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Jamaica, land we love

REGGAE MUSIC, jerk chicken, Usain Bolt – just three Jamaican exports that have brought great joy to the world. And for an island of just over 4,200 square miles to have made such an enormous international contribution, it’s no wonder it boasts the expression, “we likkle but we talawa!”

The much-loved Caribbean island acquired its independence from the British colonial powers on August 6, 1962 after years of political subjugation. And with this week marking Jamaica’s 51st year of independence, we mark the occasion with a series of facts and fun, in celebration of the little island that makes a big impact.

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10 FACTS ABOUT JAMAICA

1. Jamaica is the largest English-speaking island in the Caribbean

2. The doctor bird or swallow-tail hummingbird is the national bird

3. It was the first Caribbean country to gain Independence

4. Ian Fleming designed and built his home, "Goldeneye", in Jamaica and wrote 10 of his James Bond novels there

5. The Blue Mountains in Jamaica are so-named for the mists that often cover them, which look blue from a distance

6. Jamaica was the first tropical country to enter the Winter Olympics

7. The national dish is ackee and saltfish

8. Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean (Cuba is the first, Hispaniola – containing the Dominican Republic and Haiti – is the second)

9. Jamaica was the first commercial producer of bananas in the Western Hemisphere

10. Apart from the US, Jamaica has won the most world and Olympic medals

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COMING SOON: Caribbean Food Week 2013

Caribbean Food Week is set to once again be one of the highlights of the summer when it launches for the second year from August 19-25. Organised by Grace Foods UK, the week promises to be full of fun, food and fabulous flavours.

To whet you’re appetite for the annual food affair, here’s a simple, Jamaican-inspired recipe, supplied by the event organisers.

Fruit punch and rum jelly

Ingredients
* 1 bottle of Grace Tropical Rhythms Fruit Punch
* 3 sachets (1 tbsp) of powdered gelatine
* 120 ml of dark rum (optional)
* 6 tsp of diced fruit – pineapple, paw paw, mango, fresh or tinned.

Method
* Warm Grace Tropical Rhythms Fruit Punch over a low heat, and then take off. Mix in dark rum. Leave to cool. Strain through a muslin-lined sieve. Measure out 600ml.

* Put 4 tbsp hot water in a cup and sprinkle the gelatine over it. Leave to soak for a few minutes, and then place in a pan of simmering water and heat gently until the gelatine is fully dissolved. Leave to cool slightly and, once it is the same temperature as the fruit punch solution, mix together and pour into bowls or glasses.

* Cool then chill until set – then enjoy!

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TEST YOUR JAMAICA KNOWLEDGE: QUIZ
(Answers at the bottom of page)

1) Which Jamaican artist is affectionately known as ‘Di Captain’?
A - Beres Hammond
B - Freddie McGregor
C - John Holt

2) Which of these entertainers was raised in Jamaica?
A - Harry Belafonte
B - Sammy Davis Junior
C - Bill Cosby

3) What was Usain Bolt’s winning time in the 100m final at the London 2012 Olympics?
A - 9.61 seconds
B- 9.62 seconds
C - 9.63 seconds

4) What is Jamaica’s tourism slogan?
A - The beach is just the beginning
B - Jamaica to di world!
C - Once you go you know

5) In what year did Jamaica first enter the Winter Olympics?
A - 1988
B - 1992
C - 1996

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JAZZ JAMAICA @ HIDEAWAY

POPULAR jazz collective Jazz Jamaica (right) will be performing their unique blend of jazz, ska, mento and reggae to London venue Hideaway, in celebration of Jamaican independence.

Leading two nights of celebrations, featuring top music and comedy, Jazz Jamaica will headline the event, which will also feature comedy from UK favourites Quincy and Kane Brown.

Founded in 1991 by celebrated double bassist Gary Crosby, Jazz Jamaica earned the group the BBC Radio Jazz Award for best band in 2002.

At Hideaway, 2 Empire Mews, Stanthorpe Road, London SW16 on August 2 and 3. Visit www.hideawaylive.co.uk

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LAUGH 'TIL YOU BELLY BUSS - JAMAICAN JOKES

The Rasta visitor
A Rastaman went to visit an old family friend. He knocked on the door and somebody inside called out, “A who dat?”

The Rastaman replied: “I and I, Jah Rastafari, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, conquering lion of the tribe of Judah, son of Haile Selassie I.”

The person inside shouted back: “Well a me one dey yah, and mi nah open de door fi so much ah oonu!”

Smart at sea
On a ship an American, an English man, and a Jamaican were sailing. Suddenly, the Devil appeared and said: "Drop something in the sea. If I find it I will eat you – if I can't find it, then I will be your slave!"

The American dropped a diamond. The Devil quickly found it and ate him. The English man dropped tiny platinum piece. The Devil found it and ate him too.

It was then the Jamaican man's turn. He proceeded to open a bottle of water, poured it in the sea and said to the Devil: "Yeah man, find that nuh! You tink seh Jamaicans ah eedyat?"

QUIZ ANSWERS: 1-B; 2-A; 3-C; 4-C; 5-A

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