On the Menu
- Barbadian Macaroni Pie
- Flying Fish and Cou Cou
- Tropical Stuffed Avocados
- Pudding and Sous
- Barbados is a country in the Caribbean, and is only 21 by 14 miles large. Many think it is shaped like a crooked pear
- There are 3,000 hours of sunshine a year in Barbados
- The literacy rate above age 15 is 97%
- People used to visit the island to revive their health– even George Washington and his brother Lawrence visited Barbados to try to cure Lawrence’s tuberculosis
- The official name of the people that live in Barbados is Barbadians but if you ask them, they will say that they are called Bajans
- Throughout the history of Barbados, it is strongly believed that the mongoose never crosses the road unless someone is watching
- Rihanna is from Barbados!
History of Barbados
We can date the first inhabitants of Barbados back about 5,000 years when the Amerindians lived there. Between 400 and 200 BC the Arawaks took over Barbados, but when carbon dating gets to about 1200 AD, the evidence of them suddenly disappears. The theory is that the Caribs, an agressive, fighting tribe from present day Venezuela wiped out the Arawaks completely. The Caribs lived in Barbados for about 300 years until they disappeared, too.
In 1625, the British arrived in Barbados (it is one of the only Caribbean countries not “discovered” and named by Christopher Columbus!). The British treated Barbados as their own little England. They would use it as a vacation spot, particularly when they needed to improve their health.
The economy of the country at first relied on tobacco and cotton, but eventually it moved almost solely to sugarcane. Because of this, slavery became very popular, and the slave influx from Africa turned a once predominantly white country into a country that was about 80% African.
In 1807 the slave trade was made illegal and in 1834, all slaves were emancipated. In 1961, Britain gave Barbados control over their own country, though Barbados is a sovereign country in the British commonwealth. This means that the Barbadian prime minister is elected by a British official.
Culture of Barbados
Most couples live together without marrying. ¾ of babies are born out of wedlock. Traditional gender roles are still common, though; the man goes to work, and the woman take care of the children. It is not unusual for many generations to live together, and grandmothers usually help take care of the children as well.
Bajans/Barbadians are very friendly and laid back. Overall, the people of the country are slow to anger and very down to earth. The national pastime is cricket, a game that is so important it is almost considered a way of life. Another favorite pastime is Road Tennis, a game invented in Barbados. It is similar to tennis or ping pong but played on any open patch of concrete.
Dining Etiquette in Barbados
Dining etiquette in Barbados is similar to the dining etiquette amongst most Caribbean countries.
- Do not begin eating until the host says something along the lines of “Let’s eat!”
- It is considered rude to leave the table at any time.
- If your hands are not using your utensils, they should be in your lap. And if you are completely done with the meal, the fork and the knife should lie parallel to one another on the right side of the plate.
Flavors and Common Foods
The most common food in Barbados is flying fish. Sweet potatoes and cassava are used in desserts a lot and starchy sides like plantains and black eyed peas are popular as well. Fruit trees like mango, coconut, guava, cherry, star apples, golden apples are common. The most used spices in the country are thyme and marjoram, which often show up in savory dishes.