October 19, 2008

What Does Caribbean Mean?

The definition of Caribbean continues at Scavella's Blogosphere and Caribbean Beat.

My definition: The nations of the Antilles that share a common history of colonialism under European dominance and whose Creole identity has been shaped primarily by the merging of African and European cultures and most recently by Asian influences.

Jamaican Culture Definition: Jamaican culture would fall under the definition of Caribbean culture and the differences in these cultures of the Caribbean would be the extent to which these other influences and others such as class and race have shaped the history, music, lifestyles of the peoples in these nations. In Jamaica, there has always been a strong African presence in the music, dance, and religion. This in turn, has seen the creation of Jamaican based religions such as Rastafari and its aural representation, Reggae. The literature of Jamaica has been impacted by these two very important cultural movements and the writers who have grown up in post-Independence Jamaica have been articulating this phenomena in fiction, poetry, and plays.

The definition of Jamaican culture has also been complicated by the diaspora in North America, technological advances in communication (Internet and cable television), so there is an increase of North American cultural influence on the island.

Is it a group of nations and proto-nations defined by a common history or culture, or by political links? Is it an aspiration, an attitude, an illusion? Is its meaning determined by presence or absence? Has it an antonym?

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