There are basically two varieties of vacationers who go to the Caribbean, the two,500-mile-long chain of greater than 7,000 islands, islets, reefs, and cays scattered throughout the Caribbean Sea.
There are these merely looking for the soothing rest of sandy seashores between their toes, sturdy drinks of their palms, and sunny skies above their heads.
After which there are the formidable explorers trying to take in a various palette of Caribbean tradition stretching again a whole lot of years to the Amerindian group as soon as often called the Caribs (now referred to as the Kalinago individuals).
The islands of the Caribbean are sometimes known as the West Indies, as a result of Christopher Columbus’ perception that he had landed in Asia (slightly than the Americas).
They’re categorized as considered one of Conservation Worldwide’s biodiversity hotspots as a result of they assist remarkably completely different ecosystems starting from cloud forests to cactus scrublands.
However equally spectacular are the huge cultural variations among the many islands, with individuals, customs, and cultural festivals bearing a broad number of influences starting from African, Spanish, and Portuguese to British, French, and Dutch.
From Caribbean music and dance to artwork, delicacies, and style, the tradition of the Caribbean islands has had a dynamic impression on fashionable well-liked tradition world wide.
Learn on for an array of fascinating information about Caribbean tradition and historical past, together with an summary of the wealthy cultural traditions that make every of those Caribbean islands distinctive.
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Caribbean Tradition & Historical past Information
- The Bahamas
- Cayman Islands
- Dominican Republic
- Puerto Rico
- St. Maarten/St. Martin
- Turks & Caicos
- U.S. Virgin Islands
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1. A part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Aruba’s unique inhabitants have been members of the Arawak tribe, who migrated from Venezuela to flee the attacking Caribs.
2. As a result of distance from different islands and powerful currents that made canoe journey tough, Aruba remained extra tied to South America than the Caribbean.
3. Underneath Dutch administration since 1647, the island gained independence in 1986. However its Dutch cultural traditions can nonetheless be felt on nationwide holidays reminiscent of Sinterklaas Day (Dec 5-6).
4. The annual Carnival Celebration in Aruba is equally essential, stretching from the start of January by way of the Tuesday earlier than Ash Wednesday, with a big parade on the final Sunday.
READ MORE: The 20 Greatest Issues to Do in Aruba (For Nature Lovers)
5. The seafaring Taîno individuals moved into the southern Bahamas from Hispaniola and Cuba 800+ years earlier than Christopher Columbus’ arrival in 1492. However they have been enslaved and eradicated lengthy earlier than English settlers arrived in 1647.
6. The British made the Bahamian islands self-governing in 1964 and unbiased in 1973, however they preserve membership within the Commonwealth of Nations.
7. Bahamian tradition is a hybrid of West African and European influences, with the costume-filled road parade often called Junkanoo (which was featured within the James Bond movie, Thunderball) its largest cultural competition.
8. Regattas, rugby, and faith are additionally very talked-about within the Bahamas, with a excessive fee of church buildings per individual.
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9. Initially named Las Tortugas (for the ocean turtles there) by Christopher Columbus throughout his closing journey to the New World, the Cayman Islands got their present title by explorer Sir Francis Drake after the Taíno time period for Crocodile (Caiman).
10. The Cayman Islands have been ruled as a single colony with Jamaica till 1962, once they grew to become a separate British Abroad Territory.
11. Made up of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman Islands, the archipelago’s inhabitants of round 45,000 individuals is made up of roughly 60% blended race Afro-Europeans, with tourism and banking offering the Caribbean’s highest lifestyle.
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12. With the longest historic document of any nation within the Western Hemisphere (over 500 years), the Dominican Republic is the location of the primary everlasting European settlement within the Americas, with Santo Domingo the primary colonial capital.
13. Sharing a border on the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, Dominican tradition is a wealthy tapestry of Spanish, French, Taíno and African influences.
14. Musically, the world is called the birthplace of Merengue, in addition to the romantic musical/dance fashion often called Bachata.
15. The DR can also be a wellspring of baseball expertise, producing main league legends reminiscent of David Ortiz, Albert Pujols, Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez, and Sammy Sosa.
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16. A former French colony, Haiti was the primary unbiased black republic and the one nation ever to type from a profitable slave rebel.
17. Haiti was additionally the primary nation in Latin America to declare its independence, on January 1, 1804.
18. A primarily Roman Catholic nation, Haiti’s tradition is a combination of African and French influences, however its proximity to the Dominican Republic additionally brings Spanish and Taíno influences.
19. Although recognized for its distinctively colourful artwork, Haiti is most celebrated for its jubilant music, together with the colourful fashion often called Kompa, Salsa, Soca, and a French-influenced fusion referred to as Zouk music.
READ MORE: Caribbean & Latin American Artwork Historical past & Journey Information
20. Initially claimed for Spain after Columbus first landed there in 1494, Jamaica got here underneath British rule in 1655.
21. Descendants of African slaves used within the sugar commerce now make up a considerable portion of the island’s 2.8 million inhabitants.
22. The third largest of the Caribbean islands, Jamaica is split into 14 parishes, with the inland Blue Mountains surrounded by a slender coastal plain. Montego Bay, Negril, and Ocho Rios are all well-liked vacationer cities.
23. A lot of the island’s tradition facilities round its music scene, with Jamaican music genres reminiscent of reggae, dancehall, and dub music taking part in a serious position within the start and evolution of hip-hop.
24. Sports activities reminiscent of cricket and soccer (a.ok.a. soccer) are immensely well-liked in Jamaica as properly.
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25. Taíno tradition remained dominant in Puerto Rico for over 700 years till the island was colonized by Spain underneath the governorship of conquistador Juan Ponce de León.
26. The El Castillo San Felipe del Morro and El Castillo de San Cristóbal forts have been constructed to guard San Juan from English, Dutch, and French assaults. However the island was given to the U.S. underneath the Treaty of Paris after the Spanish-American Struggle.
27. Puerto Rican tradition is a combination of African, Amerindian, Spanish, and North American influences, with well-liked music and dance kinds together with Bomba, Latin Jazz, Merengue, Plena, Reggaetón, and Salsa.
28. Baseball and boxing are among the many hottest sports activities in Puerto Rico, which has produced iconic athletes reminiscent of Félix Trinidad, Héctor Camacho, Roberto Clemente, Iván Rodríguez, and Roberto Alomar.
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ST. MAARTEN/ST. MARTIN
29. Found by Christopher Columbus in 1493, this island was the topic of the “80 Years’ Struggle” between Spain and the Netherlands within the 1600s.
30. By the point the Spaniards relinquished management to the Dutch, the French had already established a settlement on the island, and the 1648 Treaty of Concordia peacefully divided the land between the 2 nations.
31. Dutch St. Maarten boasts a exceptional cultural variety, with an estimated 77 completely different nationalities represented amongst its 44,000 residents.
32. The French St. Martin (inhabitants 40,000) is extensively thought-about to be the culinary capital of the Caribbean, with a various cornucopia of wealthy gastronomic influences.
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TURKS & CAICOS
33. Initially populated by the Carib Amerindians, the islands of the Turks and Caicos have been a preferred hideout for pirates on the flip of the 18th century.
34. The islands have been finally annexed by Britain in 1799 as a part of the Bahamas.
35. Made a separate colony in 1959, the islands (solely eight of that are inhabited) formally gained independence in 1973, however they continue to be a British abroad territory.
36. With lower than 33,000 residents unfold throughout eight inhabited islands, Turks & Caicos is among the many smaller nations within the Caribbean, which can clarify why celebrities reminiscent of Bruce Willis and Gene Simmons have purchased property right here.
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U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
37. Consisting of St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas and plenty of surrounding smaller islands, the Virgin Islands have been settled by the Carib and Arawak tribes earlier than Columbus arrived in 1493.
38. Over the subsequent 300 years, the islands modified palms amongst European powers quite a few instances, together with Britain, France, the Netherlands, and Spain.
39. Offered by Denmark in 1917 for $25 million, the Virgin Islands is the one a part of the USA the place site visitors all the time drives on the left.
40. Festivals within the Virgin Islands have a decidedly tropical aptitude, with calypso, reggae, soca and salsa performed within the streets throughout occasions such because the Three Kings Day competition on St. Croix and the annual carnival on St. Thomas. –by Bret Love
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