black british, tick.
Caribbean to be precise, Jamaica if we are really narrowing it down.
Returning to the UK after 10 days in Jamaica had me thinking about well, me. My life is British, I can relate to my British friends and yet my household doesn't feel like theirs. Mine is Caribbean and when I return home I am reminded that I am not just British, I am Black British.
My fruit bowl is full of Plantain, Mangos from the last family member that flew home to Jamaica, Avocado and yes Bananas, Apple and Grapes.
On Christmas day, just like all Brits we keep it as traditional as possible. Eggs, Sausages, Toast and Beans, followed by Callaloo, Ackee, Plantain and Fried Dumplings. Name a better combination? I'll wait.
The mix of a traditional English and Jamaican breakfast is too good. We even get out the special plates that sit in our mother's cabinet all year long. Rolls eyes.
In at least one of my family members house I've seen this bad boy in the bathroom, hallway or by the front door.
My mum becomes well and truly British when on the phone 'Oh hello, yes that would be absolutely smashing Amanda.' Alright I'm exaggerating a little. Maybe not 'smashing' but we all know they put on that 'white voice' for the world to hear.
But suddenly remembers where she comes from when I'm in trouble.
When she gives you that look in public, you guys know the one. You know it's about to go down when you get home but she isn't about to be caught looking like a crazy black woman in public.
I tried all of the free makeup in the magazines. My favourites were Sabrina's Secrets and Groovy Chick but they all looked somewhat like this. Never diverse. I wore them same way.
When your mum is cheating in the Olympics because she is really rooting for two teams. Great Britain's down? No problem, stand stall Jamaica. Pick a side, pick a side.
Having Salt, Pepper, Ginger, Garlic, All Purpose, Fish, Maggie, Curry Powder... Basically every kind of seasoning ever in that 'seasoning cupboard'.
Dinner could be Sausages and Mash, Fish and Chips or Shepard's Pie one night but then you can expect Curry Chicken, Ackee and Saltfish or Fried Fish for the rest of the week. Yum.
Feeling like the most Jamaican person in the world when you are in Britain but being reminded that you're from 'foreign' when in Jamaica. Oh, and they always know, you don't even have to speak and they know.
Wanting to bring your non black mates around but warning them that you're family are a 'little crazy'. Well I don't know about you guys but the hundreds of people in my family would scare many people off. "So you're all related?" "Yup." :)
Feeling confused when someone asks 'Where you from?' Do you mean my passport, where my home is based, or originally? so much pressure.
When you meet a non black person and they try to relate...
'I had curry goat once.'
'My friend got married in Barbados a few years ago'
'I like Sean Paul, I listen to him all the time.'
'Lucy has a girl from Jamaica in her class.'
Relevance? Little to none.
Being Black British is the best thing in the world. I feel very lucky to relate to 2 cultures. I also feel privileged to live in such a diverse city like London where you can meet people from all corners of the world but there's something about being in London that makes it easy to relate to them. Despite obviously being born in England, Jamaica will always feel like home. I have been going back there since I was 1 years old and I feel whole there.
Hope you guys loved this post as much as I did writing it. Anything you can relate to or anything I should add? Let me know, lol.
Shay RS x
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