Island-hopping will provide you with an interesting perspective that will allow you to fully grasp the Caribbean experience. Each island has a unique cultural identity shaped by the European colonists, the African heritage of slaves, and the enduring legacies of native tribes.
Clearly the colonizing countries left a big influence on the culture, but the African slaves overwhelmingly demonstrated their presence. Old African culture and customs influenced much of the religious worship, artistic expression, dance, singing and even language.
Creole, which grew from a combination of African and European languages, evolved out of necessity, as slaves had to communicate with the European plantation owners. Derivations include French Creole, with regional dialects in Martinique and Guadeloupe and English Creole, with regional dialects in Antigua and Anguilla.
In the Dominican Republic, Spanish is the official language. However, there are variants of Spanish in different parts of the country. The commonly used Spanish dialect in the country is the Dominican Spanish, which is based on Canarian
dialects of Southern Spain. Dominican Spanish also borrows from the Arawak language and African languages.
The Caribbean’s versatile culinary scenes are well-known for their diverse offerings, fresh ingredients, interesting flavor combinations and unique local cooking techniques. The food reflects traces of the British, French, Spanish, Dutch, Swedes, Danes and Americans, all of whom had a colonial presence in the region. The gastronomy also reflects the culinary traditions of the African slaves, Arawak, Taino and other native tribes.