Culture and population

Grenada too, was discovered by Columbus - at least from the perspective of the Europeans. The Caribbean knew earlier that there was the island, but they were extremely busy to devour each other. When Columbus arrived at the island he incidentally baptized it‘ Concepción’ (‘Conception’),  after looking at the calendar. Still, no one really dared to land because they did not want necessarily end up on the menu of the Caribbean.

Only much later a couple of Frenchmen grabbed their courage and a handful of booming together and ventured to the island. The Indians then rushed quite headless upside down from the cliffs - this point in the north of Grenada is since then called ‘Springer Hill’. 

Later, the domination of the small island kingdom moved a few times in the best of Ping-Pong-style between the French and British until Grenada was finally to Britain, in 1783. However, the French legacy lives in many place names and the language still occurs.

The state has about 100,000 inhabitants, of whom 90 percent live on the island of Grenada, Carriacou and around 9,000 to 600 on Petite Martinique. About three-quarters of the population are black African descent, the remaining citizens are mainly European or Indian origin.

Almost all inhabitants of Grenada are Christians: a good half belongs to the Roman Catholic Church, the rest belongs to Protestant churches like Anglicans, Methodists or the Seventh Day Adventists. The church is an important part of their lives. The women attract fine dresses and fancy hats to church. 

Of course, guests are seen gladly by the locals in the up to 200 years old churches and in religious services. This is certainly an unusual experience, because this is about the church - there is much clapping and singing!

Many of the festivals that are celebrated in here, have also a religious origin, but were also influenced by other cultures. The carnival for example has its roots in Germany as a boisterous celebration before the beginning of the Easter Lent. The public of Grenada adopted this celebration, which also offered the slaves a diversion from their own bleak days. Nowadays, the ‘Rose Monday’ is still celebrated before the time of reflection and abstinence starts.

The manners and customs have evolved from the colourful diversity of different population groups. The African influence can also be seen in the dances and music, where the rhythm of the drums has a leading role. The Negro slaves were permitted to play drums, so they made up stories that were retold from generation to generation and still live in the tradition. 

A similar tradition is to improvise: the singer has to invent new lyrics to a standard melody. Because of its African roots the calypso song belongs to the typical pool of Grenadian music. But pay attention: don’t get confused with the eponymous fashion dance Calypso.

Music in Grenada is simply ubiquitous: it sounds from radios, from the shops, from the cars - whether calypso, reggae or soca. Most of the hotels provide steel bands and limbo dancers for the evening entertainment. And of course on Sundays the Grenades love to sing at the church. It is simply in the blood of the Grenades!

All in all, they are a cozy and lovely people that can rarely get out of rest. Rushing forward in this climate is anyway totally unhealthy- so relax and take the Grenades as an example for serenity. Even in English the Caribbean have their own word for hanging out and gossiping: ‘Liming’. There are also so-called ‘Liming spots’ in front of colourful wooden cottages, on boards or chairs on the roadside. And here it is- the men and not the woman pursue this kind of ‘national sport’ the most!

Europeans find it - especially in the first days off - not always easy to get used to the stress-free life. There's only one thing: relax, sit back, wait and grab a drink. The clocks (even if they have been converted to the proper time) should stay at your pocket and remember why one goes on holiday: to relax!