An Introduction to Creole Culture

by MWalz-Eriksson

The mix of languages and ethnicities have transformed the Caribbean into one of the most culturally diverse regions in the world. While intense tourism makes English the most commonly spoken language, this is not the language that the actual inhabitants of the Caribbean islands speak. The culture of the Caribbean is basically creole (meaning that it’s rather a mix of several cultures). If you what to find out more about this top rated holiday destination, check out my brief introduction to Caribbean culture:

A Bit of Caribbean History

by avodrocc

In pre-Columbian times, the Caribbean islands were inhabited by Taino people. Taino leaved a very simple lifestyle, were very friendly towards the strangers and had trade connections with Central America. Following the colonization of the Caribbean, Taino population was decimated by desease, famine and forced labor, until finally become extinct. However, their genes, their habits, their cuisine and most of all, their good humor survive in their descendants.
Several nations took part in the colonization of the Caribbean. While some territories became independent, others still belong to sovereign countries such as France, USA, UK or Netherland. Apart from this, many Caribbean islands have been under Spanish influence (the largest being Cuba). Another effect of colonization was the import of African slaves, brought here to work on plantations.

Creole Languages

As a result of the clash of cultures, creole languages appeared. A creole is defined as a combination of two or more languages, which adopts a new syntax. In what concerns Caribbean creole, it formed as a combination of African languages and European languages (mainly English, Spanish and French).

Creole Cuisine

Caribbean cuisine has suffered many influences, and with the constant increase of tourism in the area, it’s hard to establish which dishes are specific to the Caribbean. We do know that there are plenty of fruits growing only in this region, just as we know that Taino people ate fruits and seafood with pleasure.

Some Interesting Creole Customs

by jerekeys

Probably the best known characteristic of Caribbean/creole culture are the diverse and sensuous dances. Many of these dances have their origins in Africa, but like anything in the Caribbean they represent a charming mix. Smoking was practiced by indigenous population many centuries before the arrival of Columbus and so where some team sports.
While most Caribbean people are now Christians, African religions and beliefs have played an important role in shaping the Caribbean culture. Here I would just like to name practices/religions like Voodoo and Rastafarianism, first of which originates in Haiti, while the other in Jamaica.

Leave a Reply