|Bajan cuisine is eclectic mix of Caribbean, English, African and Indian influences. Fresh seafood from both Atlantic and Caribbean seas is abundant. The catch of the day usually includes flying fish, swordfish, tuna, snapper, dorado, lobster and shrimp.|
Traditional dishes include roti, cottage pie, black pudding, souse and Yorkshire pudding. Grilled black-bellied lamb chops, crusted with pine nuts and served with golden apple salsa, and the spicy pepperpot stew are also favourites. But the most popular fare is the national dish of flying fish and Cou-Cou, made of cornmeal and okra.
|Barbadians (also known as Bajans) are warm and hospitable people. Their roots are mostly found in West Africa and the United Kingdom, both of which have greatly influenced today's culture and the arts.|
Many traditional rythms can be heard on the island. Tuk music named for the sound of the log drum. Calypso can be heard at most parties and festivals. Soca is a blend of Soul and Calypso, while Spouge combines Reggae and Calypso. Bajans are great dancers as well.
Filled with artistic talent, Bajans best express their creativity through pottery, craft, fashion design, abstract art, music and poetry. Famous artists include Janice Sylvia Brock, Irvin Burgie, Des'ree and George Lamming.
|Part of the Lesser Antilles, Barbados is the easternmost island of the Caribbean. It measures 34 km in length, 22 km in width and a coastline of 97 km. Barbados has been divided into 11 parishes.|
The west and south coasts, along the Caribbean Sea, are calm with gentle waves. The east coast, along the Atlantic Ocean, is much more rugged with high cliffs and crashing waves. The land itself is relatively flat and rises gently through a series of coral terraces. The highest point is Mount Hillaby at 340 m above sea level.
|Archaeological discoveries indicate that the first indigenous people were the Arawaks from Venezuela and later the cannibalistic Caribs. The island was discovered by the Spanish in 1492. The Portuguese followed in 1537 and named the island Los Barbados, meaning the bearded ones. Although neither group colonized the island, the Spanish and Portuguese imposed slavery on the Caribs which soon lead to their extermination.|
The first settlers to colonize were the English in 1627. The country's economy was based on the sugar, tobacco and cotton plantations, worked by African slaves. The Barbadians dominated the Caribbean sugar industry in these early years. Slavery was abolished in 1834. The island gained full independence in 1966, remaining within the Commonwealth.
|Unfortunately most of the natural vegetation has been cleared for cultivation but the maintained parklands and mangrove swamps are lush and varied. One of the few endemic trees is the Bajan ebony tree (shak-shak). Most plants have been introduced to the islands: the Mahogany tree of Honduras, the Tamarind from Indonesia and the Causarina from Australia. Many fruit and spice trees are grown here as well, like the Barbadian Cherry tree that is chock full of vitamin C. Other fruit bearing trees should be avoided thought, like the Machineel tree, that bears poisonous fruit. Some plant species have their own folkloric tales, such as the Silk Cotton tree, native to the island, which is said to walk at night.|
Barbados is home to some of the most exotic flowers in the world, like orchids of all types, century plant (maypole) and the rare cacti flowers which last a single day. The Pride of Barbados, the national flower, is a deep red colour framed in yellow.
The wildlife of Barbados is very limited and includes monkeys, hares, tree frogs and mongooses. The few birds found here are the dove, hummingbird, sparrow, egret, and yellow breast. About 150 migratory birds make a stop in Barbados. Flying fish, sprat, green dolphin, kingfish, barracuda, mackerel, and parrot fish make up most of the marine life. Coral reefs fringe the Barbados shoreline, providing excellent snorkeling and Scuba Diving.
|Many sports and activities can be practised on this island. Popular land sports include hiking and walking on the many nature and park trails, horseback riding and mountain biking. Many hotels offer wonderful tennis courts, some are lit for evening play.|
For those who enjoy water sports, you can go waterskiing, parasailing, surfing, windsurfing, yachting and kayaking. Barbados has several diving and snorkelling sites, such as the shore at Mount Standfast where you may spot a few green turtles.
There are several golf courses on the island, including the 18-hole Barbados Golf Club, Sandy Lane (3 courses: Sandy Lane Old Nine, the 18-hole Country Club and the 18-hole Green Monkey), the Royal Westmoreland Golf & Country Club offering an 18-hole championship golf course, and Club Rockley and Almond Beach Village both featuring 9-hole courses.
Barbadians are crazy about Cricket and Polo. Competitions are held at various times throughout the year. The country will host the 2007 Cricket World Cup Final. Field hockey and horseracing are also very popular.