ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
- Location: Eastern Caribbean Sea
- Capital: Saint John’s
- Language(s): English
- Population: 88,574
- Total Area: 440 sq km
- Currency: East Caribbean Dollar
- Curious Alcohol Fact: There is a sweet drink made from hibiscus flowers.
- Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: 7.22 liters
- Most Popular Drink(s): Beers, malt and fresh fruit juices
This independent island nation in the Caribbean is actually an archipelago made of three major islands. These are Antigua, Barbuda and Redonda. There are other smaller islands in the group and these include Great Bird, Maiden, Guinea and York Islands. The islands are part of the Lesser Antilles and are located at the southern portion of the Leeward Islands group. Like many of the other island nations in the Caribbean, there are various majestic beaches all over and these attract visitors from all parts of the globe thus encouraging the thriving local tourism industry.
The majority of the people residing on the islands have roots in Africa, the United Kingdom and Portugal. The Blacks or those of mixed ancestry (known as Mulattos) form a huge chunk of the population. Those with Portuguese origins had ancestors who migrated to the islands in search of work and the Blacks arrived initially on the islands as slaves from West African nations such as Nigeria and Ghana. Around three-quarters of the people are Christians with the largest denominations being the Catholic Church, Baptists and Presbyterians. There is also a significant population of Rastafaris, Jews and Muslims. Antiguan Creole is spoken by many of the indigenous residents although English is the official language.
While staying on the islands, I thoroughly enjoyed myself as far as the food is concerned. The dookoona is a delicacy that you must eat if you find yourself in Antigua and Barbuda. This tasty dish is prepared using grounded sweet potatoes, which is then boiled. Apart from sweet potatoes, will also fall in love with the many corn-based dishes on the islands. Drinks are plentiful and many of them are local. These include delicious raspberry juice, ginger beer, seamoss and beers.
Cricket is the most popular sport on the islands, and it also doubles as the national pastime. Apart from cricket, which is enjoyed all over, other sports include football, beach soccer, surfing, athletics and boat racing. Sailing is also particular important in Antigua and Barbuda and there is a whole week dedicated to the celebration of the sport every year. Apart from the sporting events, there are spectacular music festivals at various times of the year. If you want to enjoy authentic calypso and afro-population, this is the place to be. There is also a carnival that is held on an annual basis and the essence is to celebrate the abolition of slavery. At events like these, you enjoy the steady beats and rhythm of soca and calypso music.
- Barbuda was once called Dulcina.
- The island nation is also called by other names like Land of the Wadadli and the Land of 365 Beaches.
- Queen Elizabeth II of England is the first Queen of the islands.
- Barbuda and Redonda are dependencies.
Story By World By Shotglass
©2013 World By Shotglass. All Rights Reserved
Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).