Jamaica is an amazing land to visit and to live. Jamaicans are not only warm people, but are also a very creative and skilled people as shown by our art, music, athletes… We have set world records in the arena of sprinting and the number of churches per square mile. Jamaica also supports human rights and was the first country to sanction apartheid in South Africa. This two-part article highlights 10 interesting facts about Jamaica which will increase your desire to visit us to enjoy this world-renowned land.
1. Jamaica Has the Fastest Runners on Earth
Why Are Jamaicans so Fast?
They come from a genetic pool of Africans that are naturally athletic
Jamaicans mostly feed on ground provisions such as yams and a lot of fruits.
Sprinting is the most popular sport there, and the coaches are brutal.
Furthermore, most Jamaican sprinters are from a rural section of Jamaica called Trelawny (Usain Bolt is one such example). It is no coincidence that this is where the most yams are grown and consumed on the island.
The top three fastest men in the world are Jamaicans!
Usain Bolt is the fastest person on earth.
2. Jamaica Produces the Most Music per Capita
There are also other types of music produced in Jamaica that are not native to the island, for example, pop, western, rock and roll, soul, hip-hop, jazz, rap, and R&B. And yes, there are Jamaicans who only produce rock and roll or country/western as a full-time career.
A lot of the music produced in Jamaica is made by foreigners. Record companies often launch a new artist in Jamaica before they launch them internationally because if the song is a hit in Jamaica, the rest of world will catch on. This was done with Rihanna, UB40, Harry Belafonte, and Steel Pulse.
3. Jamaica Has the Most Churches per Square Mile
Within my small beach suburban community of fewer than 1,000 residents, there are four churches within a half-mile radius of my house. According to the National Library of Jamaica, there are approximately 2.75 churches per square mile, a fact recognized by the "Guinness Book of World Records." There are also churches in people's backyards and living rooms that haven't been taken into consideration.
There are over 100 different Christian denominations in Jamaica. The most popular ones being Baptist, Catholic, Anglican, Jehovah's Witness, Seventh Day Adventist, New Testament, Church of God, and Pentecostal. You also have the less popular ones such as Mormon and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
4. Jamaica Has the Most Rum Bars per Square Mile
At any local bar, you can order "JB rum," the strongest form of rum. This is a favorite amongst hardcore alcoholics and avoided by social drinkers. Available on the black market at any rum bar but not displayed on the shelf, it is illegally distilled by professionals at the sugar cane factories. The strongest variation originates from Trelawny (the same place the top sprinters are from). Rum has been deemed the strongest drug on the island.
For those who prefer sipping to gulping, Jamaica has the most expensive rum in the world—Appleton Estate 50-Year Rum—which clocks in at over J$4,000.00 (US$30.00) for 750ml.
Whenever pirates robbed ships leaving Jamaica, their number one loot was rum. You could not run a successful pirate enterprise without rum, and Jamaica was the top producer, which is why pirates and Jamaica went hand in hand.
5. Jamaica Is the Top Consumer of Cranberry per Capita
Cranberry juice is also popular because it is used to chase rum. If you tell the bartender that you want a chaser, they may automatically assume you are referring to cranberry juice.
The most popular reason for the consumption of cranberry, however, is due to the medicinal properties that it possesses. Jamaicans will buy food and drink that is organic, natural, and unprocessed, and this tangy-tasting juice fits the bill. It is used to recover from the flu, boost concentration, aid digestion, and enhance the immune system.
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Jacqueline Cameron is an editor/writer with years of writing experience running the gamut from blogging to reporting. She lives in Kingston, Jamaica and is the chief writer for the Jamaica So Nice Blog. She is a trained engineer and musician and loves to see people transformed through her work.