Jamaica slips down the list of world’s happiest countries.
The World’s Happiness Report for 2021 revealed that Jamaica is the 37th happiest country on earth, despite the many issues the country, like many, has been facing. These issues include the monster the world is currently facing, the COVID 19 pandemic, which has contributed to many other social issues in Jamaica- an increase in robberies, unemployment, inflation, and crime.
According to World Happiness Report 2021, Jamaica has a score of 6,309, making Jamaicans the happiest people in the Caribbean. The country was previously placed at 60. While there are pockets of glee in Jamaica, the questions arise as to whether this happiness is enough to be celebrated, and if it should be celebrated, would it not dominate newspaper headlines or be heard in just about every song that is recorded?
Music has always been a reflector of society. For example, the joyful, happy strings of ska reportedly carried Jamaicans through the period of independence, but the slow tantalizing beats of rocksteady, usually promoting the “rude boy”/ (“bad men” in modern day), was said to have developed after the struggles of an independent nation started to kick in. Songs such as “Rudy Don’t Fear” by Derrick Morgan and “Bam Bam” by Toots, and the Maytals reflected the Jamaican society during the 1970s, and 80’s when the country’s crime rate was peaking.
Since the revelation of Jamaica’s 37th place, persons have shared on social media that Jamaica appears to be happy because it is better to laugh at the situation they face rather than be distressed about it.
Urban Islandz spoke to upcoming Montego Bay-based artist, Fusion the Realest when he gave his take on the island’s recent ranking. “Jamaicans appreciate having a good time and always seem to make humor out of day to day experiences. This can be seen in many social media post. Its like a natural way of life for us,” Fusion told Urban Islandz.
The “Know Bout Dat” artist continued, “We are rich in natural resources and an ideal climate suitable for agriculture and tourism. As for poverty, the country has its economic challenges which should be addressed by the government.”
“Similar to most places in the world Jamaica, is a place where anyone can have a good time, especially natives. We enjoy a good concert, festivals, parties and the beach. This is mainly the side viewed by tourist. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other social aspects which needs to be addressed.”
So, can one say that Jamaica’s “happiness” is accurate even though it is not being reflected in the country’s music?
Jamaica’s music industry is still producing multiple songs about hardships, violence, and sex, with a small percentage of songs glorifying the happier times.
The World’s Happiness Report examines elements that create happiness in the world, such as social support, GDP per capita, perceived corruption, freedom to make life choices, healthy life expectancy, and generosity.