Jamaica in Amharic

ጃማይካ (Jamaica) in አማርኛ (Amharic), by Jordan Engel
ጃማይካ (Jamaica) in አማርኛ (Amharic), by Jordan Engel

The Rastafari movement is a faith which began in ጃማይካ (Jamaica) in the 1930s. Though Jamaicans primarily speak an English-African Creole language known as Patois, many Rastafari learn Amharic, a Semitic language from Ethiopia, as a second language, as they consider it to be a sacred language. In fact, the word “Rastafari” comes from two Amharic words – ራስ (Ras – literally “head”), which is an Ethiopian title equivalent to prince or chief, and ተፈሪ (Tafari – the given name of Haile Selassie at birth). ኪንግስተን (Kingston) is the largest city on the island, which is surrounded by ካሪቢያን ባሕር (The Caribbean Sea).

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