Interview of a CCSU student and her mother. The two were asked question about their ethnic background. Mom was born in Jamaica and grew up there. While the daughter was born in USA. The two talked about how they maintain their Jamaican heritage.


Alex Ambroise
Sammy Campoverde


04/23/2022 New Britain, CT at Heritage Fiesta


Sammy: Good afternoon I’m going to be giving the interview. My name is Sammy, and Jocelyn is going to be taking notes. What are your guys' names?

Kadajah: Kadajah Laidley

Jacqueline: My name is Jacqueline Gayle.

Sammy: I appreciate that, you don't have to answer these two questions, um what's your date of birth?

Kadajah: September 26, 2000, I’m 21

Sammy: I appreciate that, um where are you guys from?

Kadajah: Um, my family is from Jamaica, they were born in Jamaica and I was born here.

Sammy: So would you say your second generation?

Kadajah: Uhm

Sammy: Um, what about here in Connecticut, where do you guys stay at?

Kadajah:West Hartford

Sammy: West Hartford, umm so can you describe you know, what this is?

Kadajah: This is um, basically the translation of our regular English to patios, which is the language that Jamaicans speak, so it just broke English basically.

Jacqueline: Broken English

Sammy: It's kinda like a dialect?

Kadajah: Yeah, uhm, so these are a couple translations

Jacqueline: The official language of Jamaica is English but the dialect is patios.​​

Sammy: yeah you guys [inaudible/couldn't hear properly] I had a roommate who was Jamaican and when he was on the phone with his mom or when he was mad it would come out and stuff, especially when he was mad it would come out in the most unexpected moments. Um what about, whose this in the picture.

Kadajah:​​ This is my grandmother. She is basically like the whole like package. In the family she has like 10 kids.

Jacqueline: 13 kids. I'm number 13.

Sammy: Um, was this picture taken here?

Kadajah: Yeah

Jacqueline: That picture was taken here at my aunty Claudie house

Sammy: Do you guys still practice patois at home

Jacqueline: We speak patois, um yeah, like we’ll talk to each other

Kadajah: She’ll talk to me I'll talk to her

Jacqueline: If I'm on the phone with my sisters or any one of my friends from Jamaica I speak Patois
Sammy: So do you say that's a way you feel connected with your culture?

Jacqueline: Basically yeah and other ways too but the dialogue is good.

Sammy: Do you guys plan on sharing this with other family members, teaching the younger

Jacqueline: We don't teach them eventually

JK: They usually just pick it up.

Jacqueline: We don't sit down and teach, it's just something they pick up. Just like Spanish or French or English, if you are in a home with mom and dad speaking French growing up you know they’re going to speak French too, you really don't need to sit down and teach them.

Sammy: Do you guys do anything else to keep in touch with your culture like cook certain foods?

Jacqueline: Cooking um, church

Kadajah:​​ Going back to Jamaica

Jacqueline: I just came back from Jamaica

Kadajah: She goes, so I think that keeps us connected

Jacqueline: I just came back on Sunday, I can show you something really quick

Sammy: You guys go down regularly?

Kadajah: I haven't been-

Jacqueline: She hasn’t been for awhile, but I go regularly, I started going regularly now after 12 years I've been back. The older you get the more you want to travel back to your home.

Sammy: [inaudible/couldn't hear properly]

Jacqueline: When I was younger no, cause you're busy but now I want to go home every year as I get older I wanna go back every 6 months because I'm a United states citizen, that's what I’m going to do for my retirement. 6 months of winter in Jamaica and 6 months here.

Jocelyn: That's what my aunt does in Puerto Rico.

Jacqueline: That’s how they do it, believe me, when my daughter gets around that age group, I'll see her start coming more often to visit me in Jamaica. I'm just imagining. you wanna see the beach or waterfall?

Sammy: I’ll take a quick look….how strongly do you feel connected to your culture?

Kadajah: I feel connected, I know a lot about the culture, the food, the language

Sammy: Would you say you feel more connected to your Jamaican or American culture?

Kadajah: My Jamaican culture

Sammy: Mmhmm

Jacqueline: I picked some mangoes from the trees, and for the home I took some pictures from the garden; It's a different life from here, this is our next door neighbor.

Sammy: Do you mind telling me the story of when you came here?

Jacqueline: I came here when I was 16

Sammy: So you came with your parents

Jacqueline: I came with my parents

Kadajah: Tell them the whole story of how you came to Canada

Jacqueline: When I was 16 I came to Canada. The old family, everybody came to Canada, so when I was 23 or before I was 25 I moved down here because my sister was down here in West Hartford.

Kadajah: She came before her family

Jacqueline: Yeah, she came up first

Sammy: So she kind of established a base for you guys?

Jacqueline: Remember there's 13 of us. Like one sister came to the United States, and one sister came to Canada. So the sister that went to Canada in the late 60’s applied for all the family so we came up. And then the sister that came here in like 70 something, so I used to travel back and forth from the bus when school give holidays. Then I came to Connecticut in 1985-6 and I stayed and went to college.

Kadajah: Eventually everyone came to Connecticut

Jacqueline: My sister Julie still lives back there in Canada. The family get big so…I have a big family here in West Hartford, I have a big family in Toronto and a big family in New York, family expands, kids get born.

Sammy: Do you guys still keep in touch with all those-um

Jacqueline: Yeah

Kadajah: The picture is like mostly everybody because I was at my grandmas funeral

Jacqueline: oh the old family

Kadajah: Now it's expanded even more. Now it's like more because more people have kids and stuff

Jacqueline: All my nieces they have kids, all my nephews they have kids, I have great great nieces and great nephews. 12345 generations; I'm just the youngest of the big family

Kadajah: I'm the youngest great child

Jacqueline: And she's the youngest of the new family because we are the youngest, I'm number 13….. You wanna meet the family, it's big, it's a lot of kids, Now there's a lot of younger kids, they're all over, Connecticut, New York, upstate New York and Toronto and Jamaica. I just came back from Jamaica away from my family, away from the beach, the waterfall.

Sammy: You bring anything back, like food?

Jacqueline: I bring back red stripe bear, rum, rum punch, white rum

Kadajah: Mangoes

Jacqueline: Mangoes, um lemon grass, I bring back everything I could, I mean when you reach at immigration I tell myself that if they gonna take stuff from me I’m gonna chance it my mangoes cause these mangoes are not here in Connecticut, so I bring back 8-9 mangoes so I could share and give, and they didn’t take them so I walked through. My jerk seasoning to do my jerk chicken and seasonings, nutmeg the little one, I bring back the peanut grace cake, um

Kadajah: Jamaican beef patties

Jacqueline: I bring back the beef patty, the Jamaican beef patty.

Kadajah: Yeah [Laughing]

Jacqueline: I had 123 two suitcase in my travel bag so one of my suitcases filled with my clothes and one of my suitcase filled with my items but in between my clothes, they could've taken it you know


Sammy: It’s the environment its grown in.

Jacqueline: I have her aunts from Waterbury and Bridgeport. They ask me where my mangos are. They both drove up to get some mangos and fever grass by cutting a little off with scissors. And I also give them rum crème and a red stripe beer because its expensive here in the United States. One bottle is 5 dollars. They don’t sell it, at the liquor store.

Sammy: The liquor stores?

Jacqueline: Not the red stripe here, you can get it, get it at black stores

Kadajah: Like Jamaican, or Asians stores

Jacqueline: They usually have it under the counter, and you have to ask “Do you have any red stripe beer?” They then pull out from under the counter and they charge $5 for a small bottle. It’s the taste, it’s the taste of the Strawberry Red Stripe. Oh I have a picture of it, I was drinking it last night.


Jacqueline: Then I have to drink it half and leave the other half in the refrigerator. In case I don’t have to finish it in one day because I can’t afford to buy a bottle, its like $4 or $5. So I drink it little by little and live some in the frig, Right now I have 4 bottles left, so it should last me until July, I have one bottle a month. Its to serve me, I could spend $30 to get 5 bottles but its so expensive. So that’s why when I go to Jamaica I have a few once in awhile. I drink 3 or 4 at a time, but when I can sit back and relax at the beach I may have a few more because I live down the street from the beach or I would have someone pick me up depending on how drunk I am.

Sammy: You wouldn’t want to be kidnapped.

JACQUELINE: They don’t kidnap me, trust me they don’t kidnap you, You are free there. But the red stripe beer. Let me show you a picture of the beer.

Sammy: When you go back to Jamaica to do you take anything from here to Jamaica

*Process to show the picture on her phone.*

JACQUELINE: There is just something about that drink. When I in Jamaica I have 3 or 4 at a time. But here only once in a while. I take sips at a time

Kadajah: She likes to stretch it out.

JACQUELINE: Yeah I stretch it out. She knows not to touch them in the frig.

Sammy: Do you take anything from the United States back to Jamaica.

Jacqueline: Clothes and Money

Kadajah: She will send barrels and fill them up with clothes or other items. The barrels would be sent before she leaves for vacation. There like big bins that you can pack with different things.

Sammy: Oh so do you send them through an agency?

K+Jacqueline: Yeah, it’s a local agency

Kadajah: Yeah they send it out to Jamaica, but before they have to check
it, and weight it out first.

Sammy: So first they check the items and then they weight it? Is that how they charge you, based on weight?

Jacqueline: Yes that’s how its done, we usually send personal items from home, for example stuff for the kitchen or bedroom like clothes.

Kadajah: Say your asked for a microwave, you could put the microwave in it

Jacqueline: Or personal items like clothes and shoes.
Kadajah Some of the bins are made from plastic, and people will usually use them to collect rainwater. And they use that water for stuff

Jacqueline: Because ounce its finished its used for water. So nothing goes to waste. So this is when I was on the beach

*Shows off picture on phone*

JACQUELINE: With my mango and red stripe. Look professor I was on the beach with my mango and Red stripe.

Coro: I’m going to have to taste those mangos, you know the Mexican mangos in my option they are the most delicious.
Kadajah: What are you guys planning to do with this information? Are you guys working on a project?

Sammy: So on the school library website, we are going to submit the
artifacts and interviews with a short description of the name and all of that.

*Short segment that’s not audible*

Jocelyn: So are you going with her?

Kadajah: Yes in the summer I’m trying too, Its expensive

*Jacqueline should off another picture on her phone*

Jacqueline: This is the regular beach, its down the street, so every
morning I go there. They know me by now when I’m coming. Oh professor I’m at the beach.

Jocelyn: You’re having a good time out there

Jacqueline: I go down to this beach everyday, everyday

Jocelyn: What’s name of that beach?

Jacqueline: Flavor beach, they got a restaurant and bar at the beach, They have a hotel, the Jewel Hotel its not that far

Jocelyn: Why doesn’t the History Club take a trip to Jamaica

Jacqueline: Flavor Beach and the Jewel Hotels

Jocelyn: Oh that’s very nice, that’s beautiful.

Jacqueline: Yeah

Jocelyn: What would you call this?

Kadajah: What would you call this?
Points to the banner and asks her mom.

Jocelyn: Cause you would hang It up

Jacqueline: Didi you show professor?

Kadajah: No, what would something like that be called?

Jacqueline: It’s a translator English to Patwa. The dialogue in Patwa is here and the English over here. So when me and her and her are speaking Jamaican. I would say, I would say “Si me yeh” in English its “Here I am” So I think in every Caribbean country they would have these in French and Spanish.

Jocelyn: That’s really cool

Jacqueline: Yeah its really cool, so when were here we talk Jamaican, the dialectic is here and the translation in English. See Patwa is how its spoken in Jamaica.

Kadajah: That’s not how its spell though. Its spelt Patois, but pronounced like that

Jacqueline; If you google it comes out like Patois. That’s the English word, but in our word it’s the way you pronounce the word its Patwa, But in the English I don’t know why its spelt like that.

Jocelyn; That’s weird its spelt like that.

Jacqueline: I don’t know, its maybe, that’s why its called broken English. Its mainly Creole French or other African. But that’s the word for English in the dictionary. But the word when I say it with my mouth its PA-TWA P A T W A patwa, right. Yeah I think this way is better than the Patois way

Jocelyn: Yeah, this a lot easier to pronounce

Jacqueline: This is my little Jamaica
*Is showing off the banner*

Jocelyn: I love it

Jacqueline: Yeah. Did I buy this at the airport? No I didn’t, but they have it the airport too because I came up from bay area where all the tourist stay

Sammy: Is there any differences in like depending what part of Jamaica you are? Maybe about the words they say.

Jacqueline+K(at same time): No all of Jamaica it’s the same.

Kadajah: Like there are country places like beachy, and city areas
Jacqueline: More City and country now. Montego Bay is more country and Kingston in more City. Like two airports one in Montego Bay and the other Kingston. One airport on the next end of the country, in the middle you drive. But I was there last week, it’s a lot better way than it was 10 years ago. There’s a new highway and business. A new Kentucky fired chicken.

Kadajah: Yeah they are starting to Americanize everywhere

Jacqueline: Starbucks and other restaurants I’ve never seen. You have starbucks

Jocelyn: They are trying to attract more people

Jacqueline: Domino’s Pizza, Starbucks, Burger King.

Kadajah: But a lot of, a lot of people are coming in. I feel like soon it will turn to like Puerto Rico. I feel like Americans are going to take over. But, its mostly like English and Asian countries that own a lot of stuff in Jamaica. So you see a lot of Asian Jamaicans and Indian Jamaicans. Like there is all types of people.




Alex Ambroise Sammy Campoverde , “Laidley,” Latino History Harvest, accessed May 19, 2024,

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