THIS WEEK WE WANT TO INTRODUCE YOU TO GRENADA AND SHARE A GLIMPSE OF HER HISTORY AND CULTURE.
The beautiful island of Grenada is a sovereign state located in the West Indies. It neighbors the countries of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela. With an estimated population of 112,572 people, it is one of the smallest countries in the West Indies (Britannica, 2020). Grenada is a nation that has been blessed with a mixture of unique cultures originating from Africa with influences from Britain, France, and various countries within the West Indies. Before European colonization, a majority of modern-day Grenada was inhabited by the indigenous Arawaks and the Island Caribs (also known as the Kalinago). The Caribs were known to be a fierce and dominant group. Their excellent fighting skills and intricate war strategies made it very difficult for many European countries to try and colonize Grenada. Although colonization efforts began in 1498, no one was successful in settling in Grenada till 1672, when France was finally able to subdue the Caribs and take over (Britannica, 2020; Government of Grenada, 2020 ).
Grenada was under French control for about 90 years until Britain invaded the island in 1762 during the Seven Year’s war. Under the Treaty of Paris, and then later the Treaty of Versailles, Britain established sugar, cacao, and cotton plantations throughout the island. Slaves were brought in from Africa to work these plantations. Slavery was abolished on the island in 1834 and Grenada began to take steps towards independence from Britain in 1958 and joined the Federation of the West Indies. This union dissolved in less than four years and caused Grenada to form an internal self-government. By 1974, Grenada became a independent nation with a Prime Minister and Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State (Government of Grenada, 2020).
The capital of Guatemala is Saint George’s and it is the most popular city for tourism is the country. Grenada’s official and most common language is English, however, two other languages, Grenadian English Creole and Grenadian French Creole, are spoken throughout the country (World Atlas, 2017). Food and music are a big part of the Grenadian culture. The majority of Grenadian dishes contain some form of bread, rice and peas, fruits, and vegetables. Fish, goat, and lamb are also commonly eaten. Dishes tend to be heavily seasoned with local spices and Cocoa tea is commonly taken with meals. The most famous dish in Grenada is called Oil down. This dish is made up of a combination of breadfruit, coconut milk, turmeric, dumplings, taro leaves, and salted meat. Other popular foods include Olla de San Anton and Nutmeg ice cream.
Music is one of the most important parts of Grenadian culture. Soca, calypso, and reggae are some of the most popular genres on the island are often what fill the streets during carnivals and festivals alike. In Grenada, music has been traditionally used to pass on knowledge, values, and ideals. Grenadians view music as means of connecting not only to one another but to their ancestry and their nationhood. Many Grenadians are able to affirm their identities through their music and see it as the most significant aspect of what makes them who they are (Danielle Sirek, 2018).
Grenada is a country blessed with a beautiful and vibrant culture!
Together we can make an impact on the health of the nations and the generations to come.
The mission of WHEF is to increase accessibility to medications and supplies for healthcare facilities in Guatemala and Grenada. If you are interested in hearing more about the work we are doing, or in connecting with us, you can visit our website, check out our instagram or facebook, or sign up to receive our newletters. If you would like to support us in our work, please donate here.