Known for its world-renowned beaches, its luxurious water park that erects from the ground up, and its picturesque views that make you say, “damn, I gotta Instagram this shit.”
But there is one thing that the Bahamas doesn’t get enough credit for:
It’s breathtaking and enticing culture!
Their culture is full of happiness, joy and the gathering of people to celebrate the colorful art of life. They take pride and joy in living a life full of thanks and compassion.
But how could they not?
With a history that involved many struggles, the Bahamian people worked through everything together and emerged as a population that’s full of life and love.
The best part?
You can experience their astonishing culture as well!
Here are 6 lessons that I learned from the Bahamian culture.
1. Bahamian Food is the Way to a Person’s Heart
Food has always been the way into a person’s culture.
Because every culture, every country has a specific and authentic way of creating a work of art that can excite your taste buds and make your stomach feel warm.
And it’s no different for the Bahamas.
The Bahamian cuisine has the perfect mix of flavor, ranging from savory to spicy!
It’s where land meets sea, where the best lobsters and steaks are made.
The Bahamian cuisine consists of all types of seafood. Not surprising, right? LOL. But the food seemingly surprises you anyways!
Ever had grouper? Well, you haven’t had it at the Bahamas!
One of the most unique things about the Bahamas is that, since it’s an archipelago, there are multiple variations of cuisines that exist in each island.
It’s like traveling to different parts of the world!
2. The Straw Market: Beauty at the Hands of a Local
If there is one building in the Bahamas that deserves a spot in every local’s heart, it’s the Straw Market.
The Straw Market was with them their whole life!
It has served as more than just a building filled with souvenirs to collect and bring home.
It serves as an opportunity for Bahamian locals to make handmade crafts and make an “okay” salary. It’s a part of their financial lives and regular lives.
This piece of art has survived and evolved from a hurricane that devastated the Bahamas.
It was where the largest straw industry emerged, and now it plays a humongous role on the local’s day-to-day lives.
The best part about all of this?
Without a doubt, it’s the best place to meet new locals and listen to their stories about the past and present.
While it is known for haggling and getting the cheapest price for your purchase, try to appreciate the stories from the locals.
3. Friendliness like You’ve Never Experienced Before
The Bahamian culture prioritizes one main topic with thousands of synonyms:
Hospitality, kindness, and the ability to make anyone feel like a friend.
And it’s outstanding how their culture focuses on celebrating the good and accepting the kindness exposed by the other party.
Because that’s the Bahamian way.
No matter where you are, there will always be someone there to help you.
If you are lost, they will be your personal tour guide. If you are hungry, they will be the head of the food tour, and if you are looking to have fun, they will show you the best time in the world.
That’s just who they are.
And if there is one tip that I would give to anyone visiting the Bahamas it would be to talk to the locals and try to make friends along the way.
4. Junkanoo: The Most Famous Parade Around
The Junkanoo Festival is the best parade I’ve ever been to in my life.
Remember when I said that their culture is full of happiness, joy and the gathering of people to celebrate the colorful art of life?
Well, Junkanoo is the exact definition of that statement.
In a nutshell, it’s the Mardi Gras of the Bahamas.
Streets are filled with traditional music, colorful costumes representing their magical art, people laughing and dancing, and crowds of supporters cheering.
This festival is so dazzling and so thrilling that you will notice your heart and soul dancing to the rhythm of the drums beating, cowbells clanking, and horns blowing.
But it gets better:
Not only do you behold such a lively show, but you also experience the culture and the celebrations that the local people have.
They celebrate the happiness rather than the sadness, they celebrate the good rather than the bad, and they celebrate the joy in living life to the fullest.
Yet they never forget:
It’s the closest link to the history of the Bahamas and its ties with the African heritage.
And for Junkanoo, there is one sentence that perfectly describes it:
The most indigenous festival that brings all parts of life together to celebrate authentic Bahamian culture.
5. The Colorful Buildings
Trekking through the streets of Nassau is a dream!
The sun shining down on everyone, air clear, cool breeze, people eating and walking, and the colorful buildings that provide a beautiful picturesque landscape of Bahamian architecture.
You have the pink, the yellow, the blue, and even the white buildings that represent something more.
To be honest:
I have no idea what the colors mean, but I can tell you this. The vibrant colors represent something that glows in every Bahamian local.
It’s the eye-popping hue that makes our hearts adore the architecture that the Bahamas holds.
And I learned that these colorful buildings reinforce the idea that the Bahamas stray away from darkness and focus on the brighter things in the future and present.
Kind of crazy, right?
6. Life Taken One Step at a Time
There’s a trait that can be found in every Bahamian soul.
What is it?
Relaxation and the art of taking things as calmly and peacefully as possible.
The Bahamian people lack that hustle and bustle of the hectic city life. Which is good, don’t get me wrong.
The crazy part?
It’s so remarkably amazing.
Their lifestyle is easy-going, and every local I talked to had nothing but a smile on their face and positive energy that made you feel comfortable.
And it isn’t only on the main island of Nassau!
From Long Island to the Grand Bahamas to Exuma, all you will encounter are friendly people living their life as calm and relaxing as possible.
It’s something that every Bahamian has.
The best part?
It teaches us to really appreciate the relaxing lifestyle that they have.
Our day to day lives are filled with chaos. And we have all experienced it.
Doesn’t this sound familiar?
“Am I going to be late to work? Damn! Am I ever going to get out of this damn traffic? I just need a day to relax!”
Yea, sadly we can all relate to that.
But in the Bahamas, it’s different.
They take life one step at a time and enjoy it to the fullest. Worries, struggles, and desperation can all come by, but at the end of the day, they preserve through their mindset of serenity and the idea that life will always work itself out.
And I can’t thank the Bahamas for teaching me that.
The Bahamian culture has the best blend of views.
Celebrate to show how good life is and relax to appreciate and sink in all the gracious gifts of life.
Their culture will forever resonate with me.
You need to go and experience the Bahamian culture for yourself.
You won’t regret and, without a doubt, you won’t regret it!
MEET OUR CONTRIBUTOR
Trek with Derk is a travel blog focused on people around the world. Providing tips on how to make friends abroad and compelling stories that’ll make you want to start making friends while traveling.
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Yay so glad we could be helpful!