Barbados – Caribbean culture with a British accent

Once the home of huge colonial plantations, Barbados is now a destination for many sun hungry Brits wanting to get away from it all during the colder months.

Far from abandoning its British-influenced past, the island state’s 270,000 or so inhabitants have adopted elements of British culture into the West Indian way of life. Its national sport is cricket, while the island is still predominantly Protestant.

The island’s uniqueness within the Caribbean is ultimately down to its history. British sailors began landing on Barbados in the 1620s, following a previous attempt to colonise and enslave the Carib inhabitants by the Portuguese.

British rule on the island remained in place from the initial landing through to 1966. In the first 200 years, African slaves and White indentured servants, mostly from Scotland and Ireland, were used to farm plantations. Slavery was abolished in the 1830s, the island went from
being from prominently white to mostly African by the 20th century.

After years of politics dominated by the white minority, Barbadian people began to peacefully rise up and demand a representative government in the 1930s. November 30th 1966 is remembered as Independence Day on the island, although it remains part of the Commonwealth and recognises our Queen as its own. Continue reading “Barbados – Caribbean culture with a British accent”