Jamaica Patois Wisdom - Clothing

by Jefferson David Tant

The Jamaican Patois dialect is colorful, unique and humorous. It is my desire to share some of the philosophy shown in this mix of colorful phrases that are witty as well as thought-provoking. I hope the readers both profit and enjoy. In my quarter-century plus of teaching there, I have come to appreciate some things about their culture.

PATOIS – When di gal dem dress like prostitute, it comin like pig a roll ina mud. Mi we get attention from pigs mose of all dough.
ENGLISH – When a girl dresses like a prostitute, it's like a pig rolling in the mud. The girl will get attention, but mostly from pigs.
MEANING – When a girl dresses immodestly, she will attract attention, but mostly the wrong kind of men.

Why do some females dress the way they do? I suppose there are various reasons, which would include comfort, fashion/style, to impress, to attract, to display, etc. To display? Display what? Their body, of course! Why else do they wear low cut or tight fitting and revealing outfits that call for the world to "Look at me! See my beautiful body! Aren't my short shorts cute?"

I know not all women who dress immodestly have that foremost in their minds, but I wonder if they really look at themselves in the mirror before they leave the house. Or how about young girls that dress that way. Don't they have parents? Especially fathers, who obviously know how men think. Why would husbands or fathers want human pigs leering at their wives and daughters?

The women that I know would be highly offended if some man propositioned them. But if you have nothing to sell, then you are guilty of false advertising. I remember teaching a group of high school students at summer camp years ago, and the question came up as to why girls wear revealing clothing. The answer the students gave was "Advertising!"

For years my wife and I have taken several young people with us to do mission work in Jamaica, where the rate of sexual immorality is off the charts. At times when a group of us are walking around town, we are approached and asked, "Are you Christians?" Why would that be suspected of us? Because we are dressed modestly, and most tourists are not so attired. And of course this sometimes presents an opportunity to have a discussion and study with the questioner.

Job made a covenant:  "I have made a covenant with my eyes; How then could I gaze at a virgin?" (Job 31:1). Obviously, we cannot help seeing an immodestly dressed woman, but men can choose not to stare and allow lust to enter their hearts. "... every one that looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matthew 5:28). Thus if a woman dresses in such a way as to cause a man to lust after her, she has committed sin herself.

So, ladies, you have two choices. Solomon wrote about a foolish young man, "And behold, a woman comes to meet him, dressed as a harlot…" (Proverbs 7:10). And then Paul wrote about the fairer sex: "Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness" (I Timothy 2:9-10). Not that it's wrong to wear jewelry or braid the hair, but that women should emphasize good works more than appearance. Which do you choose?

There is nothing wrong with dressing nicely and being attractive, but a woman should be known for her godly life rather than by how much cleavage she shows. God said the wife is to "cleave" to her husband, not show her "cleavage" to all men.