Was kinda fun, actually.
When we went in, we had to go to a room to pray (while facing the east) and also, we put our left hand on our heart whilst doing so.
They pray when they come in the camp, & when they come out.
For the ladies, our hair had to be fully covered.
The women had to be ‘clean’ or they couldn’t enter the camp. Clean meaning, it had to be 21 days after their period just started or 14 days after it ended. For the women who stay there…they are separated from the men during these 21 days or so.
Every woman who came saw their cycle in June (whistles)
Then we went up the the church for service & reasoning. It was a fasting day, so the ..priests (?)dressed in white. We had to go in barefoot, with no jewellery on except a watch. (Who knew they kept the Sabbath????)
Their church service was ….interesting. A lot of chanting and scriptures…and after almost everything I heard ‘Jah Rastafari, Selassie-I Rastafari,or Marcus-I Rastafari’ They are very reverent, nah lie. And oh yeah, for greetings, you place your left hand on your heart & say..’Blessed Love’. So if you wanna leave the church you do that & leave. They had a lot of flags & pics with Selassie (and his wife). Each flag had their special meaning.
After the prayers, hymns, drums, flag waving, and chanting, it was time for the reasoning. We asked questions we deemed relevant for our field report. I asked what was the significance of wearing black over white, but not white over black & they said that it’s to show black sovereignty (in a non bigot way) & those who wear the white over black still show that the white race has some form of control over them…it’s just their way of showing their freedom. They also believe that the whites should repatriate them by sending a ship to carry them to Ethiopia, just as how they used a ship to take them from Africa & scattered them all over the world. According to them all blacks are Africans, & until we get that mindset…chaos will still reign. So, I’m not Jamaican (in spite of being born here), I’m an African. They believe every race has their own God. Europeans with their Christian God, Asians with Shiva, Buddha & whoever else there is & so forth, and when each race moves back to their rightful homeland, the world will be complete. The boboshanti also gave us their calendar of celebrations. They celebrate Selassie’s birthday, the day he visited Jamaica, the celebration of woman’s liberation league day…their new year, they have dates from January to December. They don’t say MEN or WOMEN, by the way. They say MAN(s) & WOMAN(s) because MEN & WOMEN = SATAN, while MAN & WOMAN = God & Goddess.
They aren’t confined or anything, contrary to beliefs. I saw a little boy with his BB Torch, playing his boboshanti song that he recorded on it. The children go to school on the outside, but they must remember that the camp is the highest school. So the highest form of knowledge comes from up there. They say it’s fine to do whatever but if you don’t remember the King in all things you do, it’s like you’re still stupid. So if I become a doctor, but I don’t apply Rastafari/ Selassie to it…it didn’t make any sense to go to medical school. What else…? Uhmm The man & woman are separated in the church & during food time. We asked why for the church…they said if they come together…there will be ‘vibrations’ (wink wink).
They have a special rainbow flag…can’t remember what exactly was said about it, but they wear colours according to the flag on certain days. The day we went was a purple day, I think. When you wore the purple on that day, you were protected from evil. If yellow was worn (e.g.), you’d be prone to evil forces.
We asked why they keep their hair covered. It’s to keep it from eye pollution & literal pollution. Their locs are their covenant, so it’s very important to them. It’s a choice if you want to grow locs as well.
Then it was time to eat. After arriving in the royal food house, we got freshly baked bread, toto, pudding & fritters (I fell in love with the fritters). They don’t eat meat, only fish. The drink was carrot & ginger juice, which…actually didn’t taste bad (I hate veggies). While we ate, Empress Sharon spoke to the ladies about the whole unclean/clean thing & what the ladies could do during that time. Apparently, they aren’t allowed to read spiritual documents during that time, they are ministered to by an Empress.
We toured the rest of the place….I should have worn sneakers -.-. They showed us how they made most of their income (broom making). They sell other little souvenirs as well. There was a sweet little girl named Makeda, I wish I could have taken her home! She’s something else. What else? They have a beeeeaaaaaaauuuuuuuutiful view of the sea, oh my gosh I could not stop staring. Even during the church service, my face was just turned to the beautiful bluuuuue(my favourite colour) water.
Okay, that’s sort of it. I have some comments I think I should keep to myself. And I left out a good amount, but that is for my field report due next week :).