St. Vincent and the Grenadines Independence DayOct 27, 2020 08:00AM ● By Oga Africa
Happy Independence Day, St. Vincent and the Grenadines! Today, October 27th, 1979, this country gained independence from the British.
The indigenous people of these islands were initially the Arawak tribes. In the 1300s, Carib tribes of South America arrived on the islands and overtook the territory. In 1498, Christopher Columbus came to the islands, and in 1798 the British took control of the place with the Treaty of Versailles. The Carib people showed great resistance. Between 1795-1797, the British deported over 5,000 Caribs to Belize to quell uprisings.
In 1834, with more than 18,000 enslaved people in the islands, slavery was abolished. Today, over 70% of the country’s population is of African descent, with 23% mixed, 3% Indigenous and 1% East Indian/Indian and 1% European, and 2% other. Mixed African and Crib people from these islands are known as the Garifuna people.
This Caribbean country is made of the island of St. Vincent and the Grenada islands, which consist of Bequia, Mayreau, Mustique, Prune (Palm) Island, Union Island, Petit St. Vincent Island and Canouan. La Soufriere is an active volcano in the country. It last erupted in 1979. The country’s capital is Kingstown, in St. Vincent.
In 2019, the country had a population of 110,589. Main exports of this country include bananas, flour, rice and root crops, mainly to other Caribbean countries like neighboring St. Lucia.
Roasted breadfruit and fried jackfish is the national dish of this country. Other dishes include Madongo dumplings, Buljol salad, Callaloo Soup, and banana fritters.
English is the official language of the country, and Venetian creole is also widely spoken on the islands.
The country’s president, Ralph Gonsalves, has been in office for 19 years. He is the longest continuously serving head of government in the country. In 2016, Gonsalves began seeking reparations for slavery from European governments who benefitted from the profitable horrors of slavery.
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