Ethiopia. Jah. Dreadlocks. Reggae Music. Kingston. Do you recognize these words? Where can you possibly associate it with? How about these? Bob Marley. Rastafarianism. The Star of David. Ganja. Now familiar?
Yes, you guess it right! Jamaica. Today’s issue I will tackle about Jamaica and its overview. I am sure that this would be interesting. Let’s go…
First things first, let me relate to you those words mentioned above. Jamaica with its capital Kingston is famous for its Rastafarianism belief system. The believers of this belief known as the Rastas deem that God is a spirit, which was manifested by a black king, King Haile Selassie I. He is believed to be Jesus’ descendant who, according to them was also a black. All the Rastas have dreadlocked hair and is known for its belief’s most phenomenal growth so that six out of ten Jamaicans are Rastas.
The Star of David (symbolizes the lineage between King Haile and King Solomon), Ethiopia (heaven on earth), Ganja (marijuana, used as parts of their rituals), Jah (a term for God), dreadlocks (symbolizes priesthood and naturality, Lev. 21:5) are few of the Rasta symbols used in their vows as believers. These symbols signify peace, pride and righteousness. They believe in little material possessions and devote much time in contemplating the scriptures. These people reject the white man’s world (racial discrimination issue) and have a strong faith that True Rastas are immortal.
Now, to the First Third World Superstar famous for its contribution to Jamaican music: The Reggae. You know who I am talking about. It’s Bob Marley. With our generation today, the Generation MTV, who doesn’t know this person anyway? Although this man died in 1981 this legendary Jamaican still lives on as one of the greatest musical philosophers of all times, evidenced by the fact that his name was recently enshrined in the American Rock and Roll of Fame. He helped spark a ‘Third World Consciousness’ by being both a musical superstar and a consistent voice against racism, oppression and injustice. Bob Marley, during his time and until now is known for its devotion to Rastafarianism. But of course, how can we ever forget the colors he’s famous for? These colors actually represent their Rasta Flag: red (blood of blacks),black (struggle for liberation, Africans’ skin), gold (wealth of the homeland) and green (beauty and vegetation of Ethiopia).
And by the way, there is more to learning all these fascinating things I mentioned above about Jamaica. More than their social lives, Jamaican families are like the Musketeers, “One for all and all for one.” Its nice knowing that. Perhaps our country needs it especially today.