Roxanne Knight is a second-year journalism and English major at St. Thomas University from Kingston, Jamaica. Her pastimes include reading, writing, and photography. Home is a bi-weekly column about students who have come to Canada for university, or have moved to Canada from a different country.
Home is where our dearest memories reside. For some, their home may be a place, a person, or even a thing. For me, it is a small island in the tropics. The land of wood and water. The country that is likkle, little or small, but tallawah, strong or mighty. It’s a country well known for its timeless music, savoury cuisines and lively people. To me, it is my home. Sweet, sweet Jamaica.
Jamaica is a place I could never forget. After living there for the past 18 years, I‘ve learned to love my culture for what it is.
At first, I was elated when I moved to Fredericton last year to attend St. Thomas University.
I lived on that small island for so long and spent the majority of my life in school, so I took certain things for granted.
The longer I stay in Fredericton, the longer I crave to hear the daily music blaring in the streets.
I crave the taste of the delicious, multicultural foods like curried chicken, which originates from India, and bammy bread made from the cassava root and originates from the Indigenous people of the island.
I crave to feel the hot sun kissing my skin and to hear the fresh island breeze whisper in my ears.
I miss the sight of pedestrians and street vendors crowding the streets.
I crave the hustle and bustle and fast-paced living of my small island called home.
One of my favourite memories of Jamaica is when I stayed at my grandparents’ home in the countryside when I was younger. I remember heading to the town marketplace with my grandma one sunny day. We were walking down a hill, I was skipping with joy, my grandmother carried a basket filled with eggs and other items on her head. I was amazed by how skilled she was.
I asked her how she was able to manage such a heavy basket on top of her head while walking into town.
“Practice,” she said, with a big smile on her face that made my day ten times brighter.
When we arrived at the marketplace, my grandmother brought flour and bread. She sold a few dozen eggs my grandfather got from their chicken coop in the backyard. She made light conversation with a few vendors and pedestrians who knew her. She introduced me with immense pride swelling her chest. Pride filled me up as well, as I was lucky to have a woman like my grandmother in my life.
I still think about that day sometimes. I think about the greenness of the land, the bright blue sky, the birds flying high. The strength and liveliness of my elders as they passed me by. I remember how happy I was to tell my mum about my adventure into town with grandma. I will never forget that day, in my home: sweet, sweet Jamaica.
HOME is a bi-weekly column where people from different countries can express what home means to them. If you would like to write for this column, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org