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Caribbean Culture

Caribbean Culture History

The Caribbean culture has been greatly influenced by the culture and traditions of Europe. Specifically, cultures of Britain, Spain and France have affected Caribbean culture the most. The United States has also influenced the language, economy and culture of the Caribbean land. Caribbean is a collection of colonizer countries. Hence its culture has been immensely influenced by the migrants to form an exceptional combination of traditions.

Geographically, areas including the Caribbean Sea and all of the islands situated to the southeast area of the Gulf of Mexico, east of Central America and Mexico, and to the north of South America come under the Caribbean land.

Caribbean governments have framed certain programs, laws and institutions to promote the Caribbean culture. Crown corporations like Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation(CBC) have been created for this purpose.

Caribbean Culture Food

Caribbean food preparation is a mixture of African, Amerindian, British, Spanish, French, Dutch, Indian, and Chinese cookeries. This fusion has resulted in creation of unique styles of the Caribbean cuisines.

The cuisines are different in different areas belonging to Caribbean land. Most of the popular Caribbean dishes are ‘hot’ and spicy. Caribbean goat stew, a tomato-based stew, prepared with goat meat, breadfruit, green papaya, and dumplings has been declared as the national dish of Montserrat and it has also become one of the signature food items of St. Kitts and Nevis. In Anglophone, a Caribbean cuisine called "Cook-up", or Pelau(a combination of different meats such as chicken, beef, salt-fish and or vegetables or pigeon peas with rice).

Another cuisine, known as "Cook-up", or Pelau is popular among other Caribbean cuisines. It is prepared with leafy vegetables and occasionally okra as the main ingredients.

The Following are Some of Caribbean delicacies:

  • Jamaican Patties
  • Conch fritters,
  • Coconut mango chicken
  • Arroz Con Pollo
  • Paella
  • Red Pea Soup
  • Empanadas
  • Burritos
  • Enchiladas

Curried goat, peppery chicken jerky, fried plantains and conch fritters are the main features of a Caribbean wedding feast.

Caribbean Culture Clothing

Weather in Caribbean region is subjected to the typical tropical shower occasionally. To go well with the weather, Caribbean people wear clothes with lightweight fabric and natural fibers such as silks, light cottons, and linens. Early clothing in Caribbean is borrowed profoundly from French Creole styles. Island women used to wear bright color skirts and ornately folded head wraps. Both men and women in Caribbean region were seen in "madras," a kind of plaid-like print in lively colors.

With changing lifestyle, the dressing of Caribbean land is also changing accordingly. The clothes mostly used by present-day Caribbean people are listed as follows:

  • Light-weight pants such as khakis
  • T-shirt
  • Light weight shorts
  • Sweater or jacket
  • Hats

Caribbean Culture Traditions

The wedding tradition in Caribbean area is something different. The bride and groom show off their most excellent clothes for the whole village. The bride and the groom dress up in their finest clothes and start walking from home to the church. While they walk in the street everyone in the village would come out to see them and it is a tradition for them to comment on the clothes of bride and groom. There is a tradition of preparing a ‘Black cake’ on the wedding occasion. The daughter learns the recipe from the mother and this is the process followed many generations.

Caribbean Cultural Events

The following are some of the events that are celebrated in Caribbean region with lots of joy and enthusiasm:

  • New Year
  • Jazz Festival
  • Grenada's Round the Island Easter Regatta
  • Oistins Fish Festival
  • Aruba Soul Beach Festival
  • British Virgin Island Music Fest
  • Caribbean Fashion Week
  • Turks & Caicos Music Festival
  • Curacao Salsa Tour Festival

Apart from that the islands of the Caribbean host a number of traditional, musical and sports-related carnivals, festivals and holiday merriments throughout the year.


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