Archives for posts with tag: Caribbean

Hardships there are but the land is green and the sun shineth.

The first printed representation of the Jamaican flag. It was signed by Alexander Bustamante in 1962 when the design was approved in Parliament.

With Jamaica celebrating the 50th Independence Day on August 6th, I’ve been thinking a lot about the flag. My mom taught me when I was a child that colours had meaning and that has never left me. Today I did a little internet exploring to see if in fact I remembered correctly. While there are slight variations on how the symbolism is worded they come down to what I remembered – Black for the people, green for the land and yellow for the wealth of the nation.

“The black triangles represent the adversity Jamaica has overcome and for hardships it may have in the future. The green triangles represent hope and agriculture and the golden saltire (diagonal cross) stands for the mineral wealth of Jamaica and sunlight. “(from World Flags 101)

Flags – Flags – Flags

  • Yellow – a symbol of sunshine and natural resources
  • Green – the land and hope for the future
  • Black – the burdens borne by the people

“Black depicts the strength and creativity of the people; Gold, the natural wealth and beauty of sunlight; and green, hope and agricultural resources.” Government of Jamaica

Click for Jamaican Flag knitting pattern

My gift to you on the 50th anniversary is a free knitting pattern. Use it to knit your own flag either as a patch or worked into a larger pattern. Enjoy, and please share your projects with me – I’d love to see what you come up with.

Jamaican Flag, Knitting Chart by Anastasia E White, 2012 download now

What are you doing to celebrate?

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Jamazing (adj) – to be extraordinary despite the fact that you are from a Third-World nation where everyone learns to run “barefoot on grass”; usually involves defeating First-World nations in competition; usually also inspires 2.7 million people to resort to dancing in the streets, screaming and using dutch pot covers like cymbals.

Jamaica Gleaner News – From a new lexicon

Well, no, this isn’t patois but it made me smile. If you want to learn about Patois the books below are a good place to start.

Today, for something different, I give you a quote by the author of one of my favorite books No Telephone to Heaven. If you aren’t familiar with Michelle Cliff’s writing I strongly recommend you look into her works. Her use of language is beautiful and the way she blends Jamaican Standard English with Patios is unlike anything else I’ve read.

To write a complete Caribbean woman, or man for that matter, demands of us retracing the African past of ourselves, reclaiming as our own, and as our subject, a history sunk under the sea, or scattered as potash in the canefields, or gone to bush, or trapped in a class system notable for its rigidity and absolute dependence on color stratification. Or a past bleached from our minds. It means finding the artforms of those of our ancestors and speaking in the patois forbidden us. It means realizing our knowledge will always be wanting. It means also, I think, mixing in the forms taught us by the oppressor, undermining his language and co-opting his style, and turning it to our purpose.

Michelle Cliff

 

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