Barbados

What Do I Need To Know About Barbados?

The jewel of the Caribbean, Barbados, is one of the historically rich and culturally centric islands. Crediting most of its identity from its African, English, and West Indian heritage, Barbados has emerged as a profound state exhibiting exemplary cultural, social, and economic diversity.

The 430 square kilometer coral island of the Bajan is not all about pearly-white sandy beaches and the crop festival; it has so much depth and structure. The beautiful holiday villas in Barbados, pirate history and flying fish are just but a few eccentric attributes of Los Barbados. Below we look at some unique facts on Barbados that you didn’t know you needed.

  • History and Background

The name Barbados is derived from the bearded fig trees which adequately occupied the island at one point. The indigenous inhabitants of Barbados were Amerindians, the Arawaks- these migrants paddled across Venezuela in search of a new home back in the 1600s.

The Arawaks were short and sported olive skin; they had chiefs as their administrators and practiced farming and weaving. Later on, in the 17th century, Barbados fell under the British, serving as a link between eastern Caribbean territories and western Europe up until 1966 where they gained independence and joined the Commonwealth.

Barbados

  • Administration

The Barbadian government is monarchical and headed by Queen Elizabeth II. While the sovereign power of Barbados stays under the queen of England, the Governor-General oversees the monarch’s operation from Barbados. The Barbados government system also includes a prime minister and a judicial, legislative, and executive branch.

One impressive fact about Barbados is that it holds the record for the third oldest parliament worldwide with steady parliament jurisdiction since 1639! Towards the end of 2020, Mia Mottley, the Prime Minister of Barbados, denounced Queen Elizabeth as the head of state.

  • Culinary taste

The culturally rich island of Barbados has its culinary footing rooted in three different continents, giving us a little bit of everything. Bajan cuisine is a splendid blend of Asian, African, and English delicacies and spices.

The Barbadian culinary taste is diverse and flavorful, from the national favorite you could serve with flying fish to delish tamarind balls for dessert and the oh-so-famous Bajan pepper sauce. Guess what? The flying fish is literal and is an identity symbol of the Bajan.

  • Language, Culture, and Lifestyle

While most islanders in Barbados speak English, their official dialect is Bajan Creole which stems from English creole with bits of African Pidgin and British influence. The authentic Bajan-pidgin dialect is slowly growing extinct as few islanders know how to speak it.

Barbadians widely practice farming closely tied to their history and culture, with their staples being corn, sugarcane, okra, and coconuts. The renowned Crop Over Festival in Barbados is a cultural carnival meant to pay tribute to the sugarcane harvest. Millions travel across the globe to dress up and dance through the streets of Bridgetown from June to the beginning of August.

  • Getting around

Barbados is an island; the chief means of transport across the Atlantic is air or water. Taking flights and cruise ships to Barbados is the most convenient way to get to the island. Commuting within Barbados is also hassle-free; you can opt to trek through the beautiful streets of Bridgetown exploring or take a cab to your favorite restaurant for some afternoon coconut bread. Better yet, take a motorcycle ride when running little errands. The airport in Barbados is home to the last 18 Concorde planes; make sure to check them out while you’re there.

Barbados may be a little tropical haven, but it sure does have a lot to offer. Understanding the social, political, and economic structure of an area is one way to understand the people and their culture. Whether you’re looking to vacation or explore the island, Barbados and its charming people will make the whole experience unforgettable.