Jamaican Embassy in China Talks Jerk Sauce, Basketball and More

By Vicki Cann, September 2, 2021

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The Jamaican Embassy in China has recently ramped up its efforts to create more awareness about Jamaican products and culture. 

To this end, the embassy hosted a group of children participating in a summer camp facilitated by Beijing Molecular Education Co. Ltd. Jamaica’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, his excellency Mr. Antonia Hugh; Deputy Head of Mission, Ms. Melissa Pryce; and Attaché of Finance and Administration, Mr. Troy Levy, were all on hand to personally welcome the group. 

During the event, That’s had the opportunity to speak with Ambassador Hugh and Pryce to get an update on some of the embassy’s activities.  

“At this time, we are really making a concerted effort to relaunch our cultural section. Mr. Troy Levy will be working on this area. It’s important to tap into the grassroots level of a society and what better way to do this than through events like these in which we are engaging children,” remarked Pryce.

When asked about the embassy’s participation in its latest events, Ambassador Hugh mentioned his recent engagement in the 12th International Infrastructure Investment and Construction Forum as well as the 7th China-Latin America (LAC) Infrastructure Forum, both of which were held in Macau.

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Ambassador Hugh gives remarks at the 7th China-Latin America (LAC) Infrastructure Forum held in Macau last month 

“These meetings were very impactful and fruitful and we continue to encourage more Chinese companies and entrepreneurs, both public and private, to invest in Jamaica,” said Ambassador Hugh.

As it relates to Jamaican goods in the local Chinese market, Pryce noted that the embassy is in dialogue with the China Condiments Association and other organizations to assist with creating more awareness of Jamaican products.

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Troy Levy (left) serves his home-cooked Jamaican jerk chicken. He is assisted by his colleague Mao Ou 

“We are on a drive to bring more Jamaican condiments to China including our jerk sauces and a wide variety of others. We are also pushing our Sea Island cotton, which is a very high-end type of cotton with a popular niche market in Italy and Japan,” said Pryce enthusiastically.

At the time of this interview, preparations were being made to celebrate both Emancipation Day and Jamaica’s 59th year of independence from Britain.

“The theme of the independence 2021 is ‘Stronger Together.’ In recognition of the theme, we are calling on more Jamaicans in China to engage and to be more active in sharing aspects of our rich cultural heritage. We are eagerly hoping to collaborate with more members of the diaspora,” noted Pryce.

She recalled a recent tour of a successful basketball training facility called SupaHoops in Shenzen that is currently run by Jamaican national Michael Stephenson, who also uses this platform to introduce participants to Jamaican culture. 

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Ambassador Hugh (2nd left) and Michael Stephenson (left) are seen with these young rising basketball stars 

Pryce hopes that many more Jamaicans in China will become involved and engaged in shaping the public perception of Jamaica.

“We are our own publicists, we need more of our diaspora members to contribute by using their expertise and their contacts to advocate for Jamaica, to encourage investors to invest in Jamaica,” she continued.

Ambassador Hugh reiterated Pryce’s sentiments and revealed that next year, in honor of Jamaica’s 50 years of diplomatic ties with China and its 60th year of independence, the embassy will officially launch the Embassy’s Diaspora Awards, including the very special Ambassador’s Honour Awards.

“We would like to encourage more Jamaicans to become more active and we want to recognize their involvement. So, next year, we will be welcoming nominations in a number of areas including community service and cultural promotion. This is a way for us to acknowledge those who have contributed greatly and have given back to the community,” remarked Ambassador Hugh.


[All images via Jamaican Embassy in China]

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