Subject: Jamaican in China!–You’re kidding me, right? How could you NOT know????
Date: September 16, 2010 8:45:26 AM GMT+08:00
Something has been brought to my attention that I find extremely difficult to believe. In fact, so much has it shaken the very foundational supports of my earthbound existence, that I feel I must ask YOU, my dear friends and family members, to help me do a reality check.
You see, it all started a few days ago, when a member of my Jamaican in China mailing list wrote me an email and added the following postscript:
p.s. Just love your multi-colored e-mails!
Sensing something telling about her comment, I wrote back:
Just to make sure we’re on the same page, the colors of the Jamaican flag are black green and gold, and, of course, China’s is red. So, there’s a bit of significance to the color scheme!
To which she replied:
I don’t remember your telling your general readership this useful piece of info.
Might I suggest that you do so – so they can better appreciate why you picked those colors?
Or is everyone supposed to be smart enough to figure it out for themselves (as I was not – sigh)?
There, there, “R.” Don’t feel too bad. But don’t feel too good either. Because frankly, I’m shocked and appalled!
Now it’s conceivable, I concede, that a bit of self-important nationalism prevented me from being objective on this topic. Lord knows, it wouldn’t be the first time a Jamaican was accused of such a transgression. However, I WILL argue that there have been numerous clues throughout popular culture as well as recent history such that no one on the planet with a pair of functioning eyes (as well as internet access, high-definition television, a blackberry, and tons of time to kill, of course) should be unaware of the colors of OUR flag!
I mean, come on!! There’ve been so many visible clues!
Remember the Jamaican Bobsled Team???
Didn’t you wonder about the snazzy colors?
As he ran his victory lap, and his huge black green and gold cape fluttered in the tailwind blocking the view of the finish line of the other runners who were just hitting the final stretch of the race…..didn’t you wonder about the snazzy colors?
Okay, you may not be a sports fan, but surely you remember the familiar Jamaican-American lapel pin Colin Powell would wear on his uniform????
Okay, okay. I made that one up. There was no lapel pin.
It was a hat.
Remember? He would wear it on every talk show and at every press conference.
Don’t tell me you didn’t wonder about it?
Besides Colin Powell, whose parents were both Jamaican, there’ve been numerous other Jamaicans and Jamaican-Americans who have influenced US and world history and culture: Marcus Garvey, Bob Marley, Biggie Smalls… Tyson Beckford, Shari Belafonte, Corbin Bleu (I have NO idea who this is, but wikipedia says he/she was in High School Musical, which I know was very popular!), Sheryl Lee Ralph, Louis Farrakhan, as well as other artists, beauty contest winners, business owners, scientists, models, musicians, politicians….I mean the list goes on and on!
Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Jamaicans for more!
And every one of them, at some time or other, has sported the “black green and gold!”
IF you were paying attention, you couldn’t miss it!
Okay, okay… maybe Minister Farrakhan didn’t wear the standard issue rudeboy wool tam every Jamaican is issued at birth, but you can tell by his rebellious, fierce and independent spirit that he’s got Jamaican blood in him (His father was from Jamaica).
Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if Barack Obama has some Jamaican in him. But, at present, this is only a theory of mine. I’d need to see a birth certificate.
But even if you didn’t catch the entertainment spots, the sports coverage, or the political punditry, there’s basic, elementary school education for heaven’s sake. I mean, every Jamaican school child learns this little saying:
“Hardships there are, but the land is green and the sun shineth.”
as way to memorize the symbolic meanings of the colors of the Jamaican flag.
0. Yellow – a symbol of sunshine and natural resources
0. Green – the land and hope for the future
0. Black – the burdens borne by the people
What??? You mean they don’t teach that here in YOUR schools? Then of what possible significance or meaningful value has been your so-called education???????!!!!!
(ahem….sorry…got a little carried away there.)
Anyway, I’m done.
You have been forgiven. But, you’re not off the hook.
Don’t let it happen again.
But just to show my tolerance of other people’s failure to use their basic powers of observation, as well as the glaringly obvious deficiencies in the educational systems in other countries, I’ve included the flags of both Jamaica and China in the title section of this and all future mailings, and I’ve added it to the home page of the www.JamaicanInChina.com site as well, so there shall be no doubt in future.
p.s. Glad I could help round out your education, “R!”
You can thank me later!
The flag of Jamaica was adopted on August 6, 1962 which was the original Jamaican Independence Day, the country having gained independence from the British-protected Federation of the West Indies. The flag consists of a gold saltire, which divides the flag into four sections: two of them green (top and bottom) and two black (hoist and fly).
The present design emerged from those sent in by the public in a national competition. It was originally designed with horizontal stripes, but this was considered too similar to the Tanganyikan flag, and so the saltire was substituted. Black, green, and gold are Pan-African colors. An earlier interpretation of the colors was, “hardships there are but the land is green and the sun shineth”: gold recalls the shining sun, black reflects hardships, and green represents the land. However, that was changed to the colour black representing the strength and creativity of the people which has allowed them to overcome the odds, yellow for the golden sunshine and green for the lush vegetation of the island.
This image has no particular relevance to my earlier rant, but I thought
it was pretty cool, so I’ve included it here!