Christmas in Jamaica for ole time’s sake?
Puss juk, oonu sih yah now — dis Christmas yah gawn in 2013, was one piece a sinting. Mi travel through dih city a try find some goodas celebration in true Jamaican style an nutten. Not even chocklit tea.. Everybody a holler and a bawl bout hard times.
Vendors a camp out extra inna bendown plaza, az nutten nah sell outta di pile a clothes an tings dem go tek pon consignment from di Chiney wholesdale. Good fi some a dem cause some a dih sinting dem Hugly caan done and some a dem look like it build fi half a use.
So mi come to thinking afta mi a pass some woman a chat bout di good ole days when dem was picknininis an a enjoy Christmas.
Den there is good ole Mass Glen among some olda folks weh always siddung pan mih eays a tell mi dis an dat bout when him was a bwoy, right deh pon mih van back pon Hanover Street. As soon as im sih mih a siddung, him walf craass wid him stick an plop beside mi fi tell mih all kinda tings, an poor mih sometime not eben mih can keep up fih write wen dissa man ya inna him 90s start fih chat.
So den her’e a lickle list a tings dem ole people used to enjoy weh wih coulda well do wid now fi kip up real Jamaican Christmas a yaad.
1. Food a di fuss ting some people a go tell you bout Christmas so mi a go start by asking who memba di good ole chaklit tea? Dis because mi love chocklit and mih Christmas neva feel real widdout a bun pon mih tonuge from all the hot oil a float inna dih enamel cup.
2. Who memba di duck bread weh shape like duck or crocodile. Dem dayz deh pickney used to fight fi tail or wing as if it matta to di taste buds
3. Who memba Christmas pudding with sweet potato and cornmeal with a dash a coconut milk, different from blue draas or duckoonu
4. Who memba di pig, goat, cow or fowl weh yuh puppa or granny kill pon Chrismus eve
5. Den Chrismus mawning wen yu haffi tep down to chuch all wehn the new shoes a bun out you daylight saving time
6. Who memba a sing carols, all wen you a tink bout di chrismus dinna you a go home go eat
7. Who membba di Cantata and Chrismus concert
8. who memba eggnog, some get it cold, some get it hot
9. Who memba gungo peas special
10. Who memba di Chrismus cake, real fruit cake, heavy like lead an smell like Rum bar. Was your sorrel laced with red label wine, syrup and rum too?
11. Who memba the sorrel and the ginger beer weh buss up bottles like homemade bombs
12. Who dih socks weh dem mumma put up ova dem bedhead pon Chrimus eve, and den fill it with fee fee and balloon, dis fih tell dem a mawning seh Santa pass thru
13. Who memba a put up peppa light inna di ackee tree
14. Who memba a go Christmas market, dis fi eye shop or window shop.. but if you come home late, dog nnyam yuh suppa
15. Who membba dih new clothes
16. Who memba tram car round town or riding the more modern train from townn to Montego Bay
17. Who memba when Jonkoonu had meaning, children ran wild but they learnt about their true history through these characters
Nuff tings mi memba, mind yuh some a di memories dem prod up betta inna good hearty discussion with some a dih olda folk dem weh talk till wata come a dem eye like Mass Glen when him memba seh him did have all a him teet dem fi eat till him belly feel like it a buss. Most of all I memba bout all dem happy smiles and haappy faces, every baddy polite and well couldnt wait fih Chrismus and Boxing day fih go cross Aunty so and so, and Grannie fih eat dung dih place. An nobady neva mind.. one big family especially among family, adapted family and friends and boy di chuch coulda mek you feel like the whole world a yu family..
An before mih leave mek mih tell you bout how dih wan Tessanne Chin gih dih whole entire Jamaica one piece a present with har VOICE breakthrough!
Mih fi wan neva tink she did need fih enta but yuh dun noa, that’s in di ideal world wen at least the mahority a famous Jamaica get it right a tart invest in artist back-a-yard to abroad.
Still big up oonuself from Jimmy Cliff right to Shaggy to Third World to Usain and Barrington Watson right to dih one Bernard hoyes.. Oonu goodas Jamaicans weh spread dih flag abroad.