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Rastafarians in VI

Rasta Langa
October 04, 2003 08:01PM

Hi my name is Langa, I am of Jamaican origin and would like immigrate to the Virgin Islands. I would like to do this because Jamaica is no longer safe for me and my two daughters, I am scared to have them out on the sidewalk. What is the Rasta community like in St. Thomas? Are they accepted? Are there many jamaicans?

Re: Rastafarians in VI

October 05, 2003 08:36PM

I can't comment about STT because I live on STX. There are many Rastas here. The most I have seen anywhere outside of Jamaca. I don't know about the number of Jamacans here. It seems to me that people are accepted as people. That's a good thing.

Re: Rastafarians in VI

October 05, 2003 09:19PM

as usual i agree with ric been here for 5 weeks and there is a tremendos rast a poulation here [stx] i once read that there are more true rastas onstx than any other island there are not a lot of jamacians from what i have seen, but a large poulation of people from st. lucia, antigua and puero rico, i truley believe stx is a wonderful place to raise children'' i feel for jamica because we traveled there for mqny years and felt the island to be one of the geograhically most beautiful we always felt safe but that was years ago and it has always broken my heart to seee what politics have done to a beautiful people and island i would strongly sugest you consider st. croix... there are a truley a beautiful commmunity of TRUE rasdtas living here and i think you will feel very accepted

Re: Rastafarians in VI

October 06, 2003 01:15AM

Hello Langa,

Yes there is an established Rastafarian population on St. Thomas. There is a community of Rastafarians that farm on the West End of the island and they frequently participate in agricultural fairs and expos. There are stererotypes that follow the group, but overall yes they are excepted. And there is a large group of people who wear locks but are not rastafarians; and sometimes their behaviors contribute negatively to the stereotypes generated toward all people with locks. Jamaicans - not a large community... there are Virgin Islanders, Puerto Ricans, folks of French descent, people from the British Virgin Islands, people from the US mainland, people from other islands like Dominica, Haiti, Santo Domingo, Anguilla, Antigua, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Trinidad and others.

All the best.


Re: Rastafarians in VI

October 07, 2003 08:30PM

There is a decent Rasta presence here, and as Islander said, a Rasta "settlement" of sorts in the west end (Bordeaux). I hiked around there once and it did remind me of parts of rural Jamaica that I've visited like the Blue Mountains and Cockpit Country. That said, this small area is about the only truly rural part of our small island.

It would help if you could say more about your lifestyle and the things you are looking for. Also, where in Jamaica are you coming from? As someone who's spent time in both Jamaica and St. Thomas I'd say one of the more striking contrasts is that St. Thomas feels so much more crowded, more hectic, more Americanized. That's not to say that Greater Kingston is not crowded and hectic, but at least in Jamaica you still have expansive rural areas when you want a break from the hustle and bustle. St. Thomas has a definite West Indian flavor but not one that is as strong or all-pervading as you find in Jamaica. It is not as West Indian as I expected it to be or wanted it to be. I like to think of the VI as a land of mixture and compromise more than anything else. Lots of different peoples and influences crammed into a small space.

There is certainly crime on St. Thomas, but it does not pose nearly the threat to one's safety that you might experience in parts of Kingston for example. We have slum neighborhoods but not war zones. There is more order and the rule of law is generally upheld (though of course not by stateside standards). Economically you'd probably fare better here, just being part of the United States and earning US rather than Jamaican dollars. As I said this is a place of mixture and compromise. I highly recommend coming for a long scouting mission before you make any serious plans.

Also, what is your immigration status? My brother-in-law is Jamaican and had quite a time jumping through all the hoops when he left the country several years ago.

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