The country’s motto “Out of many, one people” reflects the melting pot of cultures that exists on the island.
According to the National Library of Jamaica, the origin of European ethnicity in Jamaica began with the arrival of the Spanish in 1494. Thereafter, the Spanish population decreased significantly following the arrival of the English in 1655.
The British ruled the island for over three centuries until Jamaica's independence on August 6, 1962. Throughout that time, other migrant groups came to Jamaica as workers or merchants, including Indians, Chinese and German. Descendants of these early dwellers are still here today and their identify is very much intertwined with the Jamaican culture.
One notable white Jamaican is former Prime Minister Edward Seaga who is of Lebanese heritage. Reggae legend Bob Marley is mixed race - his white father abandoned his mother.
Today, the Jamaican food, music, and many cultural traditions incorporate aspects of each of these migrant groups making for one very interesting, and eclectic mix. For example, foods such as curried dishes and rice, which is a popular staple in Jamaican diet, are of Indian origin. Likewise, Chinese dishes flavoured with West Indian spices are very popular in Jamaica.
There is a very large Chinese community in Jamaica. They are very involved in the local food and retail industry and their influence be seen in many areas of Jamaican culture. Tessane Chin, winner of NBC's The Voice Season 5, is a Jamaican of Chinese heritage.