“Out of many, one people.” This is the national motto of Jamaica, my birthplace.
This motto fits the mix of many cultures and ethnicities in Jamaica perfectly.
Several years ago, my family hosted a family reunion in Jamaica. Over a hundred family members attended. My cousin Tanya devoted much love and many hours of time to creating a giant family tree with photographs representing each branch of the Levy family. Because of my grandfather’s many brothers and sisters, the tree was astoundingly large.
I was amazed at the diversity in the Levy family. Every color of skin, eyes, and hair was represented—from blonde hair and blue eyes fairer than mine to the darkest skin and eyes. Chinese Jamaicans. Black Jamaicans. White Jamaicans. Jewish Jamaicans. Anglican Jamaicans. It did not matter what you looked like. You were a Levy.
It was so wonderful to see the next generation of Levys playing together at the beach and the pool during the reunion.
As we all posed on a giant staircase for a group photo, I thought, “How lucky am I to come from this? Out of these many people? Out of this Levy clan?”
My family has achieved a lot in Jamaica, and we have given much back to the island and its people. I am proud of my heritage. I am proud to have Levy blood in my veins. I am proud of the cultural diversity my family represents. I am proud of my sweet Jamaica.
Remember, when all else fails, family will be there.
Until next time.