Bermuda is a tropical resort island. Naturally, Bermuda culture would follow the likes of the Caribbean islands. Wrong. Surprisingly, Bermuda culture is of a distinct British and African influence.
Bermuda is Britain’s oldest colony. Its influence continues to predominate in several institutions, which includes the government, educational, and legal. Judges continue to don the powdered wigs, bobbies can be seen directing traffic, basketball pales in comparison to cricket popularity, and a pint of ale is a more famous way to cap off a day’s work than beer.
English plays a crucial role in Bermuda culture, as the main form of communication. About a 65% of the Bermudians are Christians. The Bermuda culture only allows them to go to school from ages 5-16, after which they are to find work. While most tropical islands boast of their interesting Creole dishes spiced with local flavors, local Bermuda dishes are of British influence as well. Don’t go looking around for special spicy dishes, but expect to find “bangers and mash” instead. Thus, most aspects of Bermuda culture, from government to sports, are done the British way in Bermuda.
African influences on Bermuda culture are subtler and can be mostly found in its dance and music. Reggae, calypso, and the rhythm of the Gombeys are some of the very common examples. It is fascinating fact too, that African dance traditions have learned to embrace the Christian faith as evidenced in the Bermuda culture. The Gombey dance, which is a famous dance in Bermuda, originates from an African tribal dance with some aspects incorporated from Christian missionaries, British soldiers, and most visibly from the American Indians. The Gombey dancers have adapted the costumes of the American Indians and would look like merely costumed characters hopping around town to the beat of a loud music. The dance may seem disorganized, but it is actually meticulously choreographed to specific beats, in order to narrate Biblical stories. These Gombey dances are mostly performed on New Year’s Day and Boxing Day. However, the rhythm of the Gombeys is usually played in clubs to give everyone a feel of this famous Bermuda culture.
Bermuda has always been a top tourist destination. People from all over the world troop to this island to discover the magnificence of its beaches and historic spots, the warmth of its people, and the richness of the Bermuda culture. They are interestingly different from the other tropical island resorts. Bermuda culture shows you what you never expect to see and so much more, yet still keeping a little of its mystique. Tourists all travel to Bermuda for different reasons but everyone leaves with the same feeling – one of contentment and a bagful of memories to last them a lifetime.