Mango Time: Etiquette for the Season
Mi nuh drink coffee tea mango time
Care how nice it may be mango time
In di height of di mango crop
When di fruit dem a ripe an drop
Wash yuh pot tun dem down mango time
De turpentine large an fine, mango time
Robin mango so sweet, mango time
Number eleven an hairy skin
Pack di bankra an ram dem in
For di bankra mus’ full, mango time
Mek wi go a mango walk, mango time
For is only di talk mango time
Mek wi jump pon di big jackass
Ride im dung an no tap a pass
Mek di best a di crop, mango time
I tried to find the song being performed but had no luck , however check out these girls singing mango time. I think you’ll get the idea of the song, they did a great job.
Quick Jamaican Patois Vocabulary for my Foreign Friends
Mango time- Mango season
bankra – basket
ram- act of forcing in/squeezing or filling something (in this case mangoes in a basket)
Ride im dung an no tap a pass- ride him (the donkey) down without stopping at the pasture ..ha ha.
Mango season is definitely my favorite season. On weekends like this, nothing gives me more joy than to climb trees and pick fruits. I’m a country girl at heart. Now that I live in the city , I really consider myself lucky to have a Mango tree at my front door, regardless of the constant race with the neighbors to see who picks them first.
Today I was reminiscing about my childhood in rural Jamaica, there was always an abundance of fruit trees in my yard. Before washing my face in the mornings, I could be found raiding a tree, be it mango, plum, guava, tamarind or naseberry. It’s the thing I miss the most about life in the country. It irks me every time I have to pay for any form of fruit here in the city because in my mind fruits are supposed to be free. If you didn’t have your own tree your neighbor would send you fruits.
There are various species of mangoes in Jamaica , the song lists four of them,Turpentine, Robin, Number 11 and Hairy skin. From memory and experience I can add to the list , East Indian, Bombay, Haden, Tommy Atkins, Stringy aka Common Mango and last but not least St. Julian aka Julie Mango , which is pictured above. Judging from my teeth marks would you have guessed that its my favorite kind of mango ?
This one is especially for my neighbors.
Jamaicans are generally kind people especially those from rural Jamaica. If you ask permission your mango picking experience will be more pleasant. Therefore……
- Do not attempt to climb or stone a person’s mango tree without permission.
- Do not use a long stick to fish them over a wall.
- Do not climb the tree at night and bite every mango until you find the ripe ones, we know rats and bird bites different from human.
- Mangoes are best peeled with your teeth rather than fingers or a knife unless its the Julie, East Indian and Bombay which is best eaten with a spoon.
- It is totally acceptable to wrap green mangoes in newspaper until they are ripe, a thing I have to do on a regular basis because of my above mentioned neighbors inconsideration of my mango needs.
- Green Mangoes are best had with sugar but if salt and hot pepper are your preferences then do you.
- If you are of Indian descent it is only right that you learn to make chutney , so you can share with your friends that lack such culinary talents (like me) .
Happy Mango Time Folks!