Jamaica "Out of many, one people"
Flag • The flag of Jamaica was officially adopted on August 6, 1962. • The black is symbolic of hardships, green represents the fertile land, and yellow the shining sun. In addition, black, green and yellow are Pan-African colors, and pay tribute to Jamaica's significant African heritage
Background • The island was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1494 • Settled by Spain in the early 16th century • Native Taino Indians lived on the islands for centuries and were slowly exterminated and replaced by African slaves • England seized the island in 1655 and a plantation economy - based on sugar, cocoa, and coffee - was established
Background #2 • The abolition of slavery in 1834 freed a quarter million slaves, many of whom became small farmers • Gradually Jamaica obtained increasing independence from Britain, and in 1958 it joined other British Caribbean colonies in forming the Federation of the West Indies. Jamaica gained full independence when it withdrew from the Federation in 1962 • The first decade in which Jamaica was blooming, they found success in strong investments with bauxite/alumina, tourism, and manufacturing industry
Background #3 • During the mid 1980s Jamaica was still a prosperous country though increases in crime and petty theft began to weigh on the island
Geography #2 • Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, south of Cuba • slightly smaller than Connecticut • Capital: Kingston • Area: total: 10,991 sq km land: 10,831 sq km water: 160 sq km • Coastline: 1,022 km
Tropical hot humid temperate interior hurricanes (especially July to November) mostly mountains narrow discontinuous coastal plain Climate and Terrain
Government • Constitutional monarchy with a monarch being represented by a Governor-General(Kenneth Hall) who is appointed by the Prime Minister Bruce Golding • The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who officially uses the title "Queen of Jamaica" • bicameral, consisting of the House of Representatives (Lower House) and the Senate (Upper House) • based on English common law • Independence Day, 6 August (1962) - (from UK)
Rastafari Movement • cultural value system that accepts Haile Selassie I, the former Emperor of Ethiopia, as God incarnate, whom they call Jah • The movement emerged in Jamaica among working-class and peasant black people in the early 1930s • spread throughout much of the world, largely through interest generated by reggae music—most notably, that of Jamaican singer/songwriter Bob Marley • "Zion" is used to describe heaven • Dreadlocks are closely related to the movement
Rastafari Movement #2 • For many Rastas, smoking cannabis is a spiritual act, often accompanied by Bible study • they consider it a sacrament that cleans the body and mind, heals the soul, exalts the consciousness, facilitates peacefulness, brings pleasure, and brings them closer to Jah • Rastafari is not a highly organized religion, it is a movement and an ideology. Many Rastas say that it is not a "religion" at all, but a "Way of Life"
The People • Population: 2,780,132 • Average age: total: 23.2 years male: 22.6 years female: 23.7 years • Growth Rate: 0.777% • Life Expectancy: 73.12 years • Ethnic Groups: black 91.2%, mixed 6.2%, other or unknown 2.6% • Literacy: 87.9% • English is the official language
People #2 • Jamaicans love to celebrate • August 6 there is the Independence celebration with is help at the Jamaican National stadium in Kingston • In Christmas there is the Junkonoo celebration where custom men dress in "scary" costume and dance in the street
Economy • The Jamaican economy is heavily dependent on services, which now account for more than 60% of GDP. The country continues to derive most of its foreign exchange from tourism • GDP: $12.84 billion • High unemployment(11.3%) exacerbates the serious crime problem, including gang violence fueled by the drug trade • Products: sugarcane, bananas, coffee, citrus, yams, ackees, vegetables; poultry, goats, milk; crustaceans, mollusks • Industries: tourism, bauxite/alumina, agro processing, light manufactures, rum, cement, metal, paper, chemical products, telecommunications
Transnational Issues • transshipment point for cocaine from South America to North America and Europe • illicit cultivation and consumption of cannabis; government has an active manual cannabis eradication program • corruption is a major concern • substantial money-laundering activity • Colombian narcotics traffickers favor Jamaica for illicit financial transactions • Jamaica has had one of the highest murder rates in the world-3rd highest(575% of those in the United States on a per capita basis)
Sources • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamaica • https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/jm.html