A Look at the Caribbean and Its People and Culture
New Africa Press, 2010 - History - 174 pages
The people of the Caribbean and the cultural vitality of the islands are some of the main subjects covered in this work. It focuses on a number of island nations and territorial dependencies in the region. The people are a product of many cultures - African, European and indigenous as well as Asian in many cases - and have, through the centuries, shaped the identity and destiny of the island nations in such a way that they have become some of the most fascinating human societies in the world. The cultural landscape of the Caribbean is simple yet complex. There is cultural uniformity in many cases because of the common history of most of the Caribbean islands as former British colonies. But there are also differences, some distinct, others subtle, even among these islands which have a common colonial history and the vast majority of whose people have a common African origin. Trinidad and Tobago stands out as the home of calypso, among many other things which make this island nation unique. But so do smaller island nations such as Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Turks and Caicos Islands and others. They all stand out in their own ways. There are also territories which are not independent countries but possessions of the United kingdom and the United States; for example, the Virgin Islands with their separate identities and divergent historical paths, one group of the islands being British and the other American. They all have evolved separately to forge different identities in spite of the fact that many of them have a common cultural heritage. They also have many similarities even if some of them don't share a common history and cultural origins whose elements have fused to create what we know today as the richness and diversity of the Caribbean region which is one of the most interesting places and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The cultural landscape of the Caribbean as well as the ethnic and racial diversity of its people is an interesting subject not only to scholars but to members of the general public many of whom are familiar with the islands because of the way they have been portrayed and glorified in films and songs through the decades as a tropical paradise. And in many ways, it is.
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