- Location: West Indies
- Capital: Nassau
- Language(s): English, Bahamian Dialect
- Population: 345,685
- Total Area: 13,878 sq km
- Currency: Bahamian Dollar
- Curious Alcohol Fact: Numerous cocktails are prepared on the islands.
- Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: 8.76 liters
- Most Popular Drink(s): Cocktails, fruit juices.
The Bahamas is an archipelago in the West Indies. The country is made up of about 700 islands although just 29 of these are inhabited. This is in addition to the over 2,000 islands in the region. The Bahamas, which is in the Atlantic, lies to the north of the islands of Cuba and Hispaniola (which contains Haiti and the Dominican Republic). To the northwest of the country are the lush Turks and Caicos Islands. The island state is also to the southeast of the American state of Florida. The name of the country is said to be derived from the Spanish word ‘bajamar’ which is said to mean ‘the shallow waters’. Colonized by the United Kingdom, the nation became independent in 1973. It is interesting to know that it became a colony of Great Britain in 1718 when the British government made attempts to curb the menace of the pirates in the region. The major islands in the country are the Grand Bahamas, Cat Island, Eleuthera and Andros Island. Today, the Bahamas is a thriving tourist center and the capital city of Nassau is one of the most visited cities in the world.
Before the coming of the Europeans, the first people to live on the islands were the Lucayans who are related to the Arawaks of Antigua and Barbuda. English and the Bahamian Dialect are the most widely spoken languages in the country. A vast proportion of the people living on the islands are Christians and the major denominations include the Baptists, Catholics, Anglicans and Methodists. Those with African roots make up as much as 80% of the population, and others include Asians, Europeans and those with mixed ancestry (mestizos).
The islands of Bahamas are full of culinary delights and eating there is sheer pleasure. Most of the locally prepared meals are made using seafood. These include crabs, snapper and grouper. Conch stew is also quite popular. There are various cocktails for tourists and one of these is the Gumbay Smash.
Staying in the Bahamas means you have the opportunity to enjoy some of the most fascinating atmospheres in the Caribbean. When it comes to sports, you will be impressed with the sports of football, surfing, swimming and basketball. Regattas and festivals are also a very important part of Bahamian life. Of all the festivities in the country, the Junkanoo is the one I enjoyed most. It is a celebration of African music, folklore and tradition and is held on the 26th of December on the streets of Nassau.
- Christopher Columbus was the first European to visit the Bahamas.
- Bahamians are fond of story-telling.
- The Bahamas is one of the richest countries in the Caribbean.
- Blackbeard, the notorious pirate of the Caribbean was once based in the Bahamas.
- There is an island in the country with a curious name: Crooked Island.
Story By World By Shotglass
©2013 World By Shotglass. All Rights Reserved
Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).