The Island Nation of Barbados - Part 1
Barbados is an island nation and independent British Commonwealth nation located in the Caribbean.
Situated on the continent of North America, Barbados is an island nation and independent British Commonwealth nation located in the Caribbean: it’s the easternmost island in the Caribbean and is completely surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. Most scientists consider the island of Barbados to be geologically unique because the island formed over a period of many years due to an amalgamation of two land masses.
Barbados and Its British Heritage
Due to the popularity of Barbados as a tourist destination for people right across the globe, many people who work for hotels, attractions, and other services, speak secondary languages such as Spanish or French. However, the official language of Barbados is English. Given that Barbados has a long British heritage, and their inheritance of the British educational system, it stands to reason that Barbadians use British English, and this includes their spelling of certain words, such as centre instead of center, favourite instead of favorite, and so on. With English being the official language of Barbados, this language is used in formal settings and written communications; however, in informal settings like when eating at restaurants, speaking with the locals, or walking in the streets, you’re quite likely to hear the Bajan dialect spoken. This language is a combination of various West African languages and British English.
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Education in Barbados
More and more we’re seeing Barbadians becoming multilingual, particularly people working in the hospitality industry. In fact, the two most common languages taught in schools in Barbados are Spanish and French. Interestingly, Barbados offers free education right up to university level, and boasts one of the highest literacy rates in the Western Hemisphere.
Population of Barbados and Bridgetown
As at the year 2013, the population of Barbados was almost 285,000 people, who incidentally are known as Barbadians. The capital city of Barbados is Bridgetown, a cruise ship port, which is the largest city in Barbados. The population of Bridgetown as at the year 2014 was 110,000 people. The Greater Bridgetown area (formerly the Town of St Michael) is located within the parish of St Michael.
Located 160 miles east of St Vincent and the Grenadines and 250 miles north of Venezuela, the Island of Barbados’ perfect physical features encouraged the British to develop sugar plantations there. These plantations were staffed by African slaves, which ceased just a few short years before slavery was outlawed by the British Empire in 1834. Barbados was uninhabited prior to the arrival of the British in the 1620s, and in 1961 it became a self-governing British colony. Barbados later became an independent country within the British Commonwealth in 1966.
Since the year 2015, sugar production has been replaced by tourism as Barbados’ major product. One of the great tourist attractions of Barbados is its beautiful tropical climate, because Barbados remains invitingly warm all year long.
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