Happy Jamaica Day!
Jamaica Day is a National Holiday and a popular celebration amongst our students and
schools across Jamaica. This year is its 21st celebration and this year's theme is Celebrating Jamaica: Reggae the Message of Resilience and Triumph, honoring the music and people who helped contribute to its development. Students celebrate Jamaica Day by participating in performative arts such as poetry, song, and dance.
Unfortunately, this year has been scaled-down due to Covid restrictions, so we thought it would be fun to have our students share their experiences. Our 2020 recipient, Crystal Whittaker shared her favorite memories of Jamaica Day with us and how they celebrate it at Manning’s School.
"Jamaica Day, a celebration I look forward to every year while at school. The festivities of the
day for last year’s celebration was very much welcomed, more so because that day was my birthday as well. Being an active student in every possible area the school proposed, a host of fun activities awaited me at school as they always do each year. We were allowed to dress in whatever green, black, and gold/yellow we could find, I choose a green top, black jeans, and black shoes. Separated by our clubs/societies I stuck to the Interact Club selling other teachers and students popcorn, Jamaica colored snow cones, fried fish and Jamaica colored cupcakes. With friends, I would walk around to the other clubs’ booths and buy their own ‘more authentic’ Jamaican foods, however.
The day kept busy sightseeing Jamaican colors, tasting Jamaican food, listening to Jamaican music, and watching/judging costume competitions until finally everyone was required to make their way to the auditorium for the final event of the day. A competition was held in the areas of song, dance, and poetry against the various eight sport houses of the school where these points would count towards the final percentage on sports day.
Being the house captain for my own Fiddler house, I taught and led 7 students (myself included) on stage and performed a Jamaican group dance; we placed second. Within the area of poetry, I along with another student (Anthony Beckford) performed a poem and we were placed first. Each year, Manning’s school tries to bring something new to Jamaica Day for the enjoyment of students, for me this is really working because it gets better and better for me each year."