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Barbados People


There are approximately 270,000 people living in Barbados today. The correct name for people of Barbados is Barbadian or Bajan.

The Barbadian population is a diverse mix of races which has been accounted for as follows: 93% African descent, 4% Indian, Asian and mixed races and 3% are of European descent.

English is the language spoken locally. Although visitors may wonder at times! The Barbadian dialect, commonly known as Bajan, can be a bit confusing as local slang finds its way into daily communication.

History of Barbadian People
Amerindians, mainly being the Arawaks and Caribs, originally inhabited Barbados. In the 1500's, the Spanish and Portuguese came to the island in search of gold. As Barbados had no gold to offer, they chose not to settle here and used the island as a 'lay over' to replenish resources. The English arrived in 1625 and established a new colony in the name of the Crown. Barbados remained under British rule until 1966 at which time it gained its independence.

Over the course of the last four centuries, historical events and a potent mix of African, British and other influences have bequeathed as rich and diverse a cultural heritage as any one single nation could ever dare hope for; our people are our country's greatest asset.

Today's Bajans
Quick witted, chatty and very friendly is the way in which Bajans are described. A caring community, Barbadians welcome visitors to the island and quickly make them feel at home! Barbadians are a rainbow cross-section of people who live together and are by both nature and necessity, productive, talented, creative, self-disciplined, intelligent, confident, proud and happy.

The family unit is the core of any society and in Barbados everyone is considered family through extension. The island is small and most people either know of each other or are related to one another.

It is the people of Barbados who have enabled the country to develop into one of the world's most outstanding free democracies, supported by a deep and universal belief in human rights, the rule of law and the dignity of man.

In A Nutshell
Life in Barbados is relaxed. A 'Bajan minute' can last longer than most as the attitude of the people is quite laid back. However, the quality of life is good and the people caring and friendly. The 'Gem of the Caribbean', Barbados is the place where solid friendships are created and vacation memories last a lifetime!

Our Barbadian People

While sugar remains the number one agricultural product, a drive around the island will readily reveal a diminishing number of cane fields; a larger acreage devoted to diversification into other crops; and, significantly, an increase in tourism related development, including golf courses, new hotels and upmarket residential communities. Tourism is now the backbone of the economy, followed closely by international business services and technology based industries.

It is no coincidence that the future economic well-being of Barbados should today be built around the country's greatest asset - our people. Over the course of the last four centuries, historical events and a potent mix of African, British and other influences have bequeathed as rich and diverse a cultural heritage as any one single nation could ever dare hope for. Out of this 'melting pot' have evolved modern day Barbadians. A rainbow cross-section of people who live together in the confined space of a small island and who are, by both nature and necessity, productive, talented, creative, self-disciplined, intelligent, confident, proud and happy.

Barbadians have always believed wholeheartedly in the benefits of a good education for upward economic and social mobility. Boasting a long history of high educational standards, Barbados, the size of a small town in most countries, has supplied the world with a phenomenal array of scholars, professionals, artists, musicians, sportsmen and leaders.

It is the people of Barbados who have enabled the country to develop into one of the worlds most outstanding free democracies, supported by a deep and universal belief in human rights, the rule of law and the dignity of man.

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