A famous saying in Patois is “One one cocoa, full basket.” This means that success doesn’t come overnight, you will have to work from scratch to get success. Back home in Jamaica, this is what we all believe in, that nothing comes easy and we have to work hard every day for things to work. Patois is broken English that is derived from Creole. It has West African influences. My family grew up speaking Patois and every time I ask my mom if she thinks that someone will love me, she would say, “Every hoe ha them stick a bush." This means that there is someone out there for everyone to love whatever your looks, shape, colour, and condition. Then I would reply, “mom with you, everything cook and curry." This means that everything is just right with mom. I have been speaking this pidgin language since I was a baby until now because it runs in my bloodline. I talk Patois only when I’m at home speaking to my peers and family members. I do not use the language in school, church, or any other institutions because it is deemed disrespectful to speak in such manner towards strangers, especially people such as police officers, teachers, etc. Now that I am here in America, I talk in Jamaican Standard English when I go outside because most non- Jamaicans don’t understand the dialect. Patois allows me to express myself as a young girl with Jamaican roots inside me and it makes me feel comfortable and happy.

Year: 2016

– Shaleka

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