Tallawah is not an appropriation of any other culture but Jamaica. It is a testament to who and what underlies a vibrant Caribbean history. Tallawah, tallawah, TALLAWAH!
TALLAWAH: “1. Sturdy, strong, not to be underestimated; tough, stubborn.”Dictionary of Jamaican English; second edition edited by F. G. Cassidy and R. B. LePage; Cambridge University Press 1967, 1980; page 436.
ALTHOUGH Chris Gayle’s Jamaica Tallawahs are aptly named, Jamaica’s historical performance in the IAAF World Championships demonstrates the essence of the word tallawah. This uniquely Jamaican word depicts an individual of small stature exhibiting prowess way beyond his/her size, and one who must never be underestimated.
With the 15th World Championships only days away, we can reflect on the rich past of little Jamaica in this world event and recognise that our track stars — and, of course, cricketers — have given Jamaica and Jamaicans a stellar reputation. Look at Jamaica’s performance compared to the approximately 200 countries and 2,000 athletes that attend this biennial event which started in 1983.