65

Jamaica

This is
Tracian Meikle (1985)

Country of origin 
Jamaica 

In the Netherlands since
2014 

Profession 
Anthropologist

Loves
Reggae 

First impression
For a capital city very cosy 

Would like to 
Walk on a frozen canal 

“I came here to work in 2014. From the moment I drove into the city I was impressed. It’s a very picturesque city; every photo you take here is perfect. It’s impossible to take a bad one. Amsterdam is beautiful and I love living here. I’m really sure of how much I love this place when I’m on the bicycle. There aren’t so many places in the world where you can both walk and cycle everywhere, and where there is so much diversity.

Cafés don’t have terraces in Jamaica, probably because it’s too hot. You also don’t see people on their computers in the cafés. These are brilliant places where you can work surrounded by creativity and a pleasant atmosphere.

There have been bad times in Amsterdam. After I had travelled through India and returned here I no longer felt I belonged. I felt alienated. My connection with the city had been completely based on the material aspect of Amsterdam. This is why I set up a group for black women in Amsterdam https://www.facebook.com/groups/weouthereamsterdam.

We meet once or twice a month. It gives me a chance to breathe. With them, I can. I don’t need to worry about being the only one with problems, as I’m surrounded by women who look like me and have the same perceptions as I do and understand what it feels like to be a coloured woman in Amsterdam. Amsterdammers think they are very tolerant and liberal. It’s not easy to confront them with a different viewpoint. I’m often the only black woman around, especially in the university circuit.”

81 people in Amsterdam have the Jamaican nationality

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