September 18, 2006 at 4:24 pm 11 comments

We were talking at work today about ‘people who go a fariegn’ and the discussion went around to what their responsibilities are. This all came about because someone had been to a funeral where the relative from foreign stood up and said ‘Me always loved mi auntie. Even though I was in fariegn, she did always send me tings and look after me.’

Now apparently that is not acceptable and the woman who stood up should have been so ashamed of herself that she should have kept her mouth shut. For how can we expect someone in Jamaica to support someone in foreign? Things should always be the other way around!

They should send you…
… Barrel at Christmas
… Barrel with school bag and shoes at the start of the school year
… Medicines for whoever in the extended family might be sick
… Food supplies (as even if you can get them here, they taste better when they come from foreign)
… Clothes to wear to funeral, wedding, Easter Sunday church, graduation, court, hospital …
… Supplies in case of an emergency

And if they aren’t able to fulfil these duties? Then they disappear and never visit home. People can’t face coming back to Jamaica and having people think that they were not a success. As everyone knows, once you work hard a fariegn, then you will become rich.

Which is why people are confused by people like my friend who gone to fareign but her fariegn is to work for UN in Africa…. not really going to be sending back barrels from there!!!


Entry filed under: On being a working girl, On nothing in particular.

More on the issue… Why come back?

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Yamfoot  |  September 18, 2006 at 8:27 pm

    We used to get barrel from maternal grandma in NY. She would have lists in there as to what each person should get (she was one of 13 kids, so sent for those who were still in Jamaica) and my mother would have to aportion them out.

    I always found though, that the food would taste like the Dove or Irish Spring soap that it was lying next to in the barrel. Can’t say that fareign food tasted better than yardie food.

  • 2. Melody  |  September 18, 2006 at 10:11 pm

    That’s true, Yammie: ‘Camay cookies’ — always thought that, but now U’ve said as much about your own experience. Who could’ve honestly complained that farin crackers were dry, when de bokkle o’ Jergens lotion always bus’ & soak up every-ting!

  • 3. Gela's Words  |  September 19, 2006 at 12:56 am

    This just brings back memories of the kick-me-kill-me shoes and turtle neck tops that my father use to send me from Canada. He’d been in Canada too long and probably forgot that the turtle necks weren’t really necessary. The children use to tease me about my pointed shoes.

    When I got older I loved my mother went to the States. I’d travel to the US with a US$1000 and come back with two shoes, three tops and she’d travel with US$500 and bring back 4 barrels in addition to her two well stuffed suitcases and hand luggage. Good ole days.

  • 4. Leon  |  September 19, 2006 at 7:51 pm

    That’s true. The reason people go to “foreign” is to get a better life. And why don’t you visit my blog? I visit yours all the time.

  • 5. Guyana-Gyal  |  September 19, 2006 at 8:29 pm

    I have a friend who worked in Africa and boy, she discovered some pretty good stuff.

    Haha, talking about barrel, somebody wrote a letter in the newspapers saying the barrels must stop ’cause people here get too lazy and depend on family abroad to support them and they don’t work ’cause o’ that.

  • 6. Gela's Words  |  September 20, 2006 at 2:05 pm

    Yeah GG, it happens here as well. You do have people who just sits and wait on the barrels and the envelope with money.

  • 7. Dr. D.  |  September 20, 2006 at 7:47 pm

    I was going to say the same thing that GG mentioned. I detest this dependency syndrome that having people in ‘farin’ has created. Many here feel that their people in ‘States’ and ‘Henglan’ doh haffi damn well work and buss dem tail to earn a bread. They always exppect to be showered in everything from dem people a farin. Furthermore, when it comes to clothes if is nt ‘name brand’ tings, dem n uh want it! Anybody give dem people ‘up so’ anything fe put inna bank and grow interest? Dem lucky dem people in farin remember dem! I say get up and go look work.

    This reminds me of ‘Greetings from the UK’ that comes on the TV near Christmas, where one lady said near to the end of her little clip….”Tell Granny seh de teet (teeth…denture) is into de barrel!” LOL!!!

  • 8. Beaver  |  September 20, 2006 at 11:11 pm

    what a common set up. it still blows my mind though.

  • 9. Ri  |  September 21, 2006 at 4:14 pm

    The dependency syndrome, or the basket case mentality, is a bit of a shame. In fact, one of the Ja’can govt. ministers was recently in the US boasting how remittances was one of Jamaica’s highest sources of income.

  • 10. Gela's Words  |  September 21, 2006 at 9:45 pm

    Dr.D that’s so funny. That actually happened?

  • 11. Guyana-Gyal  |  September 22, 2006 at 2:03 pm

    Man, DrD, you musta hear ‘tea’ not teet hahaha


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About me

I'm a twenty-something year old girl living in Kingston, Jamaica. These are some stories from my life.
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