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Preserving our Jamaican Folklore

08/08/05

Permalink 08:58:54 pm, by Melba
Categories: Culture

Preserving our Jamaican Folklore

Most of us over 35 years of age grew up hearing of creatures of horror in Jamaican Folklore such as ‘Rolling Calf’, ‘Duppies’, ‘Jonkunnu Devil’ and fictitious characters such as Anancy. Our parents, aunts, uncles, grand parents and family friends took great joy in driving fear into us with the mere mention on any of these supernatural beings. Especially on a stormy night when the lights went, the adults would tell ‘duppy stories’. Better still when you visited the country (or for those who grew up in the country) where there was no electricity. Everyone would gather on the veranda with a kerosene lamp or just ‘peeny wally’ for light and the children would huddle together wide eyes as the adults took turn telling chilling stories of one or more of these horrific beast..
Now that we are the parents and grand parents how many of us take the time to delight our children with these fascinating stories. Sure we were afraid then, for we truly believed. But wasn’t it great fun. Not to mention the bond it created between adult and child and the precious memories that were created. (I can see that smile on some of your faces as you read this that says, I remember). Now that we are the adults we know that these things are not real but I don’t think any of us would trade those cherished times.
These ‘duppies’ were handed down to us by our fore fathers. They have helped to form who we are as a people; they are our heritage. Jamaica is slowly loosing its culture. We have become copy cats of the Americans in many ways.
Growing up, along with our families there were persons such as Louise Bennett “Miss Lou” and Ranny Williams, “Mass Ran”, who contributed greatly to preserving our Jamaican culture. Let us not allow that part of us to die. Every now and then turn the televisions off, gather the children together and spend time with the young ones sharing our heritage.
Nuff Love

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Reasons why I love my Jamaican Mom

1. My Mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
"Just wait till we get home."

2. My Mother taught me about RECEIVING.
"You going get a ass'n when we get home!"

3. My Mother taught me to MEET A CHALLENGE.
"What di backside yu thinkin'? Answer me when me talk to you...Don't talk back to me!"

4. My Mother taught me CONSEQUENCES.
"If yu run cross de road an' cyar lick yu dung, a goin' kill yu wid lick."

5. My Mother taught me THE VALUE OF EDUCATION.
"If yu no go a school, yu a go tun tief or walk an' pick up bottle."

6. My Mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
"If yu tun over yu eye lid an fly pitch pan it, it a go stay so fi evva."

7. My Mother taught me to THINK AHEAD.
"Is not one time monkey goin' wan' wife"

8. My Mother taught me ESP.
"Yu tink a don't know what yu up to nuh?"

9. My Mother taught me HUMOR.
"If yu don' eat food, breeze goin' blow yu 'way."

10. My Mother taught me how to BECOME AN ADULT.
"Come an' tek yu beatin' like man."

11. My Mother taught me about SEX.
"Yu tink say yu drop from sky?"

12. My Mother taught me about GENETICS.
"Yu jus' like yu faada."

13. My Mother taught me about my ROOTS.
"Yu tink mi come from "Back A Wall?"

14. My Mother taught me about WISDOM OF AGE.
"When yu get to be as ol' as me, yu wi understan'."

15. And my all time favorite... JUSTICE.
"One day wen yu have pickney, a hope dem treat yu same way."

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