March 09, 2010


The other day I went into a shop ' pon di corner' and overheard a discussion on the issue of how Jamaican people badmind. Well, if you live in Jamaica or you follow the culture then hearing that being uttered would not sound unfamiliar; since it is a resounding topic in the dancehall sphere and in the daily bickerings of Jamaicans. There are many others which prevail, but badmind aka grudgeful, undermining behaviour is the focus this time around.

I walked away after my transaction and no I did not get involved into the discussion because in our culture, you would be greeted with a 'ah who did a talk to you', be shot the corresponding glance, cause a pause in the conversation with the accompanying hand on hip, complete with a back turn, followed by a resumption of the converation sans your input or a suspiscious eyebrow raise with silence from the other parties to the conversation. In other words, if you are not invited to the discussion, don't insert yourself unless you know the individuals.

A few hours later the discussion in the shop re-entered my mind in a curious way. I thought about how many discussions like that I had heard across the island in different age groups, sexes, class, educational levels, sexuality and income brackets and you know what, they all sound alike maybe some with a bit more body accenture, vocal levels, a varying blend of English to Patois or colorization of language.

What struck me was that, the issue of bad mind like our inefficient business practices and ever mounting national debt is nothing new, is acknowledge by most and many persons are self appointed authorities on the matter and most importantly, it is always someone who 'ah badmind dem', so I put it to you, if Jamaican people badmind and each and every one of them is always complaining how him or her badmind, who are they and if they complain about others, then are you not badmind too? More importantly, if we have so many Connoisseurs of the subject, how is it that it can't be controlled or reversed or better yet stopped?


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