Born and raised in this part of the earth and DAMN proud of it:
Since, I moved recently, I miss there so much...especially the food. The food is awesome. Period.
Anyway, let's get started.
You knew DAMN well not to disobey to your elders.
When your mother, father, aunt, uncle, granny or even your older sister is correcting you, you very much well know that it is no laughing matter. If you in fact decide to disobey your parents and they find out, they aren't going to 'ground' you because 'grounding' isn't a part of their disciplinary method. Oh no, you will be getting something like this instead:
And at the end of the day, you have learnt from that.
The Dutch Pot, and trying to steal things from it.
If you grew up in the Caribbean, or grew up with Caribbean parents, chances are you have this on your stove right now...and it is older than your eldest sibling, or even your mom:
This is the magical pot that provided your weekly goodness of a Sunday dinner and growing up, you probably at least ONCE tried to steal meat from it without your parents knowing and closing it very carefully because it makes a loud noise like a pair of cymbals when being closed. Also not dropping the pot cover on the ground.
Speaking of cymbals, this was also used as an instrument for street parties or celebrations. Especially for during the Olympics in Half Way Tree Road when Usain Bolt is going to run. (Jamaicans represent!)
We have our own curse words.
Ha ha ha. Just don't use them around your parents or else #1 might happen to you.
You always, ALWAYS have a bottle of hot sauce in your house.
There is no way to escape the hot sauce. It is always there and we love it!
Especially the Grace hot pepper sauce...don't get me started..
There are three of these on my dining table right now ^^^
The heat never bothered you anyway.
Even though I prefer the cold, I can always get used to the heat. Also, growing up in Jamaica, everyone knew that running the AC everyday would run up the light bill and you would have JPS all over your ass so we used fans mostly and hoping that they don't stop working. The ACs were for REALLY hot days only. (Not every house in Jamaica has AC, you had to have one built in manually for you, if you could afford it and I'm talking one of these:
Only a few houses have central cooling systems with thermometers.)
Plus, flip flops and cotton clothes all year round. There is no such thing called under 20 degrees Celsius weather. (68 degrees Fahrenheit for the Americans). You never had to base your closet on the temperature outside. It is always 'dress for warm weather'. You also only have one thin sweater for the December - February weather.
You go to school with your uniform clean, you BETTER return home with your uniform clean.
From basic school to high school, you had to wear uniforms, and the government does not give a shit if you go to a public or private school, uniforms are ALWAYS required for school children. We follow the British education system also (Jamaica was a British colony until August 6th 1962) so by any chance you are aged 2-19 you are most likely wearing uniforms to school and your parents expect you to come back home with it as pristine as it was when you left the house. It was basically a way of your parents teaching you responsibility from an early age. Little pen and pencil marks were understandable though.
There is a 70% chance you haven't met all your close relatives yet.
Anytime there is a family reunion, funeral (especially these), wedding or even a birthday party, you are always finding out about someone new who is related to you. I once had three persons show up at my house randomly one day to find out they are my cousins.
'Mummy I have a headache.' 'Go drink some tea.'
Tea. Your mother's #1 solution for almost every ailment.
High blood pressure? Tea.
Broken arm? Tea.
Heart attack? Tea.
Don't get me started on the peppermint tea:
Not only does your mother have peppermint tea to cure all your ailments, introducing rubbing alcohol to cool down your body whenever you have a fever. But not just any rubbing alcohol, peppermint rubbing alcohol (well, Wintergreen):
Also, for that pesky sinusitis and cold, you have this nasty ass cough syrup you have to take:
In addition to all these things, let's not forget the Vicks Vaporub when you have a cold:
And this right here, ladies and gentlemen is how you take care of sicknesses, the Caribbean edition.
Murder She Wrote
No foreigners, we are not talking about the TV show. We are talking about the song. You cannot be from the Caribbean and not know this song. It is played EVERYWHERE from parties to the shop around the corner.
"I know this little girl her name is Maxine, her beauty is like a bunch of roses..."
Speaking of music...
Every Sunday, the neighbours will have some kind of music while cleaning the house. From gospel music to dancehall music, you will always hear music every Sunday morning and your neighbours' horrible singing to go along with it lmao.
'Dede, pass di ting nuh.'
"Mummy, what ting?" "Di TING!"
What Caribbean parents mean by 'ting': An object that they forgot the name of in the moment and they need you to bring it for them like you know what it is.
Not to be confused with the soda:
Also, you and everyone you know point with their lips/mouth.
Last but not least, an important life lesson.
From a young age, our parents taught us this:
Amen. Sometimes wish I could shove quote this in certain people's faces so badly...
Even though I have moved to a different country, I will never forget my Caribbean roots. It will always be a part of me.