Wed | Oct 28, 2020

Marissa Green shares a special day with Jamaica

Published:Thursday | August 6, 2020 | 12:10 AM

AUGUST 6, 1962 was an auspicious day for Jamaica as she finally gained Independence from Britain.

Similarly, just 32 years later, Marissa Green entered a new world of wonder on August 6, 1994. This beautiful baby girl would grow up celebrating each birthday but it was around age 10 that she would realise the significance of her special day to the people of Jamaica.

“Probably at around age 10, I realised that I did not have to go to school. Obviously, I wasn’t going before then, either, but I think that’s when it sunk in that people were making a big deal out of the day by going to the beach or going to the National Stadium to celebrate,;that’s when I realised that it was a holiday,” explained Green.

The significance of the holiday would later be taught in many history classes that she would attend, explaining why the nation makes such a big deal about the August 6 date. As for Green, she explained that she likes that her birthday is also a national holiday.

“I felt a little bit special knowing my birthday falls on the Independence Day, because I don’t really hear a lot of persons being born on August 6, so I just found it interesting that I was born on an important holiday,” she shared, smiling, “I don’t really feel any way about sharing my birthday with the nation. Probably like one year my friend said, ‘You can’t upstage Jamaica so just stop trying,’ and that was it; but no, I don’t feel any way.”

Green’s point is understandable, as her birthday is usually one that, without much effort, is usually a free day for her and anyone she wants to celebrate with. But even then, Green, in keeping with her quiet, humble personality, usually decides to have a low-key day, most likely involving a trip to the beach with her cousins.

“It always make me feel excited to have something to do, and usually me and my cousins would probably go to the beach on that day or we just find something entertaining to do,” she said, “I have never been to the Grand Gala celebration though, but I always make it home in time to watch it on TV and see the celebration, after celebrating my birthday during the day.”

EVENTFUL 2020

As Jamaica celebrates her 58th year of Independence, one would certainly agree that the nation, and the world at large, has had to battle a very eventful 2020 thus far. As a result, the strength and pride of our country is being reflected in this year’s Independence Day theme, ‘Resilient and Strong…Let’s Celebrate Jamaica 58’. This is a theme that Green can support as she has had to overcome a few obstacles in life, the most recent of which occurred when she started the master’s programme at The University of the West Indies.

“I do see myself as resilient. School is really important to me and during the first year of the master’s programme, I failed two important courses and that really made me depressed,” Green shared, “I just wanted to drop out of school and forget about it, but then, through talking to my mommy and doing some self-reflection, I just bounced back from that and I came out stronger. I did over the courses and passed them and was able to graduate in time,” she said proudly.

Green went on to explain that her similarity with Jamaica is that though she has had to face challenges in her 25 years, she can also say that she has overcome a lot and is a better person for it.

“I have overcome challenges in life; I have gone through some stuff, but they did not make me bitter, for sure. It only made me stronger mentally, and I am better able to understand when people go through something similar. That way I am able to help them because I have been there,” Green noted.

She holds a master’s degree in economics.

vanessa.james@gleanerjm.com