Jamaica is an island filled with quirky cultural nuances and a rich, colourful language that still sometimes leaves me scratching my head.
There are some things you can find only in Jamaica: even now, I still learn something new every day. Here’s a few of the things I’ve picked up along the way.
Jamaican food includes some of the best cuisine in the Caribbean. Hell a top, Hell a bottom, Hallelujah in the middle.
This is a Jamaican riddle that most local people know the answer to: sweet potato pudding. Mixed with delicious coconut milk and spices, this Jamaican classic is an unmissable treat.
Or how about hominy corn porridge? Cow skin soup anyone? Or perhaps some Mannish water – famous locally for its aphrodisiac properties, but less tempting now I know it’s made from goat offal and testicles.
Obeah, similar to Haiti’s voodoo, is the practice of black magic.
Obeah men can still be found practicing this outlawed craft in Jamaica. An Obeah man can cast or break a spell, go into a shamanic trance or, it’s said, even bring someone back from the dead.
Then there’s the ‘duppy bats’ (or Jamaican Witch Moths) – frequent visitors to the inside of most island homes that are apparently the returning spirits of loved ones.
In a land where superstition reigns by day and duppies (spirits) haunt by night, religion is more than just saying your prayers before you go to bed.