On Tuesday we went to the town of Ochi Rios so Mildred, my Jamaican hostess and I could get pedicures. Sophie the young woman who gave me my pedicure did a professional job. There were four Jamaican women working in the beauty shop and they carried on a lively and passionate discussion while serving us. I didn’t understand most of it however because they were speaking Patois- which is a unique Jamaican language that is part English, partly various African languages and some European and Asian languages. It reflects the multicultural nature of the country.
The first issue the women discussed was a newspaper headline in the Jamaican Gleaner that said CANADA WANTS TO BUY JAMAICAN WEED- DEAL COULD BE WORTH BILLIONS. One beautician pointed to it and began a seemingly angry tirade in Patois that everyone chimed in on. I’d have loved to know what they were talking about.
Their second avid discussion was sprinkled with enough English words for me to know they were discussing a pastor of a church who kept asking for their money, but the women wondered how he planned to get funds from people who didn’t even have enough money to buy food for their families. I’d have liked to have understood that whole conversation too.
Although English is the official language of Jamaica, Patois is much more common.
Other posts about Jamaica……..