Caribbean People: Not All The Same
Have you heard that Caribbean People are different? The Caribbean is a diverse region with a number of spoken languages which include English, French, Spanish, Creole, Dutch, and Patois. It is also a direct descendant of its colonial past.
Culturally, there is more similarity between the Spanish-speaking islands and Spanish-speaking South America than there is with the English-speaking islands, and more in common with Jamaica and former British colonies like Guyana, in South America and Belize, in Central America, even though Jamaica is much closer to Haiti, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Each island continues to maintain close and unique ties with their respective former colonial ruler.
Due to the history of the Caribbean States you will find very different political systems and the two most widely spread western law systems, as well. While in some Caribbean countries with a Spanish or Dutch background, for example, you will find a statutory law system, you will find a common law system in countries with a British background like the Bahamas or Barbados.
Did you know that some parts of the Caribbean are part of the European Union? For example, Guadeloupe belongs to France (it is a Territoire d’outre mer) and therefore is part of the European Union. Payments in Guadeloupe (or Gwada as local people say) are made in Euro. The same goes for Martinique. Also, Puerto Rico, as another example, belongs to the United States. It is a so-called unincorporated territory of the USA. People living there are citizens of the USA and can freely travel between Puerto Rico and the US mainland.
Caribbean people’s religions
Caribbean Culture (see also: Caribbean People, Culture, Traditions and Customs) is influenced by the immigrant populations which entered both in terms of religion and the immigrant culture. Trinidad and Tobago are highly Indian and Hindu-influenced, whereas Cuba has a largely Spanish influenced/Catholic Society. Haiti is Catholic and voodoo also French and African inspired.
The larger Caribbean islands tend to dominate culturally. Trinidadian soca, Dominicano reggaeton, and Jamaican dancehall are heard and enjoyed across the regions. The Caribbean Economy is mostly tourism-based economies and their people’s worldviews are thus reflected. An island like Trinidad, which has a booming oil and gas economy, is less inclined to tourists whereas St Lucia which is a much smaller island is considered the world’s leading honeymoon destination.
Ethnics of the Caribbean
Speaking of Ethnicities, some islands are largely African-descendants, others are more cosmopolitan in their current ethnic make-up. Trinidad and Tobago, for instance, boasts a large mixed population, from the major ethnicities which entered the country like African, Indian, Chinese, Arab, European (French, English, Spanish, Scottish, and Dutch), Jewish and native Caribbean, or any admixture thereof.
… and Caribbean Food!
Lastly, Caribbean cuisines are some to die for. It is amazing all over. Jamaican jerk chicken, Trinidadian roti are all different but united in our use of, and love of, scotch bonnet peppers and cilantro!
Similar by history
The similarity of all the islands is that for a long time we were shaped by policies set in Europe. Our differences depend on which European countries colonized us, which Europeans settled us, how Catholic or Protestant we were, what languages we spoke throughout our history, how many African slaves were brought in, how many indentured workers were brought in, and how much the greater powers (Europe, the U.S, and Canada) continued to meddle in our affairs during post-colonialism, both directly (politically and economically) and indirectly (culturally).
Continue to explore what rich diversity the Caribbean region offers on our great website CaribbeanTL.com!