Jamaica – Then and Now

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If you are thinking about a holiday in Jamaica, villa accommodation may bring to mind a number of images – including luxurious pools, magnificent beaches, swaying palm trees and impeccably clean waters ideal for various forms of water sports.

Idyllic as these thoughts may be, oi Jamaica, villa rental holidays can also offer you the opportunity to see a little more of this island’s people, culture and history.

A bit about the past

Jamaica’s association with England, and then Britain, goes back a long way – in fact, as far back as the mid 17th century. Originally colonised by the Spanish, the innumerable wars of the period resulted in the English taking the island and retaining control for in excess of the next 300 years. At one time famous (and infamous by today’s standards) for its plantations run under slave labour, the island proved to be hugely lucrative to those that had a stake in its products of sugar cane and exotic fruits.

The years of slavery resulted in a large influx of various peoples from Africa and, even after slavery was abolished, large numbers of workers and servants were brought from other parts of the British Empire – including the Indian subcontinent and China. Today, the island’s culture is a fascinating blend of British and Afro-Caribbean with influences from some of those other countries and peoples mentioned above.

Today’s island

In Jamaica, villa holidays are now a popular way to enjoy the delights of this Caribbean island. But, if you can tear yourself away from the beaches and tropical charm of the coastal areas, you may find that this historical legacy has given this island a vibrancy that is arguably unique to the region.

Here are just a few of those legacies to think about as you are relaxing in your modern day Jamaica villa:

  • Music – any music lover will know that Jamaica is the home to reggae, and these days you can still hear it in its original context in certain bars and clubs. Ask a local for advice and everyone will have their own opinion as to where is best – it may also pay to keep your eyes open for special reggae festivals and events.
  • Food – try jerk chicken or brown stew fish (or any one of a dozen other delicious local dishes) for a culinary delight that vividly reflects the diverse cultural heritage of this island.
  • Historic sites – once again, there are a large number to choose from. One that has a certain macabre attraction is The Rose Hall Great House, where a long-ago female owner, rumoured to be a white witch, tortured and murdered slaves plus also apparently no less than all three of her husbands. But don’t worry, it’s not all macabre and there are many other attractions to see on the estate.

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