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Bajan Culture, Barbados Customs

Bajan Culture

A former British Colony and a member of the Commonwealth, Barbados is an island with a dual heritage. England is evident in the architecture found in Bridgetown, the many Anglican churches, and the horse racing on a Saturday, but the lifestyle of the people is truly West Indian. This is demonstrated daily in its music, dance and cuisine.

The People

Barbados is made special by its people. Bajans mostly of African decent are some of the friendliest West Indians, whether at a roadside food stall selling the local delicacy 'Flying Fish' or in a rum shop for a game of dominoes, the Bajans will give you the warmest welcome. The locals are always ready to fill you in on the latest island news or simply give you their view on how to put the world to rights. You will soon switch in to their sense of humor, one certainty they will keep you laughing for hours.

Barbados Rum Shop


The Bajans love their cricket; the locals will drop everything to listen to the commentary of a West Indies Test Match. North of Bridgetown is the new Kensington Oval, the main international test cricket stadium which was rebuilt to host the Super 8's and the Final of the Cricket World Cup held in 2007. Watching a match with the locals is definitely a rousing experience.
The Garrison holds weekly horse racing meets, the big event being the Gold Cup held usually the first Saturday in March. Hockey, Netball and of course football (soccer) are really popular within the schools and many international tournaments are held on the island. Overall Barbados is a health conscious nation, just watch the beaches come alive around 4pm with the locals entering into their workout routines, running, walking, patter ball and of course swimming. That kind of setting beats the gym any day.

Barbados Cricket Team


Wherever you lay your hat, you will always hear music; whether Calypso, Soca, R&B or Reggae it's the soul of the island. Fantastic live music is in abundance, with talented local artists playing in venues across the island nightly. The Barbados calendar is dictated by the many festivals it hosts. Kicking off with the International Jazz Festival in January, and the pinnacle of all festivals being the 2 week celebration of Crop-Over (carnival marking the end of the sugar cane harvest) starting in July, with the climax being Kadooment Day (first Monday in August). The streets come alive with a huge parade of colorful costumed revelers 'Jumping Up' to the blasting music. This is the highlight of the Bajan year for locals and visitors, so don't miss it., It's mind-blowing!
See the Events Calendar for a complete list of all the festivals.

Barbados Steel Band


Going to church on Sundays is still a major part of the week for a lot of Barbadians. Most people are of Anglican decent. Beautiful little churches are situated across the whole island. No one goes to church without wearing their Sunday best, lookout for the colorful hats on the ladies and the children in their best dresses and suits. You will also hear the vibrant gospel music through the open windows. Visitors are always embraced, and will create another lasting memory of this special Caribbean island.

Barbados School Children off to Church