Jamaica - a little summary

Geographical facts, Political facts, History, Economy, The Rasta movement, Jamaican music, Referat, Hausaufgabe, Jamaica - a little summary
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Topic: Jamaica

Name: Martin Denter


  • Geographical facts
  • Political facts
  • History of Jamaica
  • The people
  • Economy
  • The Rasta movement
  • Jamaican music

Geographical facts about Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation in the caribbean sea. It is situated 150 kilometers to the south of Cuba and 300 kilometers to the west of the Dominican Republic. The distance to North America is about 600 kilometers. The island is 240 kilometers long and 85 kilometers wide with a size of 10911 square kilometers.

The highest mountain is the Blue Mountain Peak with a height of 2256 meters.

In Jamaica you can see very different landscapes. In the higher regions forests, lots of coffee plants and sometimes marihuana plants can be found. It looks like a jungle.
In the lower regions there are many palms and bushes and the coast with its beautiful beaches.

Political facts
Above you can see the Jamaican flag. Black represents the people’s strength and creativity, green symbolises hope and agricultural resources, the golden cross stands for the natural wealth and the beauty of sunlight.

There are living about 2.7 million people in Jamaica. Its largest city and also its capitol is Kingston with 600000 inhabitants. The official language is English but the most Jamaicans speak Patois, this is a Jamaican-English. Jamaica belongs to the Commonwealth of Nations, a group of Nations following the same political targets. The government of Jamaica is a parlamentary monarchy, that means that the monarch who is Queen Elizabeth II has nearly no influence. There is very much crime, it has the highest murder rate of the world. This happens because of arms traffic, a lot of drug deals and gang wars. Jamaica is one of the biggest cocain trading places. Homosexuality is a crime in Jamaica; the majority of the population agrees with this law. The Rastas are against it according to the new testament.

The history of Jamaica
Until Christoph Kolumbus reached the isle as the first European in 1494, there were only the Arawaks, the natives of Jamaica. The Spaniards conquered Jamaica 15 years later using its old name “Chaymakas”. Later they called it Jamaica. The Culture of the Arawaks died out due to illness, wars and slavery. British forces captured the isle in 1655. Then its importance increased more and more because of the slave trade and the sugar production. Jamaica is independent from the United Kingdom since August 6th 1962.

The people
Most of the Jamaicans are black. More than half of the people are protestans, the rest is splitted into many small religious groups for example the Rasta movement. The people in Jamaica have a completely different way of life compared to ours, because they are extremely poor. For example charity is much more important for them. They are enjoying their life more than other people in the world. Some famous people from Jamaica are Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Shaggy and Sean Paul. Surprisingly they are all musicians.

The economy
The Jamaican exports mainly consist of aluminium, sugar cane, bananas and rum. The coffee is said to be very tasteful. Some of the most important branches of industry are:

  • The alcohol production of sugar cane
  • Tourism
  • Textile industry

Many rastas are living in Jamaica. The Rasta movement is a religious way of living. Its name originates from the prince Ras Tafari Makkonnen. The rastas are living according to the new testament thus they believe that Jesus was God himself. They refuse drinking alcohol and they don’t smoke tabacco. But a lot of them are smoking cannabis. By smoking cannabis, they are getting more relaxed and they can think to themselves. So they use it for being capable of meditating more easily.

Jamaican music
Reggae is a music genre which developed in Jamaica in the 80s. The two sub-genres of reggae are roots reggae (the original reggae) and dancehall reggae which evolved in the late 70s. Jamaica is very famous for reggae. Everybody knows how reggae sounds. Reggae is often associated with the Rasta movement, which influenced many prominent reggae musicians in the 1970s and 1980s. However, the topic of reggae songs is often related with many subjects other than Rastafari, with love songs and sexual themes.

spaniards = Spanier
murder rate = Mordrate
arms traffic = Waffenhandel
gang war = Bandenkrieg
sugar cane = Zuckerrohr
charity = Nächstenliebe
slavery = Sklaverei
according to = nach, gemäß, zufolge

www.wikipedia.org (Deutsch u. Englisch)

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