What are Jamaicans known for?

This is the island of Jamaica

Children play in the street in Kingston, the capital of Jamaica. (Photo: dpa)

In Germany a lot of people are talking about Jamaica when it comes to parties. Jamaica is a famous island in the Caribbean. We introduce them to you.

A lot of people are talking about Jamaica right now. But that's not because a lot of people spend their vacation there during this autumn break. But in German politics. Because: In the federal election, the CDU party got the most votes. But because that is not enough to rule on its own, it has to team up with other parties. This is called a coalition. At the moment it looks like it could work with the Greens and the FDP.

And now watch out: each party is assigned a color. The CDU is black, the FDP yellow and the Greens - logically - green. And exactly these three colors are in the flag of Jamaica. That is why many speak of the “Jamaica coalition”. But what kind of country is it actually?

The location

The location and the most important information about Jamaica (Graphic: dpa)

Jamaica is an island in the Caribbean. It's 235 kilometers long - that's roughly the distance from Cologne to Mannheim. The highest mountain, the Blue Mountain Peak, is 2256 meters high. The capital is called Kingston. All year round it is warm in summer in Jamaica: the temperature is between 20 and 35 degrees.

The nearly three million people who live there are called Jamaicans, they speak English. Animals live on the island that can only be found there. For example the knight butterfly, one of the largest butterflies in the world. Or the pennant tail bird, which is also a symbol of the country.

The history

People have lived in Jamaica for more than 2500 years. And who was the first European to come to the island? Surprise: Christopher Columbus. He discovered America in 1492, and on his second trip in 1494 he came to Jamaica. He and the Spaniards claimed the island for themselves and treated the indigenous people very badly.

After about a hundred years, almost all the natives were extinct - many had contracted diseases brought in by the Spaniards. Nevertheless, the island kept its Indian name. Jamaica roughly means "land of forests and water".

More than 350 years ago the English came and conquered the island. So foreigners ruled Jamaica for almost 500 years - it wasn't until 1962 that the people got their own government. Still today Jamaica belongs to the British group of states "Commonwealth". That is why the Queen of England is the head of state of Jamaica.

The music

Reggae star Bob Marley (Photo: dpa)

Jamaica is particularly known for one thing: music. At the end of the 1950s, the Ska music genre emerged there. This is very fast music with guitar, bass, piano, drums and - importantly - wind instruments such as trumpet or saxophone. From this later the slower genre of music reggae developed. The most famous reggae musician is called Bob Marley.

He was born in Jamaica, of course. He was very poor as a child, but later became famous with his band "The Wailers". Bob Marley died in 1981, but his children are still making reggae music today. Damian Marley, for example, was at the “Summerjam” festival in the summer. By the way: The music that the Cologne musician Gentleman makes is also reggae.

The star

In this pose, Usain Bolt celebrates his victories. (Photo: dpa)

Besides musician Bob Marley, Usain Bolt is best known. The 31-year-old athlete is the fastest man in the world! In 2009 he ran 100 meters in just 9.58 seconds - a world record!

By Angela Sommersberg