Hoovering Two Worlds

Occasionally when I think, I’ll have a pretty decent idea for a business and immediately imagine the successes it could have if the right amount of work and effort is put into it. Then I’d have to remember the reality of where such an idea could work in the Bahamian market I envision it in because I have to remember how stubborn our people tend to be about sticking with the old traditional way of doing things.
When you venture off to college abroad, you’re exposed to so many new things and ideas and you feel so inspired and motivated to bring all these great new toys back home. But when you get there you realize that no one else knows how to play with your new toys or want to learn and thus you’re stuck playing with the old ones until they open their minds to do learn.
It makes you reconsider the desire to rush back home and show everyone your new toys and skills and I’m sure many of my fellow Bahamian college graduates face this challenge every fall and winter as they too decide what is the next step for their life.
Growing up in a “third world country” and going to school in a first world country is sometimes challenging to connect the two worlds in a way that speaks to your talents and passion. I’m sure if you Googled, you won’t find many Bahamian ballet dancers or neurophysicists. Point is, until we can grow to a place where the two worlds meet in the middle, there’ll be more and more graduates not rushing to go back home with their new toys because they have no one to play with.

We are not the same, “mon”!

There are some people, I won’t say most, that think everyone from the Caribbean must speak with a Jamaican accent and say “mon” or have dreadlocks. For those of you that have checked out my posts in Bahamianese can very much tell that we don’t sound like Jamaicans. Besides the fact that Jamaica and The Bahamas are two different countries, there are some other differences between us.

I could probably list a whole bunch of things that distinguish Bahamians from Jamaicans but some of those things are not things you could tell just by seeing or speaking with a Jamaican. Language/accent and temperament are the more obvious. Of course to someone from the Carbbean, they would be able to tell a Jamaican from a Bahamian by the types of food, certain aspects of clothing or hairstyles (espcially the men) and most definitely the music.

Jamaicans speak patois (Jamaican creole). Bahamians speak Bahamian dialect. Although the definition of patois includes dialects, Jamaican patois has it’s own unique phonology, grammar and of course vocabulary. Typically I wouldn’t suggest Wikipedia as a source for anything, reading through it, they did a pretty good job with breaking down Jamaican creole and giving examples of sentence structure and things like that. If you’re interested in the more technical aspect of Jamaican linguistics check it out here.

Jamaicans are hotblooded. Bahamians are laid back. These are generalizations yes however being a Bahamian who has lived with Jamaicans and also having see the two cultures interact, I can say the generally speaking this is true. This is not to say that there aren’t laid back Jamaicans or hotblooded Bahamians. This is something you would observe sort of in the same way people say that country-folk are more polite than say, a New Yorker.

Jamaica’s main music is reggae. The Bahamas’ main music genres are junkanoo and rake n’ scrape. We have two sets of music because Junkanoo music is mostly festival music, performed live during special events such as the Box Day Parade and New Years.  It would be comparable to a band with trumpets and several sets of drums etc… Rake n’ scrape music has an artist(s), and the instruments traditionally were handsaws with something to scrape against it, old wash basin and the scrubber and a small goat skin drum.

Jamaicans and Bahamians have a unique sense of style. I couldn’t find  many pictures that would best compare how the two Caribbean countries dress, so I’ll just describe it. Jamaican men tend to wear tighter fitting clothes than Bahamian men (generally). The jeans especially seem tighter. The style is somewhat reminiscent of a cross between Californian surfer types and cowboys because Jamaican men  sometimes wear large belts with interesting buckles and unique loafers. Bahamian men are more influenced by black America so the men wear looser, baggier clothing. A polo shirt (usually of the Ralph Lauren or Tommy Hilfiger brand) and jeans are what I would describe as the Bahamian man’s national uniform. It’s also more common to find Jamaican men that have colored or bleached their hair than Bahamian men.

In any and all cultures, there are people that do not fit the norms or generalized views  of that group of people but as this world gets smaller and smaller due to globalization, it’s important that we become more aware of differences in cultures. It’s more polite to ask about a cultural norm than to assume the wrong one!

Bless up, mon!

Summer Fun in the Not-So-Sunny Sun

Towards the end of summer, I went on an amazing boat adventure tour in which I got to see some of the Exuma cays. There are over 700 islands and cays that make up the Bahamas although most of them are uninhabited. There are some celebs that own a few private islands in the Bahamas including Nicholas Cage, Julia Roberts and Johnny Depp. But on this tour, I got to see these and some unique treasures that Exuma has to offer.

We did this on a day that a bit cloudy and actually storming in some areas. Imagine if the sun was out shining in its glory! Could you imagine?! Beautiful.

It’s Pretty Awesome


I don’t mean to brag but hey, the Bahamas is pretty cool and I get to live there and eat all those amazing foods. The end of the semester is quickly approaching which means the assignments are going to be due, exams will be around the corner and stress levels will be high. But the reward will be being able to go home and perch this body a on a beach I hope.

The older you get, the less time you spend actually enjoying summer, unless you’re a teacher. As a college student, summer means crappy summer job or internship with minimum wage pay, but it’s a necessity or my last name will be Broke.

Anyway, I’m still looking forward to going home, taking awesome photos of the beach (if I get there) and documenting some of my summer in this blog.

3rd World Story

Despite being less than an hour away by plane from Florida and having millions of tourists grace our shores annually, The Bahamas is still a third world country. I don’t think we like to admit that to ourselves sometimes because our outward appearance is like that of any other person you might see in the U.S. We wear the Ralph Lauren, the Aeropostale and the like and our homes and equipped  with the modern kitchen appliances. But we still depend on the U.S. to import many of our foods and even fruits that we could very well grow here.

The first step is to admitting that we have a problem. We are dependent on the U.S. for so much and that’s kind of sad because if things go to crap because of war or the U.S. messes up their alliances with an oil-supplying country, we’re going to feel that bruise just as much.

No matter how much we try to keep up with the United States’ technologies and the rest of the materialistic junk, it won’t change the fact that we as a country although “independent” since 1973, can’t stand on our own two feet if our lives depended on it and each generation that comes up will be wiser but weaker. They will be hip to all that’s new and shiny but would frown up their noses at real oranges because they aren’t all sweet nor are they all that fake bright color.

Anywho,  I just thought readers should know that yes we are a third world country, a very proud one at that. So don’t go asking us if we have inside toilets and live in straw huts and what not. You won’t get a pleasant response. But in truth, 95% of what is in our food stores comes from “the States”.