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Annual Jamaican Independence Competition, July 24, 2008, Florida

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The Jamaica Information Service in Miami is now accepting entries for the annual Independence Essay Competition, which forms part of the Jamaica Independence celebrations throughout the Florida communities.

The contest now in its eighth year, is open to all Jamaican children, first and second generation, and residing in Florida State, The deadline for participating entries is Thursday, July 24th.  The winner in each category will be awarded with a plaque from the Jamaica Consulate General.

The merit to this project is to advance community awareness while exposing our youth to their Jamaican culture and heritage.  As they research and prepare compositions, applicants are given the opportunity to reflect on the nation’s history and culture; look at the impact of their Jamaican roots on their upbringing; and the positive events that have catapulted Jamaica and its Diaspora in the global arena.

Consul General Ricardo Allicock continues to encourage children in the Diaspora to take interest in the annual Essay Competition emphasizing that the occasion would inspire young Jamaicans to more seriously consider learning the island of their origin.

Students can choose from a selection of topics related to the island’s cultural heritage some of which include community leadership, entertainment, education, history and culture, geography and national development.

Applicants must be between five and eighteen years of age and resident here in Florida.  There are three age categories for the responses five to eight (5-8); nine to twelve (9-12); and thirteen to eighteen (13-18).

For information on entering the contest, interested persons can contact the local JIS office at the Jamaica Consulate General in Miami located at 25 Southeast Second Avenue, Suite 609, telephone (305-374-8431 ext. 232) email [email protected] or the Consulate’s website at www.jamaicacgmiami.org

Essay topics are as follows:

1. Write about your two favorite places in Jamaica.  These could include historic landmarks, places of recreation, cities, or even your family home.  Name them and describe why they are your favorite.
2. How do you think Jamaican youth in the Diaspora can best contribute to the nation’s development in the global arena.
3. Do you know of a Jamaican group or Jamaican individual who has made an outstanding contribution to their community? If so, write about their contribution and its impact on that community in which he or she resides. (e.g. anyone with an extraordinary achievement.)
4. What is the origin of ‘reggae music’ and explain the role that this genre of music has played in Jamaica’s social, cultural and economic development.
5. Who was Jamaica’s first Prime Minister? Describe briefly how his life and work impacted our nation during his tenure.
6. Briefly describe the significance of Jamaica’s five national symbols.
7. There are several prominent Jamaican landmarks (e.g. Port Royal, Devon House, Rose Hall Great House, Spanish Town, etc.) Choose any Jamaican landmark that you know and explain briefly its context to Jamaica’s rich cultural heritage.

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Written by Staff Writer