Saint Vincent and the Grenadines






Culture Name

Vincentians

Alternative Names

The locals sometimes call the main island "Hairoun," its Carib name. The term "Saint Vincent" is often used for the whole group, including the Grenadines.

Orientation

Identification. The name "Saint Vincent" was bestowed by Columbus on his discovery of the island on 22 January 1498, in honor of Saint Vincent of Saragossa, a Spanish saint. The name "Grenadines" derives from the Spanish for "pomegranate" (in reference to the distribution of the smaller islands; pomegranate fruits do not grow on the islands).

Location and Geography. The area of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is 150 square miles (389 square kilometers), with the 133 square miles comprising the mainland and 17 square miles in the Grenadines.

Demography. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has a population of approximately 120,000 (2000 estimate), with about 110,000 residing on Saint Vincent and the remainder distributed among the Grenadines. On Saint Vincent, most of the population lives in the southern two thirds of the island because the volcano occupies the northern third of the island. The capital, Kingstown, and its suburbs have a population of around 25,000.

Linguistic Affiliation. The official language of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is English. Most, however, normally speak a creole known locally as "dialect." This would be unintelligible to the casual visitor, but it is based on an English vocabulary and can be learned in a short time.

Symbolism. The national flag is a tricolor of green, gold, and blue, with a stylized V in the center—representing the rich foliage of the island, the sun, and the sea. All public buildings display the flag, as do many private homes. Vincentians dwell on the natural beauty of the islands: the volcano and the "black sand" of the beaches; the Vincentian parrot, an endangered endemic species; the rainforest of the interior; the beautiful views.

History and Ethnic Relations

Emergence of the Nation. Saint Vincent was one of the last Caribbean islands to be colonized by Europeans. The aboriginal Caribs existed there in sufficient force to hold off European incursions until the eighteenth century. In the early seventeenth century, the Black Caribs—a population composed of the descendants of Caribs and African maroons from other islands—emerged on Saint Vincent.

In 1763, the Treaty of Paris granted Saint Vincent to the British who quickly set up plantations with large numbers of slaves. The Carib lands in the northern part of the island had been excluded from expropriation by the British, but the promise of profitable sugar cultivation led to encroachment by planters and eventually to two Carib wars. After the Second Carib War (1793–1795), the Black Caribs were removed to Central America. The "Red" Caribs, whose descendants still live in Saint Vincent, were allowed to stay.

By the beginning of the nineteenth century, the British colony had settled into a sugar plantation economy maintained by the importation of slaves. Slavery ended on 1 August 1834.

The importation of Africans by Europeans established the basic Afro-European foundation of Vincentian society. The labor shortage created by emancipation occasioned the immigration of East Indians, Portuguese, and Barbadian whites. Many of the freed slaves were turned into agricultural wage earners, but most became peasants. A combination

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
of peasant and plantation agriculture remains the character of Saint Vincent in modern times.

In the latter half of the twentieth century, Vincentians gradually came to have more control over their own political life. Universal suffrage granted by the British Crown in 1951 gave common people a measure of power that was formerly possessed by the planters. Independence was granted in 1979. Due to the reliance on an export economy of bananas, Saint Vincent remains dependent on the trade policies of the United States, Great Britain, and the European Union.

National Identity. The poor people in Saint Vincent, whether of African, European, Native American, or Asian descent, derive a strong sense of identity from the history of the resistance activities of the Caribs in the eighteenth century, while the wealthier Vincentians identify with English or North American models of behavior. More than that, the environmental features of Saint Vincent unify the country. The national anthem emphasizes the natural beauty of the islands.

Ethnic Relations. The population of the nation at the 1991 census was 106,499, with over 82,000 describing themselves as African/Negro/Black (77.1 percent), 17,501 as mixed (16.4 percent), 3,341 as Amerindian/Carib (3.1 percent), 1,477 as East Indian (1.4 percent), 511 as Portuguese (0.5 percent), 982 as white (0.9 percent), and 140 describing themselves as "other."

Each of the ethnic minorities has been successfully integrated into the nation state and a Vincentian identity. All ethnicities intermarry with the black majority, although the Barbados-descended local whites of Dorsetshire Hill are said to be more reclusive.

Urbanism, Architecture, and the Use of Space

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is primarily rural. Most of the population lives in small villages of 100 to 500 people. The only large town in the country is the capital, Kingstown.

Saint Vincent has a reliable electric supply to the entire island, along with telephone service and safe drinking water. Many people cannot afford utilities in their homes, and the government has supplied most villages with public showers and water taps. Most buildings are made of cinder block or wood frames, painted white or the pastel colors common to the Caribbean.

Food and Economy

Food in Daily Life. The daily dish of most Vincentians is pilau, a preparation of rice and pigeon peas to which is added any meat or fish available. Locally grown vegetables, "ground provision," include yams and sweet potatoes, dasheens, eddoes, tannies, and cassava. Among the island's abundant fruits are bananas, mangos, breadfruit, guavas, plumrose, coconuts, passion fruits, and pineapples.

The main meal is usually eaten in the early evening when the heat of the day has dissipated. A light lunch or snacks of fruit make up the midday meal. Breakfast is normally a hearty affair, typically consisting of fried salt fish with onions and peppers, bread, and a pot of cocoa or coffee.

Fish of all kinds are caught by the local fishermen. Cetaceans also are hunted and eaten, the most common being porpoises, killer whales, and pilot whales. Fishsellers travel to the villages in pickup trucks when a catch is in, blowing conch shells to announce that fish are for sale. On holidays, it is common for everyone to fish for crawfish in the mountain streams or to catch land crabs to add to the evening meal.

Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions. Whenever guests are invited for a meal, they must be fed until they are satisfied. Rum is drunk before or after a special meal, or even during a break in the day. Strong rum (70 percent alcohol) is the Vincentian drink and is offered to all male guests. Women may have beer, but usually they do not drink strong alcohol. Sea moss—a mixture of milk, seaweed, and spices—is considered an aphrodisiac and appears at Christmas and other special occasions. For birthdays and other celebrations cakes are usually eaten.

Basic Economy. Bananas and tourism are the main forces in the Vincentian economy: bananas on the mainland, tourism in the Grenadines. Plantations continued to exist after the end of slavery and remained powerful, but small farming employed more people in contemporary times. Few households can subsist entirely from their farming, and most have some members engaged in wage labor. Remittances from abroad have become an essential part of the Vincentian economy.

Land Tenure and Property. The current pattern of land distribution and use began during slavery, and a few families own most of the land. Agricultural land may be owned outright, rented or sharecropped. Land may also be held jointly by a number of siblings and their heirs—a uniquely Caribbean form of land tenure known as "family land." All who have a share in the land have a right to its produce.

Commercial Activities. The economy is a mixture of subsistence and plantation agriculture. In the capital, Kingstown, a market square is occupied on most days by women selling "ground provision," produce from their gardens. Women also sell their produce in neighboring countries. A separate market in the capital is set up for fishermen. Funded by Japan, it is called "Little Tokyo." Whales, caught on the western side of Saint Vincent, are butchered and sold out of the town of Barroullie. All fish products are produced for local consumption.

On Saint Vincent, there is a cigarette factory, a plastics factory, a various food processing facilities directed to the local market. Occasionally, European and American investments provide jobs, including a tennis racket factory, clothing manufacture, and a marina.

On Canouan, a traditional boat-building industry continues to employ a few people.

On the other islands, subsistence agriculture and tourism are the primary factors in the economy.

Major Industries. Apart from agriculture, and tourism in the Grenadines, there is no major industry. Saint Vincent is a major world producer of arrowroot.

Trade. The main trade partners are the United States, other CARICOM (Caribbean common market) countries, the United Kingdom, and the European Economic Community. Saint Vincent has very little manufacturing, so most of the trade is in bananas, arrowroot, and other agricultural produce. In spite of the peasant economy, all of the food staples used daily by Vincentians—flour, rice, sugar, salt cod—are imported.

Division of Labor. Unemployment ranged from 20 to 50 percent throughout the twentieth century, with the highest rates coming in the 1990s. These figures are misleading, as nearly everyone is engaged in some subsistence activity. Most Vincentians engage in multiple economic activities.

Social Stratification

Classes and Castes. Vincentian society consists of a small elite composed of foreign-educated black Vincentians and the white planter families, a small middle class of government employees and business professionals, and a large class of poor people. The Caribs, whose villages flank the volcano, are the poorest people on the island. A community of foreign expatriates who have taken Vincentian citizenship live in the southeast section of the main island. Foreign whites control Mustique, Petit Saint Vincent, and Palm Island.

Symbols of Social Stratification. A sharp difference is visible between the very small local elite and the activities of the poor who make up the majority of the Vincentian population. The middle class differentiate themselves from the poorer people by their use of standard English speech, private automobiles, and expensive dress, as well as lodge memberships and such activities as beauty contests.

Political Life

Government. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is a constitutional monarchy with Elizabeth II as head of state in 2000. Her representative on the island then was Governor-General David Jack.

Leadership and Political Officials. Power is divided between the Unity Labor Party (social democrat) and the New Democracy Party (conservative), with the conservatives holding the balance for most of the years since independence. Sir James Mitchell has been prime minister since 1984. Ralph Gonsalves, a scholar and lawyer, was the minority leader in 2000.

Social Problems and Control. Unemployment, underemployment, and the drug trade are the main problems Saint Vincent has had to face in modern times. The Grenadines, with their many uninhabited islets, are a transhipment point for illicit drugs from South America to the United States.

Military Activity. The country has no formal military. The duties of a military have been taken over by the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Royal Police Force. The U.S. military has a training and advisory role.

Social Welfare and Change Programs

The U.S. Peace Corps and Canadian Crossroads organizations maintain a presence in Saint Vincent. Scandinavian, Taiwanese, and Japanese aid agencies all have active projects in the islands. The World Health Organization had some success in an AIDS awareness campaign, with the result that Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has one of the highest rates of condom use in the world near the end of the 1990s.

Nongovernmental Organizations and Other Associations

Churches organize many activities, but secular clubs are plentiful. These include drama groups, lodges, nature organizations, the girl and boy scouts, and domino playing, soccer, and cricket clubs.

Gender Roles and Statuses

Division of Labor by Gender. Men and women work together on many activities, but typically men do the farming, women do the gardening, and men work at sea. Traditionally, only women sell produce in the market square; only men sell fish. Women are paid less than men at service jobs.

The Relative Status of Women and Men. Although women have more economic power than in many peasant economies and are often heads of households, men have a higher status. Relationships between men and women are placed overtly in a context of monetary/sexual favor exchange.

Marriage, Family, and Kinship

Marriage. Three forms of conjugal relationship are recognized: "visiting" (the couple reside separately), "keeping" (cohabitation), and legal marriage. Among the majority of the population, the tendency is to marry later in life, usually after a couple has had several children together. It is common for women and men to have a number of children by different partners.

Domestic Unit. Households in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines may be composed of extended families, nuclear families, or individuals. The matrifocal, multigeneration family is typical. Overall, the composition of the household is flexible. In times of need, children are "lent" or "shifted" to the households of kin to lighten the subsistence needs of a household.

Inheritance. Inheritance is bilateral according to British law. Family land is always inherited jointly and cannot be broken up.

Kin Groups. People recognize kin of any degree and will go out of their way to be especially courteous and generous to them, but there are no kin groupings larger than the extended family.

Socialization

Infant Care. For most Vincentians, the umbilicus or "navel string" is planted under a fruit-bearing tree shortly after birth, so that the child will have a healthy and productive life. The child is not given a name until about four weeks after birth. Meanwhile, the infant is coddled and cuddled and played with by all in the household. Care is taken not to become too attached to the infant unless it should sicken and die from too much love—a condition known as love maljo.

Men loading plastic-wrapped banana bunches onto a lighter for transfer to a freighter anchored in deeper water. Bananas are one of the major exports of Saint Vincent.
Men loading plastic-wrapped banana bunches onto a lighter for transfer to a freighter anchored in deeper water. Bananas are one of the major exports of Saint Vincent.

Child Rearing and Education. Children are raised by everyone in the household and in the extended family. Children early develop a sense of security about their place in society. At the age of five or six, the child may begin to attend school. Education is free but not compulsory up to about eight years of age. After that, tuition must be paid. Many families cannot afford to send their children to school at any age, and their children work on the farms as soon as they are able. Literacy is in excess of 80 percent, and given their occupational opportunities, Vincentians are over educated on the whole. People often must have several O-levels (equivalent to one or two years of American college) to be hired as a clerk in a store.

Higher Education. Saint Vincent has a small teacher's college, a nursing school, and a medical college on the main island. The medical college is geared to foreign students, only admitting one or two Vincentians on scholarship per class. A University of West Indies Extension office offers some classes but no degrees.

Etiquette

Generosity is the main feature of Vincentian conduct. Vincentians give of themselves and their resources to an extraordinary degree. Two customs that may strike the visitor as unusual are that it is a serious breach of etiquette to call someone's name in public and that the use of cameras by foreigners is likely to elicit an angry or violent response.

Religion

Almost everyone in Saint Vincent is a Christian, and most Christian denominations are represented. A native religion, a combination of African rituals and Christian liturgy, has formed on Saint Vincent. Its followers are known as the Converted, or Spiritual Baptists. Believed by the rest of the population to have a particular facility with spirits, they are utilized by most Vincentians to conduct rituals at wakes and at other times of spiritual unrest. The local "pointer," the Converted ritual specialist, may also be consulted for illness or psychological unease. Rastafarians also have a presence in Saint Vincent.

Religious Beliefs. Saint Vincent is a Christian country, although a few Bahai can be found. Main denominations are Anglican, Catholic, Methodist, and Pentecostal. About 10 percent of the population belongs to the local "Converted" religion (also known as "Spiritual Baptist"), a combination of African and Christian rituals. Several hundred Vincentians are Rastafarians.

Among a large portion of the Vincentian population, dreams are interpreted as real spiritual events and many ordinary Vincentians fear dreams, as they may predict misfortune. "Jumbies" (evil spirits), "Rounces" (spirit-animals that produce night terrors), "Ghosts" (the spirits of lie people seeking their graves), "Diablesses" (demon temptresses), "Haggs" (vampire-like creatures), and other supernatural beings inhabit Saint Vincent and many small ritual actions are required to protect one from them. These include keeping a bottle of hot pepper sauce by one's bed, placing a jar of urine in one's yard, and spinning around before entering one's home. Some young people scoff at these practices.

Religious Practitioners. The ordinary Christian denominations have ministers, priests, and bishops as they are found in other Christian countries. The Rastafarians have elders, who do not conduct any special rituals but instead are respected interpreters of scripture (the Bible). The Converted have a host of religious practitioners, the most important of which is the office of "pointer." The local pointer is the person to whom most Vincentians will turn in times of spiritual trouble. Although the Converted are persecuted socially and their religion was actually illegal until 1965, they are still revered and feared for their powers. The Converted say, "They curse us in the day, but they seek us out at night."

Rituals and Holy Places. There are no pilgrimage locations on Saint Vincent. Church buildings themselves are the only permanently holy places. Rituals by the Converted temporarily sanctify specific locations—a house, the market square, a crossroads, a beach—for services they hold there.

Traditionally the Converted conduct a wake for a family (regardless of the denomination) on any one of the third-, ninth-, fortieth-night, or six-month or one-year anniversary of the death—but the "nine nights" and the "forty days" are the most important. The Converted receive a ritual payment of hot cross buns and cocoa tea.

The celebrations of Carnival (originally before Lent) and Nine Mornings (before Christmas) began as religious rituals, but now are primarily secular in nature.

Death and the Afterlife. The dead in Saint Vincent are remarkably mobile. On All Saint's Eve (31 October) and on All Soul's Eve (1 November), souls of the deceased are believed to leave the grave and to wander about Saint Vincent visiting their favorite places. Lighted candles are placed on the graves of departed family members to guide the souls back to their resting places.

The dead also roam on the third, ninth, and fortieth days after death, and on the six-month and one-year anniversary of the death. The Converted traditionally are called to conduct rituals in the home of the deceased on any of these days.

Medicine and Health Care

Health care is accessible to people in all parts of the island. Basic health care is free or low cost to all, but any special services and all surgery are expensive. Many of the poor forgo operations that would be considered necessary in other countries.

Secular Celebrations

The two most important events in the Vincentian calendar are Christmas and Carnival. There are, besides, twelve national holidays throughout the year: New Year's Day, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Day (22 January, celebrating the discovery of the islands by Columbus), Good Friday, Easter Monday, Labor Day (1 May, also known locally as "Fisherman's Day"), Whit Monday, CARICOM Day (celebrating the Caribbean common market), Carnival Tuesday, August Monday (1 August, Emancipation Day), Independence Day (27 October), Christmas Day, and Boxing Day (26 December).

Christmas includes three segments: Nine Mornings, Christmas Day, and "the two days following Christmas." Following a custom begun during slavery, on the Nine Mornings Vincentians hold parties each day in the pre-dawn hours, then go to work, and party again the next day for each of the nine days. In Kingstown, large sections of the town are taken over by the party goers. Christmas Day is spent with one's family. Boxing Day and the day after are spent visiting neighbors. The Christmas season coincides with a cooling "Christmas breeze" and is looked forward to for the temporary relief from the tropical heat as much as for the celebrations.

Carnival celebrations, with their attendant calypso and costume contests, are sponsored by the government.

The Arts and Humanities

Support for the Arts. The visual arts are not highly elaborated on Saint Vincent. Several musical groups do support themselves, although mainly by tours and record sales off the island. The government sponsors the Carnival celebration which formerly was held according to the religious calendar, but was moved to July to encourage tourism.

Literature. There is almost no written literature produced by Vincentians themselves. Myths, folktales, and other stories are rarely passed down in any formal way. However, Vincentians place great value on the ability to create good stories, jokes, and riddles and to present them in a convincing and entertaining way. Impromptu speaking contests and joke contests may be arranged in any gathering. Moonlit nights in the rural villages are especially noted as a time for these performances.

Graphic Arts. There is little in the way of graphic arts in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Occasionally an individual self-taught artist will gain attention.

Performance Arts. Calypso, Soka, Reggae, and Gospel are the main forms of music heard in Saint Vincent. Competitive caroling groups also perform at Christmas time.

Dramatic presentations are held by school and church groups throughout the islands as fund-raising events. The most important of these are "concerts," variety shows featuring short plays, jokes, and singing for which a small entrance fee is charged.

The State of the Physical and Social Sciences

Local development of the sciences is negligible; however, the islands themselves are the focus of much scientific activity. Scientists from around the world are attracted by Saint Vincent's volcano and its endemic wildlife. Dozens of sociologists and anthropologists have conducted major research on aspects of Vincentian society.

Bibliography

Abrahams, Roger D. The Man-of-Words in the West Indies: Performance and the Emergence of Creole Culture, 1983.

Austin, Roy L. "Family Environment, Educational Aspiration and Performance in Saint Vincent." The Review of Black Political Economy 17 (3): 101–122, 1989.

Betley, Brian James. "Stratification and Strategies: A Study of Adaptation and Mobility in a Vincentian Town." Ph.D. dssertation, University of California, Los Angeles, 1976.

Brittain, Ann W. "Anticipated Child Loss to Migration and Sustained High Fertility in an East Caribbean Population. Social Biology 38 (;ef): 94–112, 1991.

Gearing, Margaret Jean. "Family Planning in Saint Vincent, West Indies: A Population History Perspective." Social Science and Medicine 35 (10): 1273–1282, 1992.

Gullick, Charles (C. J. M. R.). Myths of a Minority: The Changing Traditions of the Vincentian Caribs, 1985.

Jackson, Jane. "Social Organization in Saint Vincent." B.Litt. thesis, Oxford University, 1972.

Landman, Bette Emeline. "Household and Community in Canouan, British West Indies." Ph.D. dissertation, Ohio State University, 1972.

Price, Neil. Behind the Planter's Back: Lower Class Responses to Marginality in Bequia Island, Saint Vincent, 1988.

Shacochis, Bob. Swimming in the Volcano, 1993.

Thomas-Hope, Elizabeth M. Explanation in Caribbean Migration: Perception and the Image: Jamaica, Barbados, Saint Vincent, 1992.

Zane, Wallace W. Journeys to the Spiritual Lands: The Natural History of a West Indian Religion, 1999.

—W ALLACE W. Z ANE



User Contributions:

elvis
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Sep 23, 2006 @ 2:14 pm
I am so impressed by what I've just read. Well,usually I've never been interested in the Carribeans until now when I just realized that I had to also go therein & take part in the development of this wonderful Island. I'm a stronghold christian & immediately as our organization offered to come work in this Island, that was my main fear that I might find any suitable christian religion which might suit me considering the background from which I came from but after going thru this article, I guess I had a very wrong judgement.

I as an individual has decided to come over to st.vincent & the grenadines to do some more community development work as it has always been my passion to work with people. As such I'm a humanist & making such a decision to come over give a helping to this country will be my greatest previlege. Also, I just b'liv that I'll meet extremely nice people on this Island considering what I've just read from the article but most of all my 1st mission is to offer what I think the vincentians might need & in return take what they've got to offer. I haven't have that much international xpirience as such though but I guest st.vincent is simply the right choice I've made.

As I earlier mentioned, I'm doing our organization is doing community development & so that's simply what I've got to offer the st.vincentians. Little did I know that the carribeans is the 2nd worlds' infected HIV/AIDS region & st.vincent & grenadines most affected by this epidemic. Also interesting about the great progress the WHO has made in the early 90's of the country making the awareness campaign which have made most peeps on the Island to become cautious with their sexual attitudes which & have had a great impact on the country. These are some of the news that we don't oftenly here nowadays in most countries who are so affected with this pandemic.

All in all I see a bigger picture for the future of this country & I'll be more than just previlege to partake in this great change with the little that I might eventually offer as time will tell.

simply elvis
sandrine
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Aug 26, 2007 @ 4:16 pm
Hi,

I am myself from Martinique in the Caribean and I was truly happy to read something else than the fact we have great beaches and what great party people we are!! It is refreshing to have real facts. All important information is contained in this article. I actually think of relocating to St-Vincent and I'm glad I could learn more about the Islands.Thank you
Onika Griffith
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Nov 19, 2007 @ 10:10 am
Hello, my name is Onika and I'm from the small village of Byera but currently studying in the UK. I must congratulate the individual/s who has managed to put this article together. I think it is brilliant and it subs up the country in a exceptional way.To me if anyone wants to know anything about our country I would personally recommend this article becaue it gives a full insight into SVG. Well done!
Jenny
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Aug 29, 2008 @ 2:14 pm
hey,
I'm actually living in St. Vincent currently and it was such an amazement to come across this article. you've obviously done your research very meticulously, as I've never seen our little island described in such vivid detail. this is exceptional work and I'm extremely pleased to see the smaller islands of the Caribbean, despite their size making such a great impact on your mind. Darling you have done a wonderful job and i intend to show this article to a couple friends.
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Apr 29, 2010 @ 7:19 pm
Hello,

I am a writer who enjoys creating characters of different backgrounds, and recently I've wanted to broaden my usual 'American-or-French' horizons. This article was very, very helpful with giving me an overview of not only the general idea of what the island is like, but how the people interact with each other (gender and age wise). Thank you very, very much for writing this!
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May 22, 2010 @ 12:00 am
I am a Vincentian-Canadian living in Montreal. I found this site while researching about My Country for a French class report. I was happy to read about the facts, and i had a few laughs about some of our practices, to see where and how they originated. Our people are strong and our culture is rich, we welcome change but we are proud of our heritage. We love to party, sing, dance, tell stories and nothing beats a full moon night cook. We go to the beach on holidays where we play games and cook. We eat fresh fruits and we survive off our land and livestocks. We are not all rich or employed but we always eat and we are generally A happy people. God Bless My St Vincent and the Grenadines.
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Sep 11, 2010 @ 3:15 pm
This article captures the nature and the spirit of Vincentians. I especially liked your phrase "the dead in St.Vincent are remarkably mobile" - I hadn't thought of our commemoration of our loved ones and dearly departed in such a colorful and humorous light. I am proud to be a "Vincie" for all the reasons you highlighted. I am writing about the Vincentian education system so it was interesting that you found Vincentians to be "over educated". I have no doubt that my foray into this topic will shed some light as to the cause and possible solutions for this dilemna.

Volma "Libby" Westfield
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Jun 16, 2011 @ 8:20 pm
I was born in St. Vincent but reside in the United States most of my life but still correspond with relatives and updates in St. Vincent, I truly love St. Vincent and reading about the history and culture of St. Vincent really enlightened and educates me, I even smile at some of the statement I read, they are so true based on my child hood life there. Thank you so much for refreshing my memory of such a beautiful country.
Charlotte
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Nov 1, 2011 @ 11:11 am
Hello,

My name is Charlotte and I'm second generation of ST.VINCENT and I've been given a project to chose a country for my school (11 years old) And I've chosen my home town. I've found this information very useful and have put in my own words about the tradition of ST.VINCENT. I have also written about my cousin Ralph Gonsalves (my cousin) also Prim Minister of St.Vincent.

I once thank you for your useful information and if I get a good mark, it will be all down to you.
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Nov 20, 2011 @ 8:08 am
While looking on the net,trying to fine someone my mother has spoken of i came across this wonderful article of St.Vincent.I want so very much to visit this wonderful place,especially Pointer Mercury at his chruch.The chruch is call Saint Peter Spiritual Baptise,in SV./IF anyone out there that can direct an address or email,I will be most appreciative sincerly,ON the net I've watched many spiritul sessions and some brings joy to my soul,because it reminds me of my spiritual mudda soo much.Being who she was and knowing who I AM MAKES A BIG DIFFERANCE IN MY SOUL/LIFE. PLEASE DROP ME AN EMAIL Can't wait to here from you. A great believer in the Father,Jesus Christ,and the Holy Spirit
Niccky
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Nov 23, 2011 @ 5:17 pm
I am a proud Vincetian studying in Latin America and i have found your information very helpful. i am presently in the process of starting my thesis on, the history of SVG in relation to the contributions of the Garifunas and Africans in the aspect of culture. thank you once again...:)
Daniel
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Dec 29, 2011 @ 9:09 am
Interesting piece; although there are some inaccuracies. In general it should like the writings of someone who is either loosely familiar with SVG or someone who has a somewhat sterilised view of the island. Nevertheless, it’s interesting.
Pleasant,
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Feb 7, 2012 @ 3:15 pm
What kind of clothing is worn in St. Vincent and the Grenadines?
vicklee
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Feb 17, 2012 @ 6:18 pm
well done job.I came across this article while doing an assignment on the history of family planning in St Vincent and the Grenadines.It is so enticing to know what beauty our little country have to offer.
jerry
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Feb 22, 2012 @ 7:19 pm
WHILE LOOKING UP SOME INFO FOR MY DAUGHTERS SCHOOL PROJECT ON CULTURE AND LANGUAGE IM VERY IMPRESS ON THIS ARTICLE IM BORN AND RAISED IN ARNOS VALE AND NOW MY SOCIAL CLUB LEADER IS NOW THE MINISTER OF TOURISM,SPORT AND CULTURE(CECIL MCKIE)KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK AND PLEASE FINISH THAT AIRPORT THAT I CAN TRAVEL TO MY BLEESED ISLAND LN A REGULAR BASIS GOD BLESS ST.VINCENT AND ALL ITS PEOPLE
Janet Stewart
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Feb 22, 2012 @ 9:21 pm
Vincentian living in the united states since 1965. Currently retired teacher and in the process of writing a book about my childhood growing up in St Vincent copled with the American experience.I was smitten by heartfelt gratitude and pride when I read your article. Would love to share my ideas with you. Thank You!
Janet Stewart
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Feb 22, 2012 @ 9:21 pm
Vincentian living in the united states since 1965. Currently retired teacher and in the process of writing a book about my childhood growing up in St Vincent copled with the American experience.I was smitten by heartfelt gratitude and pride when I read your article. Would love to share my ideas with you. Thank You!
Fellicia
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Apr 11, 2012 @ 1:13 pm
I am beyond amazed. I am vincentian myself and I didnt realize how much of my country means to me. To be honest,Reading this was an experience,I learned things that I never even knew. Thankyou for this site. It meant allot to me. Now whnen people ask about my cultureI 'll have lots to say and to talk about. I hope allot of people come visit our country so we can get a allot of tourism. It's a caribbean experience.
S.Lewis
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Feb 6, 2013 @ 8:20 pm
I'm Vincentian by heritage, living in England. I found this article specific to our culture and ways, but what I found most warming was that my parents after relocating to England kept the Vincentian traditions sooo much alive in my growing up. Now looking back, I am truly proud to have such a rich heritage, full of variety an love.
Thank you to the author of this article, you described our value an belief system with precision an eloquence, you captured St. Vincent in essence.
Excellent!!!
Alwyn Westfield
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Apr 21, 2013 @ 10:22 pm
This article is very informative. However, I will like to add that the Converted religion had little to do with African slaves. The religion was started by the Caribs in the 17th Century who integrated Christianity into their religious practices. St Vincent had slavery for just over thirty years. Africans were Animists and their religious practices were akin to Shango. It is true that with the spread of Converted to the other islands, some African slaves and free men and women integrated Converted practices into their Shango resulting in Orasia Baptist which later evolved into Spiritual Baptists. If Converted was an African construct, it would have started in the larger islands which had large slave population especially for a longer time period. As a Converted with Carib Ancestry from Du Valle there are many stories handed down.
akeba bernard
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Sep 30, 2013 @ 4:16 pm
this is a amazing history on st Vincent, and i love it
Ashley Cambridge-Sutton
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Oct 21, 2013 @ 4:16 pm
I'm a proud Canadian-Vincentian!Great article on ST.Vincent And The Grenadines.
sarine
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Oct 28, 2013 @ 6:18 pm
Very good piece on my homeland. Some updating needed though. There are quite a few Vincentian authors in my opinion.
yanique palmer
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Nov 10, 2013 @ 5:17 pm
hi am a Jamaican doing my research on this country and .this site is not found informative to me. am here doing my research on the language spoken by this country and how history has influenced the language situation. there are info's on the language spoken and no info on how history has influenced it. this has not helped me in no way at all
kaylie
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Dec 4, 2013 @ 8:08 am
I do appreciate the insight shown here by the author of this article but there are a lot of details here that i look at as part of our history which is stated as happening in the present, the use of the past tense would have been more accurate.
Needless to say i did learn a few things about the culture of my land of birth, I'm a young vincentian and didn't have the privilege of growing up with any of my grandparents so i missed out on some our traditions, thank you for enlightening me.
Liny.
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Dec 8, 2013 @ 1:13 pm
I personally taught that doing research would of been hard and wouldn't be able to do it without help, but after reading this i got to say i understood everything i had to understand about their culture, and i am impressed. Today i learned things i would of learned in months. thanks for making the information so clear. :D
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Feb 1, 2014 @ 5:17 pm
Wow! I couldn't stop reading, how amazing is this page. It's given me lots of information to look further into. It seems there's not much going on in terms of the arts in St Vincent and this is where my interest lies so this is good to know there's a gap waiting for people like me to fill! Vincy here I come...who's with me?! ;-)
JacquesA
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Feb 17, 2014 @ 3:15 pm
Very information piece by this writer. I stumbled upon this website while researching into this country. I am interested in a community development instructor course by a U.S.-based Non-Governmental Organization which said part of the training would take place in St Vincent. After reading this article, I am convinced that I would be meeting very nice people there if I decide on this course by the One World Center organization.

"For most Vincentians, the umbilicus or "navel string" is planted under a fruit-bearing tree shortly after birth, so that the child will have a healthy and productive life. The child is not given a name until about four weeks after birth" and "Children are raised by everyone in the household and in the extended family."

This is EXACTLY our practice in West Africa where I originally came from [I am from French-speaking Benin, formerly Dahomey] before being a US citizen.

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