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The Caribbean

Learn about the Caribbean and the French Caribbean

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The Caribbean Islands

The Caribbean Islands is a massive archipelago located in the Caribbean Sea, that can be subdivided into a few different regions:

the Lucayan Archipelago, the Greater Antilles, the Lesser Antilles and the ABC Islands.

 

There are 13 sovereign states and 17 dependent territories in the Caribbean, and the predominant languages are English, Spanish, French, Dutch and Antillean creole.

 

The Caribbean sprawls across more than 1.06 million square miles and is primarily located between North America and South America.

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The French Caribbean

The term French West Indies or French Antilles ( French : Antilles françaises) refers to the eight territories currently under French sovereignty in the Antilles islands of the Caribbean.

 

The two overseas departements of:

Guadeloupe, including the islands of Basse-TerreGrande-TerreLes SaintesMarie-Galante, and La Désirade.

Martinique

The two overseas collectivities of:

Saint Martin

Saint Barthélemy

Street in Old Havana

The Caribbean 
" Our Culture "

Culture/Geographie

Here's a brief description if you aren't too familiar

with the West Indies.

The West Indies is an area in the Caribbean Sea,

next to the Mexican Gulf.

(You can see in the map at the top).

The region includes many islands, for example Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Saint Lucie, Martinique, Guadeloupe and the list goes on……..

Most islands have been colonized by Europe, therefore the languages spoken are English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French.

The Caribbean islands are made of 25 independent countries and other territories.

Click to know the 25  countries )

Wine Barrels

Caribbean Rum

Rum is a liquor made by fermenting then distilling sugarcane molasses or sugarcane juice.

The distillate, a clear liquid, is usually aged in oak barrels. Most rums are produced in Caribbean and American countries, but also in other sugar-producing countries, such as the Phillipines and India.

Rum: Part of the Cultural Heritage

In Guadeloupe Archipelago, the rum is part of the cultural heritage. Consequently, aged, white, and boxes of rums are available in most groceries shops.

 

Whether to warm up discussions between friends or to celebrate any kind of celebration, drinking this alcoholic beverage is a traditional custom.

The local aperitif Ti-punch (lime, rum and sugar cane) is a popular drink. Similarly, it can be mixed with tropical fruits in cocktails, liqueurs or punch as well. 

Associated with other plants, the spirit also has medicinal properties. 

 

The Rum in Guadeloupe archipelago is so flavourful that, it is often listed as one of the best destinations to enjoy it.

Lastly, the 9 distilleries are currently using  centuries-old traditions in the distillation technique, offering multi-awarded labels.

The French
Caribbean Cuisine

Marrying elements of Afro-Caribbean, French, Indian, and Amerindian styles, Caribbean French Creole cuisine bursts with singularly spicy and savory flavor.

Seafood is a prime delight, with lobster, tuna, mahi, crayfish, lambi, and even sea urchin on local menus. 

The linchpin of most any lunch or dinner in the French Caribbean, though, are Acras Fried and fluffy, these codfish-filled appetizers make for an excellent snack, or kick off to an amazing meal.

No discussion of French Caribbean food would be complete without Colombo. The spice was brought to the Caribbean by indentured workers from India in the 19th century. Colombo Chicken is a must-meal in Martinique.

 

Another must is le Bokit .

 THE sandwich of Guadeloupe, a Bokit boasts fluffy fried dough surrounding whatever meats, fish, veggies, cheeses, or sauces that suit your fancy. 

Caribbean Music

Caribbean music genres are diverse. They are each syntheses of AfricanEuropeanIndian and Indigenous influences, largely created by descendants of African slaves, along with contributions from other communities (such as Indo-Caribbean music).

 

Some of the styles to gain wide popularity outside the Caribbean include, bachatamerenquepalomombodenbobaithak ganabouyoncadence-lypsocalypsochutneychutney-socacompasdancehalljing pingparangpichakareepuntaraggareggaereggaetonsalsasoca, and zouk. Caribbean is also related to Central America and South America music.

Caribbean Festival

Carnival in the Caribbean has a complicated origin. It's tied to colonialism, religious conversion, and ultimately freedom and celebration.

The festival originated with Italian Catholics in Europe, and it later spread to the French and Spanish, who brought the pre-Lenten tradition with them when they settled (and brought slaves to) Trinidad, Dominica, Haiti, Martinique, and other Caribbean islands.

The word "carnival" itself is thought to mean "farewell to meat" or "farewell to flesh," the former referencing the Catholic practice of abstaining from red meat from Ash Wednesday until Easter. The "farewell to flesh" translation, while possibly fabricated, is said to be emblematic of the sensuous abandon that came to define the Caribbean celebration of the holiday.

 

Historians say they believe the first "modern" Caribbean Carnival originated in Trinidad and Tobago in the late 18th century when a flood of French settlers brought the Fat Tuesday masquerade party tradition with them to the island, although Fat Tuesday celebrations were almost certainly taking place at least a century before that.

 

By the beginning of the 18th century, there were already a large number of free Blacks in Trinidad mixed with French immigrants, earlier Spanish settlers, and British nationals (the island came under British control in 1797). This resulted in Carnival's transformation from an implanted European celebration to a more heterogeneous cultural froth that included traditions from all ethnic groups.

With the end of slavery in 1834, the now completely free populace could outwardly celebrate their native culture and their emancipation through dress, music, and dancing.

 

These three elements, dressing in masquerade, music, and dancing, remain central to Carnival celebrations, whether it be at an elaborate French ball or steel drums in the streets, with costumes, masks, feathers, headdresses, dancing, music, and drums all part of the scene, along with raucous behavior.

Thank you for taking the time to read a little bit of our culture.

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