Caribbean islands are well known for their beaches and attractions. These islands are always filled with tourists every month. One of the most important constituents of the Caribbean islands in the Caribbean Culture. Here, we are going to know every detail about the Caribbean Culture.
Ways of embracing the Caribbean Culture
Here are the 5 best ways to know about the Caribbean culture:
- Identity of the Caribbean culture
- Symbols of the Caribbean culture
- Arts of the Caribbean culture
- Sports of the Caribbean culture
- Food of the Caribbean culture
Identity of the Caribbean culture
The Origins of the people living in the Caribbean islands mainly belong to French, British and Spanish. These three nationals had arrived at the Caribbean islands at certain times in history and made their impact on the Caribbean islands.
The Heritage in these islands is called a multicultural heritage as it is composed of people of different nationalities living in various parts of these islands.
Most of the people in the Caribbean islands speak English but also comprises Spanish speakers and 22% of them speak French.
The French cultural identity is very strong in their islands and some of the other Caribbean islands look at English as the major speaking language.
Chinese culture also prevails in these islands (mainly Trinidad and Tobago) due to the result of the Caribbean’s pacific trades.
Indian culture also prevails in these Caribbean islands (Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Guyana) as in history, East Indians were traded to these islands as slaves to work on the sugarcane, cocoa and rice estates.
In the 20th century, the African, European, Caribbean and Asian communities have shaped up these islands thereby, enriching the multiculturalism in the Caribbean islands.
People of various diversities come together and celebrate every occasion and always help others in various situations. Disputes may arise between these communities but they managed to maintain healthy relationships among them.
Symbols of the Caribbean culture
The most commonly used symbol in any Caribbean island is the Palm tree as these trees are abundant in Caribbean islands. Not only Palm trees but also shells, parrots are also the common symbols reciprocating the Caribbean culture.
The flags of the Caribbean counting are also changed to enrich the “Caribbean” feel on these flags and also remove references to the British.
Speaking about the flags of the Caribbean countries, most of them share the common design as their environment is similar and also related to their history.
The Caribbean countries which were used to be under the Colonial rule of the British used to have colours on their flag which depicts the British rule.
The British colonies’ flags had Solid Blue fields with the Colonial coat of arms in the fly and the Union Jack in the Canton. Colonies that didn’t have Union Jack used the flag of the British empire.
After getting independence from the British empire, the Caribbean countries had modified their flags by removing the colours and symbols which were depicting the Rule of the British empire.
Some of the countries just updated their previous design considering the reference of their old flags and the rest of them decided to remove certain attributes of their flags which lead to their colonial past.
Each flag is unique in its way of representing their countries’ legacy.
Arts of the Caribbean culture
Most of the paintings in the early history of the Caribbean countries are likely of European nature. In the mid-80s, the Caribbeans started to develop a new style of paintings.
Their arts depict the Uniqueness of every island’s culture, society and environment. Most of the arts are watercolours, paintings, sculptures and mural paintings.
As the people living in the Caribbean islands belong to various nationalities like British, Africans, East Indians etc., the Caribbean literature is also a blend of various nationalities.
Books are written in English, Spanish, French etc but ultimately they depict the Caribbean culture.
Indians who were a part of the Caribbean culture due to the past trades brought their religious books like Mahabharata, Ramayana, Bhagavad-Gita, Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads, Shastras, Slokas etc.
Muslims brought their holy book Quran and Sikhs brought their holy book Guru Granth Sahib.
Writers wrote books based on their regions and culture. Every island has its unique literature style.
Being one of the prominent features of the Caribbean culture, Music has the best multicultural references of the Caribbean islands.
Popular musicians like Sean Paul, Jimmy Cliff, Bunny Wailer, Bob Marley, David Rudder, Rihanna etc. hail from the Caribbean islands.
Caribbeans had laid a huge foundation to enrich music by developing the music infrastructure including church halls, record companies, radio stations, performing arts centres, television music video channels.
Sports of the Caribbean culture
Cricket is one of the most popular sports played in the Caribbean culture. This sport, which originated in England, came to the Caribbean islands when they invaded.
Most parts of these islands play cricket. There is also an international team named West Indies to which the players from the Caribbean islands represent.
Players like Sir Vivian Richards, Clive Lloyd, Gordon Greenidge, Brian Lara, Garry Sobers, Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose, Joel Garner etc. Were lauded as the greatest players in the history of Caribbean cricket.
West Indies won two International World cups (50 over format) in the year 1975 and 1979 and won two International T-20 World cups (20 over format) in the year 2012 and 2016.
Other than Cricket, Soccer is the most famous sport in the Caribbean islands. Tournaments like the Caribbean Cup, CONCACAF Gold cup get held every year.
Cuba qualified for the FIFA World Cup in 1938, Haiti in 1974, Jamaica in 1998, Trinidad and Tobago in 1996.
Baseball is also one of the most popular sports in the caribbean countries especially in Cuba, Netherlands, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
Cuba won the Baseball World cup for a record 25 times.
Puerto Rico’s men’s Basketball team stood 4th in the 1990 FIBA world championship whereas Cuba’s women’s Basketball team stood 3rd in the 1990 FIBA world championship women.
Other popular sports like Rugby, softball, boxing, tennis, swimming,water sports, wrestling etc. are also played in these islands.
Food of the Caribbean Culture
As the whole Caribbean islands stand for multiculturalism, cuisines available in these countries are unique. Caribbean Cuisine is a fusion of African, Cajun, Creole, Amerindian, Latin American, Indian, Middle Eastern and Chinese.
Most of the dishes in the islands include rice, beans, Cassava, bell peppers, tomatoes, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, coconut, meat etc.
Onions, garlic, celery, scotch bonnet peppers, chives, rosemary, tarragon, marjoram etc. are some of the commonly available ingredients in the dishes.
Barbecue, callaloo, Fritters, Dumplings, Seafood Soups etc. are Commonly available in Anguilla.
Eggplants, rice, macaroni, pasta, salad, potatoes, Butter bread, salami etc. are Commonly found in Antigua and Barbuda.
Beverages like Rum, Fruit punch, Goombay Punch, coconut water and Soups like conch chowder, stewed fish and split sea soup etc. and Seafood like crab, spiny lobster, grits, Bonefish, Conch etc are commonly available in Bahamas.
Jamaican cuisine is a blend of Amerindian, African, Irish, English, Spanish, Indian and Chinese cuisines.
Curry goat, fried dumplings, ackee and saltfish, coconut shrimp, chow mein, cook-up rice, corned beef with cabbage, curry shrimp, Fried fish, Ital stew, pork chops, Roti, chicken soup, corn soup, fish tea, Janga soup, pumpkin soup, Green banana, Macaroni pie, potato salad, stew peas etc. are famous in Jamaica.
Black cake, coco bread, Hard dough bread, Rock cake, Rum cake, Spiced bun, Sugar bun, carrot juice, cocktails, ginger beer, Irish moss, Limeade, Mauby, Red stripe, Sorrel are common bread and beverages found in Jamaica.
Dessert and Soups like Soursop ice cream, batata pudding, cornmeal pudding, gizzada, grater cake, toto, banana fritters, guava cheese, blue drawers, asham, Tamarind balls, plantain tarts etc are commonly found in Jamaica.
Indian cuisines like doubles, roti, tarkaris, baigan chokha, damadol chokha, karaili choka, curried seim etc. are found in Trinidad and Tobago.