When people think of Jamaica, a huge percentage of ordinary individuals would easily conjure reggae culture as its defining character. But apart from its most enduring stereotype, the top 5 facts about Jamaica still leaves a lot of room for astonishment. As the catchy local patois would put it, "Welcome to Jamrock! Wah gwaan, mon?"
First Non-Western Railroad
One of Jamaica's wicked facts is that just 15 years after England completed its first railway system, this British colony in the Caribbean followed suit in the innovation. The Jamaican Railway opened in 1845 and it was the first of its kind outside Europe and North America.
First Chocolate Milk
Another of the top 5 facts about Jamaica worth mentioning is that the first chocolate milk on the planet was mixed in this country. An Irish botanist (Sir Hans Sloane) found the local cocoa drink too strong and decided to brew his mild latte version. It later became a medicine in England during the mid-1700's.
Rum vs. Church
Speaking of strong drink, alcoholism has a curious way of juxtaposing Christian values in this country. One of Jamaica's wicked facts is that 'for every church in a town, there are two or three rum taverns.' Given its history with piracy, go figure...
Land of Tough People
The main thing that makes Jamaica a unique nation is that it is inhabited by tough people. Boxers (Nicholas Walters), runners (Usain Bolt), football players (Raheem Sterling): name it, Jamaica has it! Outside of sports, you have none other than Bob Marley himself. This legendary reggae musician didn't earn the moniker 'Tuff Gong' for nothing - he scuffled with some of Trenchtown's meanest bullies.
Black Power Movement
Afro-centric pride is another concept that made Jamaica a unique nation. After all, this was the birthplace of the Rastafarian movement - a political and religious association that revered the Ethiopian king Haile Selassie I as an African messiah. No other international icon has elevated this movement better than Jamaica's legendary musician, Bob Marley.
Curiously, black empowerment can trace its roots from the 18th Century rebel matriarch called Nanny of the Maroons - the Ashanti ex-slave who liberated Haiti. The Jamaican government declared her a national heroine in 1976.
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