Happy Independence Jamaica!

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12 Facts about the island as it celebrates 52 years of Independence, from Trudy Simpson from London’s Voice Online. Follow the link below for the original report and additional photographs.

JAMAICA IS celebrating 52 years of Independence today (Aug 6).

Across the world, Jamaicans in many nations are celebrating independence in ways that range from a traditional church service in London to an Independence Day Parade and a national concert being held in Kingston, the island’s capital.

We already know some of the popular island’s biggest exports, from reggae legends such as Bob Marley to sport stars such as Usain Bolt, from its fantastic Jerk Chicken to its tantalising patties.

So, to mark this Caribbean island’s special day, we outline 12 more facts about Jamaica.

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1) Jamaica’s National Bird – The Doctor Bird . The “Doctor Bird” or Swallowtail Humming Bird lives only in Jamaica and is one of an estimated 320 species of Humming Birds.

2) Jamaica’s National Flower – The Lignum Vitae . It has been referred to as the “Wood of Life”. It is though that the name was adopted because of its medicinal qualities.

3) Jamaica’s National Fruit – Ackee . Ackee was originally imported from West Africa in 1778 and was probably brought here in a slave ship. It now grows richly and is part of the national dish.

4) Jamaica’s National Dish – Ackee and Saltfish – The dish is incredibly popular with locals and tourists alike in the island. It is also enjoyed by many in numerous countries where Jamaicans reside.

5) Jamaica’ National Tree – The Blue Mahoe

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6) Jamaican Colours (seen on its National Flag)– Black, Green and Gold . Black depicts the strength and creativity of the people; Gold, the natural wealth and beauty of sunlight; and Green, hope and agricultural resources.

7) Jamaica’s Coat of Arms – The coat of arms has several images relating to the island’s history including its original inhabitants, The Tainos, a symbol of its abundant fruit, the pineapple and also one of its enduring animals, the crocodile.

8) Jamaica’s Motto- Out of Many, One People . This motto refers to Jamaica’s multiracial roots. The island currently has 2.7 million people, many from varied backgrounds ranging from African to European and Asian.

9) National Anthem – Jamaica Land We Love – This song is a prayer written by late clergyman and educator Hugh Sherlock. The music was composed by Robert Lightbourne and arranged by Mapletoft Poulle and Christine Alison Poulle

10) Jamaica’s Traditional outfit . It is often worn at traditional celebrations such as for folk song concerts. It includes a white cotton blouse, a red head tie and a Calico skirt whose material is called bandana by local people.

11) Bredda Anancy – This cheeky but beloved fictional character was brought to the island by our African ancestors whose vibrant oral storytelling tradition survived the horrors of slavery.

12) Jamaican money – Various notes have significant Jamaican symbols on them as well as images of some of the island’s seven national heroes.

Sources: Jamaica Information Service (JIS) and National Library of Jamaica

For the original report go to http://www.voice-online.co.uk/article/happy-independence-jamaica

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