” Featuring the famous Shebada.

Not all plays are coarse, Ras Noah & The Hawk – Oliver Samuels and Class of ’73 are among the favorite Jamaican plays families can enjoy.

Jamaica is plagued with all sorts of problems, social, class and political conflicts are parts of daily living for Jamaicans. In some cases these conflicts results in social instability and even death. Entertainers such as Professor Nuts and the witty duo Twins of Twins take on theses issues and turn them upside down-literally in the most comical way. This duo makes fun of everyone and everything from the late MJ to the constant feud between Beenie Man and Bounty Killa. The very popular “Trial and Crosses”, “Crucifiction of the Ghetto” are favorites among Jamaicans.

Apart from the commercial aspect of humor in Jamaica. Jamaicans love to share stories and laugh even in the harshest times.

  • 4.  Sports-A source of pride and joy

Nothing brings out the patriotic frenzy of black green and gold in Jamaicans like football and athletics. When their sports men and women shine on the world stage Jamaicans put all the imaginary differences aside and celebrate in pure good old national pride and joy, and if you see them during one of these grand occasion you would think these people have no trouble in the world.

It’s the summer of 2008, thousands of proud Jamaicans fill the streets of Half-Way-Tree decked out in the black green and gold to watch on jumbo screens our athletes shake the Olympic world with breathtaking  records in our very own unique style marred in a little controversy and a few dancehall moves at the Beijing Olympics.

Jamaica became the first English speaking country in the Caribbean to qualify for the World cup in France in 1998. The then Prime Minister declared a national holiday on the spot to celebrate the momentous occasion. Jamaicans from all walks of life in express their pride and joy.

Where else in the world would a country in the middle of the tropics even think about competing in 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary, and are looking forward to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Reggae Boyz qualifying for the world cup in France in 1998, the record breaking performances at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, all these are historic milestone achievements for Jamaicans.

It would appear they do something great in 10 year intervals. Jamaicans are the 3rd happiest people in the world because of the joy brought to them by their top class sprinters, footballers, bobsledders and cricketers.

A few of the well known Jamaican sports stars who bring joy to the nation include Chris Gayle, Donovan Bailey, Donald Quarrie, Omar Cummings, Chili Davis, Ricardo Fuller, Ricardo Gardner,   George Headley , Asafa Powell, Dane Richards ,Donovan Ricketts, Mike McCallum, Courtney Walsh, Devon White, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Usain Bolt, Natasha Askale, Ricketts, Melanie Walker and Shelly-Ann Frazer.

Never mind the trillion dollar debt burden or the miniature growth of the national economy when their sports men and women are representing their country it is a source of the highest national pride and mammoth happiness. Jamaicans love sports and it is customary for the entire nation to forget about all their problems and let themselves be captivated into a world great joy as one of their own show the world what the little island is made of. Because for such a small country Jamaicans have made a big impression on world and for that Jamaicans are very happy.

  • 5.  Music and dancing—Poor in dollars but rich in spirit

Jamaicans are musical people, for a people who love to make music, play music, dance and talk about music Jamaicans are the 3rd happiest people in the world.

If Jamaicans are not world renowned for anything else they are for their music. Jamaicans have experimented with many types music for decades with such genres as mento, ska, rocksteady, dub music, dancehall and reggae. Jamaicans are not just fans of their own music. They also have tastes for music from North America such as hip-hop, R&B and jazz.

Jamaica’s most iconic figure in music is Bob Marley whose very own song narrates about the struggles Jamaicans still face today and also a great source of inspiration not just for Jamaica but the world. Jamaicans love to put these trials and struggles into music, it’s national therapy.

Other notable international musicians who bring joy to the hearts of Jamaicans include Beres Hammond, Buju Banton, Shaggy, Shabba Ranks , Maxi Preist and Sean Paul.

Today Dancehall is the most popular genre of music for Jamaicans. Dancehall music is many things to Jamaicans. It’s social commentary, biographical of both personal and national stories, controversial in the topics it talks about or feuds it fuel, a every expressive music in the native tongue of the true feelings of a country.

Dancehall allows Jamaicans to express themselves, to dance, drink, socialize, show off fashion, DJing and even debating feuds real or fake. Every year dancehall produces hoards of new dance moves which is very popular along with creative rhythms for the delight of fans.

There is always some big party happening in Jamaica, whether it be a big yearly five day festival such as Reggae Sumfest, a one night big show such as Sting or a weekly party such as Dutty Fridaze and Passa Passa, it would seem they are always celebrating something or the other these Jamaicans.

Small sound systems often play music into the wee hours of the morning to the delight of SOME Jamaicans. They travel the island to play at different venues and some times have clashes with other sounds “chune fi chune”. Jamaicans often get excited about a good old fight whether it be one selector crushing the other with a dub plate (record) or when leading DJs get into lyrical sometimes physical wars with each other. Dancers are also known to square off with creative moves in competitive spirit, these things resonates strong discussion among some Jamaicans.

Every year thousands of Jamaicans gather in the streets of Kingston decked out in costumes dancing and gyrating on each other to booming speaker boxes on trailer trucks to calypso music. So what if they have to dodge ten thousand potholes and crime is alarming. They have music and that is why Jamaicans are the 3rd happiest people in the world.

“The systems might no proper, but we love the vibes the food and the culture “—-Tony Rebel-Sweet Jamaica

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~ by RB on July 23, 2009.

15 Responses to “5 Real Reasons Jamaicans are the 3rd Happiest People on the Planet”

  1. I know you forgot something, can put my finger on it really, is it food? lol, good writing dutty.

  2. owen, I thought of that, truth is I could do a list of 100 things because there are so many things Jamaicans have that are unique to us. I think our food is in the top of any of those things

  3. RB, enjoyed the piece!!

  4. My take on this matter is: Why did it take a study to prove how happy Jamaicans really are. Personally I thought Jamaicans were shocked by this report. I don’t even think we have appreciated this ranking. We haven’t really discussed it either. It’s significance to the country. If we were ranked the saddest place on earth we would have delved into it more. Great 5 Areas which are important to the Jamaican experience.

    Corve

  5. Glad you likedthe piece ESTEBAN, I must say that the inspiration for it was the question you posed.

    http://www.owensoft.net/v4/item/1264/ —–Resepect.

    Corve- Most of the discussion I have heard on this report is mostly cynical. I must admit to being a little skeptical myself. If we really define happiness Jamaicans have a lot be happy for despite our challenges. You are right if we were ranked saddest nation on the planet the attention would have been much more.

    The way the report define happiness is not what most would think. Here is the link to the complete list and thier definition.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Planet_Index

  6. I really think those comments ring a lot of truth to all subjects especially comments about religion and the love of sports especially track and field It does’nt take a lot to make jamaican’s happy overall thats our personialty I love my jamaica and its people especially our athlete’s

  7. The name of that report is a bit misleading, I generally don’t equate satisfaction to happiness. To quote the wiki page:

    Each country’s HPI value is a function of its average subjective life satisfaction, life expectancy at birth, and ecological footprint per capita. The exact function is a little more complex, but conceptually it approximates multiplying life satisfaction and life expectancy, and dividing that by the ecological footprint

  8. Thanks for the official wiki definition of “happiness” based on this particular study. I took that into consideration before I did this post, hence title “real reasons” being mindful of what the study was really about.

    I think life expectancy is the greater determination of overall well being, nutrition and mental health or overall lifestyle (Jamaican core culture) are great contributors to longevity.

  9. marjorie barnett- I am glad you like the topics I choose for this post, as you can imagine there are so many other things that are uniquely Jamaican

  10. I am enjoying your latest blogs tremendously. This so-called “Happiness” report was such a load of Quark I’m glad to finally see the real reasons for real happiness well presented.thanks.

  11. Heavy Logix- thanks for the comment, glad you enjoy the post.

  12. Dutty – I couldn’t wait for you to post your piece on Bolt – I’m way too excited!!!

    We are living in The Age of Bolt. Bolt is shaving off huge bites out of the 100 meter world record as if the course has been shortened!

    Everyone who was curious and wanted to know just how fast Bolt might have gone if he had not stopped running in Beijing now have an answer – maybe — changing 9.58 seconds – an optical illusion no doubt!!!

    Is like she duppy was running afta him 6 foot 5 inches!!!

  13. Hey guys, is it not true that showboating was started by American athletes, as they were all encourage my their sports media to show-off whenever they are in the spot light. They do it in Nascar, American “wrong name” Football, BasketBall and even that year when their Women won the World Cup “real name” Football with one of their players taking off her Jersey when she scored the winning goal??? Now as for what Mr Usain Bolt does whenever he wins a race, is what for those of us remember doing whenever we feel elated after doing something at school or Sports day by imitating flying like a bird or a plane in most cases. Yes my friend to us in and from Jamaica it’s called child’s play. Now as for T-son Gay the CHI-CHI-Man that said he have groin injury yet ran 9.71sec.? Oh come on! There is no way someone can run that fast with an injury and then plans to run again in a few days. It’s all a part of the game that the American Athlete’s play to justify if they lost at some games, but it won’t work with Mr Usain Bolt because he has his own before and after the game cap on. So wheel & come again T-son Gay.

  14. Paulette I share your excitement about what is happening in Berlin. We truly the age of Bolt. I am glad he finally ran all the way and shattered his world record.

    Feeling proud

  15. […] 5 Real Reasons Jamaicans are the 3rd Happiest People on the Planet […]

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