A celebration of independence
Proverbs form an integral aspect of Jamaican cultural heritage, representing the collective experiences of the country’s people, past and present, serving to highlight the history, ingenuity, oral storytelling traditions and creativity of the Jamaican people to develop modes of communication that pass on knowledge and wisdom across generations.
Proverbs are used to teach and scold, as many can attest to. Jamaican proverbs reflect African and European influences and are uniquely Jamaican for the most part. It gives the language colour, but also serves as a way to preserve the unique culture.
Some of the popular proverbs are:
Wanti, wanti, cyan getti, getti, getti nuh wanti.
Those who don’t have covet that which those who do have take for granted.
Chicken merry, hawk deh near.
Be careful when things are going well, as trouble may not be far away.
Hog sey, de fus dutty wata mi ketch, mi wash.
Make use of the first opportunity that comes your way.
Wah gone bad a mawing cyan come good a evening.
What’s gone bad in the morning can’t come good in the evening.