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Barbados Culture
"The Unique Culture Of Barbados"

Barbados culture is very dynamic and unique from that of the culture of its neighboring Caribbean islands.  This is due to the culture in Barbados steming from a merging of the British and West African culture of the this tiny island's history. 

The most notable of these influences, as a former colony of Britian, is our British history.  The influence of Britain on the island is widespread and has lead to the island commonly being referred to as "Little England".  This influence can be seen in the island's governmental structure, traffic rules, sports and religious beliefs.

However once slavery was abolished and the country gained independence from England in 1966, the island's population became predominantly descendants of the West African slaves that worked the sugar plantations of former British land owners.  The influence of these African slaves on the culture of Barbados can be heard in the Barbadian language, music, dance and arts.

Let's look at some aspects of the Barbados culture... 

The Government of Barbados

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Barbados Government BuildingThe English have had the greatest influence on the way this island is governed and therefore the structure of the Barbados government is comparable to that of Britain.  

The island is run as a democracy with Her Majesty Queen Elizabth II, The Queen of Barbados, as the Head of State.  

There is then an appointed Governor General and through a general election a Prime Minister is voted into power as leader of this government.

Learn more about the Barbados government

Barbados People

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Barbados People Barbadians, or "Bajans" as we are commonly refered to, are very friendly, pleasant and polite people.  Many credit this to our polite and 'proper' English ancestors.

There is therefore no hostility between the locals and visitors. Tourism is a vital aspect of this island's economy and Barbados culture. We welcome you with arms wide open!

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Barbados Population

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Barbados Population and Barbados CultureWith a population of roughly 280,000 and an area of 431 kmĀ², Barbados is one of the most densely populated islands in the Caribbean.  Yet we have high life expectancy and literacy rate of 99.7%!

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Unique Jobs in Barbados

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Barbados Culture and Jobs in BarbadosHave you ever wondered what some of the jobs in Barbados are that might not be common to your hometown?  

Well the history and culture of Barbados has lead to some rather unique jobs on this island.

Learn more about unique jobs in Barbados 

Driving in Barbados

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Driving in BarbadosIf you are from North America, when you first visit Barbados you will quickly realise that we drive on the left side of the road like the English do, as opposed to the right side of the road.  You will also notice that at many crossroads and intersections where you would normally find traffic lights, they are replaced by what are known as roundabouts.

The Sports of Barbados

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Barbados Cricket Sports CultureThe sports culture of Barbados is also heavily influenced by England.  The sport of Cricket is a team sport played with a bat and ball and is the national sport of England

Cricket was first introduced to this island in the early 19th Century, by English settlers, and has grown to be come the most popular and loved sport on the island today

Barbados has produced some of the Caribbean's greatest cricket players, including the great Sir Garfield Sobers.

Another sport that is played on the island that has been passed on from our British heritage is the game of Field Hockey. Field hockey is a team sport played with a ball and hockey sticks.  The is used to either pass the ball to another team mate or shoot the ball in the opposing teams net.

Learn more about Barbados Sports

Barbados Religion

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Barbados Religion ChurchMost Barbadians are followers of Christianity consisting of more than 70% of the population, with the majority being followers of the Anglican denomination.  Christianity was first introduced to the island by the British in the 17th Century and has has a huge impact on Barbados culture.  

Barbadians have a strong love for God and are very particular about attending mass every week.  It is very common to see families walking to church on a Sunday morning, dressed in colourful church dresses.  Morning assembly at schools is also a common occurrence where school children gather in the school's hall to pray and sing hyms before the start of the school day.  

Most people worship on a Sunday morning using the remainder of the day to spend time with their families and spend time relaxing at the beach.

Learn more about Barbados religion

Barbados Language

Vacation in Barbados

English is the most widely spoken language across the island. However a large percentage of Bajans speak a dialect form of the English language adopted from our West African slave ancestors mixed with traditional British English.  This dialect is often referred to as speaking "Bajan Creole or Patoi". Nonetheless you will have no difficulty communicating with people in Barbados and enjoying Barbados culture.

Barbados Economy

Vacation in Barbados

Barbados EconomyThe economy of Barbados has change greatly from the introduction of the sugar cane industry in the early 1600s by British settlers to the rapid growth of tourism today.  Since the  decline of the sugar industry tourism has become the island's top earner. This means that more and more visitors are becoming immersed in Barbados culture every year.  Currently the top 3 industries fueling our economy are tourism, sugar and light manufacturing.

Learn more about the Barbados economy

Barbados Music

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Barbados Steelpan MusicThe music of Barbados has developed from the best of the African, Caribbean and English music of our past and present inhabitants.  The two most unique forms of Barbados music that can still be heard at many of our music festivals are Spouge and Tuk, and encapsulate the essence of Barbados culture. Throughout the island today you will also hear our versions of Caribbean calypso and reggae music.

The most popular Barbados music festivals include The Annual Barbados Jazz Festival held in January, The Barbados Reggae Festival in April and Kadooment Day held during the Crop Over Festival in August.

Learn more about Barbados music

Barbados Plantations and Our Sugar Culture

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Barbados Sugar PlantationThe island has many large houses called "Plantation Houses" that play a vital role in our sugar culture.  These houses were once the homes of white British slave owners, who cultivated sugar throughout the island.  Sugar cane was used to make sugar, rum and molasses and much of this sugar was exported back to Britain for sale.

Slavery has since been abolished and these homes have now become  significant landmarks that remind of our history and how far we have come today.

Learn more about Barbados Sugar, Sugar Plantations and Sugar Cane

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