Labled as Canadian, not Jamaican by Mom
When my Mother found out that I was talking to a guy from Jamaica on the phone in a romantic manner, she said, but you are Canadian. Immediately I said Mom, why are you trying to separate me from them, we are the same. She just let me babble on.
Some months have passed since my Mother said that to me. I have also had more experiences with Jamaicans in Canada. Everything my Mother ever told me about Jamaican people was true. When she was trying to tell me I am not like them, I now know she was right.
All my life growing up my Mother would tell me how ignorant some Jamaicans can behave. Now that I am older and have experienced it for my self, I understand why she said that. Now that some time has passed, I understood why she says that I am different.
As a child, growing up in Toronto Canada, I played on the monkey bars in the park for fun, I sucked on big long freezies on hot summer days, I rode my bike up and down the side-walk when I was bored, and all of my friends were Caucasian. Except for one whose Mother was white and whose Father was black but at the time she was being raised by her white Grandmother.
I do believe all of these things growing up makes me different from the typical Jamaican who was raised in Jamaica. The truth is….I am envious of Jamaican people and the fact that they were raised in Jamaica.
Not Jamaican enough?
Here is the point of this blog post. Maybe its like my Mother says, maybe I am not as Jamaican as I think, and life in Jamaica would suck for me, so maybe I got it all wrong. On the other hand, maybe I am right, maybe life in Jamaica for me would be an absolute Gem. The Gem I have always dreamed of.
What I felt when I visited Jamaica
When I went to Jamaica in February of 2012. I remember arriving at the hotel that night and just being in awe. I was watching all the people, driving in their cars, talking, sharing, I was amazed and happy. In my head I thought three things.
- These are my people
- I feel like I am related to them
- My Ancestors are here
Needless to say, I felt right at home.
Certain things in this present experience, I am living in Toronto, just re-enforce to me everyday that I need to go home to Jamaica. But, sometimes I wonder if I am just being ignorant not accepting other people, and the other cultures here. I don’t think so, but what ignorant person ever thinks they are ignorant? Well, I just had to get this out.
Am I being Ignorant?
To me there is no body that understands me like a Jamaican. I have had African friends, I have had friends Caucasian Canadian, middle Eastern….No body understands me like another Jamaican, or another Canadian Jamaican. I don’t want to live my life as if my Culture doesn’t matter, my Jamaican culture, and my Rastafari spirituality, are the most important thing in my life. Sometimes I feel like when I am talking to someone who is not Caribbean I am giving up a part of my self to adjust to the other persons Culture, way of life and thinking. Am I just being ignorant?
Maybe this all sounds very stupid.
I once had an African girlfriend who admitted to me that she masturbated. I think that a Jamaican would never say such a thing and consider that to be normal every day conversation.
I know a Caucasian woman, who thinks its OK to put her shoes on her bed. This is not ok in Jamaican Culture.
These are just two examples. The other thing is….as a Rastafari Empress, in Jamaica, people are happy to meet and to serve me. They have seen many Empress before, and know what we are all about. Here in Canada, some people see me, with my Natty hair, and stare at me, as If I have just stepped off of a space craft. Some people get closer to me so that they can have a close up look at my hair. Some Jamaicans here, hate me. l know it is because, I stir feelings inside of them, that they know I am doing something they too should be doing.
People here try to Change me
Do you understand better now? I feel others want me to sweep my culture under the rug here in Canada, when I am in their presence in order to make them feel more comfortable, and I get it from black and white people. In Jamaica, people act like I am just another person, or they treat me like I am more special. Tell me…which one would you want to live in if you were me?
Tired of Living in Canada, Toronto
I am tired. But I guess this is what happens when you ignore Jah commands. I am paying the price. But I was listing to some of my music yesterday, and I will share it with the Jamaican people (people who understand me) when I get to Jamaica.
2 Jamaican 2 Canadian?
Here is the bottom line of what I am saying. Am I too Canadian to be Jamaican, and too Jamaican to be Canadian? So where do I fit it? In my head I am a Jamaican for the following reasons…
- My Mother is Jamaican and she raised me
- I grew in a Jamaican woman’s tummy for 9 months
- The music, food, and culture that I enjoy is – Jamaican
- My spirituality is closely connected to Jamaican Culture, in fact Rastafari and Jamaica are one.
- I write about Jamaican Culture in my books
- I sing about Jamaican Culture and Rastafari in the songs that I compose
What else do I need to say that I am Jamaican?
What I love about Living in Toronto Canada
As far as being Canadian goes….
there is not that much that I love and am proud of.
Kensington Market, because of the Rastafari Culture
That is it!!!!
So I just know I would be happier living in Jamaica, but I guess my biggest concern is how those people will receive me. From what I saw, they really liked me. But, my friend says that is Just because I am a Canadian. I don’t think that is the reason, I think they like me because I am one of them and they know that my dreadlocks hair means that I love them. So, they love me because they know I bring the light. Well, that’s what I want to believe anyway.
Well thanks for listening to my rant.
Please read my Poem called I see Jah