Dominican Republic and Jamaica, Sisters of the Caribbean
The Caribbean is a mixture of different cultures and people. Jamaica is under the island of Cuba and on the west side of Haiti. The Dominican Republic shares it land with Haiti on the west and Puerto Rico is on the east, crossing the ??canal de la mona??. These islands may look similar in a geographical view but they have some peculiarities. Aspects like their languages and the political situation where they are living make them unique. Since the new world was discovered, these lands were attractive and a new source of economic gain for Europe.
Dominicans and Jamaicans have in common some historic facts as the immigration of slaves from Africa. Although Dominican R. and Jamaica are both Caribbean islands that have similar geographical characteristics, they differ in language, politics, and culture. In the first place, the geography of Dominican Republic and Jamaica is very similar. In both places you can find white sand, clear water and palm trees decorating their blue sky. Comparing their extension, [D. Mascasas, 2001] Jamaicans have 10,991 square kilometers and the Dominicans 48,442 square kilometers.
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They both are small countries with tropical characteristics that are a magnet for tourist, representing a huge improvement in the economy of these places. It is obvious that the tourism has made a high jump in the Dominican market, the best example is Punta Cana and it development on the last decade. In contrast, Jamaica and Dominican Republic do not share the same language. Jamaica was colonized by Great Britain so it is normal to hear them speaking English. Equally important the Dominicans speak Spanish thanks to the power placed by Spain.
It is peculiar that Jamaica is the only country in the great Antilles with English as official language. The catholic alliteration imposed to the natives of ??La Hispaniola?? was crucial in the expansion of Spanish language. The politics are also quite different and it is quite obvious by comparing these two islands. Taking a look to Jamaica, they present a parliamentary democracy, with a first minister. In the Dominican Republic is used a unitary representative democratic republic. A president is the head of the executive power of the Dominican State. Jamaica was ruled by Spain until 1665 and then became occupied by the British.
They emancipated in 1833 but in 1866 Jamaicans passed into a Crown colony with Elizabeth II as a queen. As a matter of fact, the Dominicans were dominated by Spain and then Haiti took possession of the whole island. Eventually in 1844 the Independence was declared, perhaps it was interrupted, this is an independent democratic island. The last but not the least important, the culture. In Jamaica we can see that has a strong global presence. The musical genres reggae, ska, mento, rocksteady, dub and, more recently, dancehall and ragga all originated in the island’s vibrant, popular urban recording industry.
Jamaica also played an important role in the development of punk rock, through reggae and ska. Reggae has also influenced American rap music, as they both share their roots as rhythmic, African styles of music. In the other hand the culture and people of the Dominican Republic, like its Spanish Caribbean neighbors, is a blend of the cultures of the Spaniard colonists, African slaves, and Taino natives. European, African and Taino cultural elements are most prominent in food, family structure, religion and music.
Many Arawak/Taino names and words are used in daily conversation and for many foods native to the Dominican Republic. With this analysis, it is clear that the Caribbean is very diverse, but has a common beauty. Jamaica and Dominican Republic share a geographical point that make them look similar. In a further view, the islands mentioned differ on their languages based on their own colonizers. Continuing with the comparison, it can be found that also their languages are different. These last aspects make them special and different from all other islands.
1. ( Pearson Education, 2012) http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107662.html?pageno=3
2. (http://latinamericanhistory.about.com/od/historyofthecaribbean/p/santodomingo.htm) 3. (Zamora Editores, 2001)