This island of beautiful sandy beaches and azure, tranquil waters is home to approximately 250,000 people.
The native Barbados people are believed to be Arawak Indians. This island was one over several Caribbean islands that were a British colonies, and Between the 17th and 20th centuries, slave traders moved slaves from Africa to Barbados. They were brought to this Caribbean island to work primarily on the tobacco, sugar cane, and cotton plantations.
The British left a hard imprint upon the Barbados culture, and, at a glimpse, Barbados seems a lot like England. In fact, even though they still drink rum instead of ale, Barbados' neighboring islands often refer to it a "Little England." This is quite surprising considering the fact the area host less than five percent of Barbados people are actually European/British today.
Other than the fact that they are both islands, the British sway can be seen on Barbados in several ways. Some of the influences of the British on this Caribbean island culture include things such as driving style and form of government. For example, the traffic in Barbados is right hand drive, meaning the traffic moves on the left side of the road.
As far as government is concerned Barbados is like Britain in that it is a parliamentary democracy. The government head is the prime minister and the legislative body is the parliament much like in England. The prime minister selects a cabinet of ministers and provides sole responsibility for a particular area to every minister.
Cricket is the most popular sport of this area. Cricket players from this area join the players from other Caribbean islands to form a well-recognized cricket team called as the West Indies. This team was the world champion for several years and has had the record for winning the most number of consecutive world cups.
Almost all of the people here practice Christianity and the largest sect follows the Church of England. Roman Catholics and Methodists are also found in this area. Hinduism, Islam are also practiced by people who are originally from Asian origins.
In general, the people of Barbados dress in a modern, western fashion.
Doctors are the most respected people in the island, and the Barbados culture places a lot of importance to education. In fact, it is a law in Barbados that all children must go to school until they are 16 years old.
Additionally, music is a very integral part of the culture of music. The most popular forms of music are Calypso, Jazz and Reggae.
There are three popular festivals celebrated every year. They celebrate the end of harvesting season with a festival called Crop Over." Given that fishing is a major industry on the island, they also celebrate the Oistins Fish Festival in recognition of the namesake fishing town in the southern part of the island. The final festival was known as the Congaline Carnival and held in late April. However, it has since been discontinued, and now the primary even in Barbados during that time of year is the Barbados Reggae Festival which generally culminates with "Reggae on the Hill."
There is much diversity in the Barbados culture and the Barbados people, and there is never a shortage of interesting things to do, sites to see, and people to show them to you on this Caribbean island.
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