Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is an island country that lies within the North American and the Caribbean. The locals sometimes call the main island Hairoun. The “Grenadines” is Spanish for pomegranate, referring to the smaller islands by the main one. Take a look at some facts about Saint Vincent and the Grenadines….
The island has a population of some 120,000, as indicated by a year 2000 estimate. Of this, 110,000 reside on the main island. The island country operates a constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state and a governor-general as head of government.
Population: 109,373 (2013)
Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD)
Monarch: Queen Elizabeth II
Governor-General: Frederick Ballantyne
Prime Minister: Ralph Gonsalves
Continent: North America
System of Government: Monarchy
Official Language: English
Random Facts About Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
The official languages are English and French patois. Here are 14 other random facts about Saint Vincent and the Grenadines that you would love to read.
1. FISH MARKETING STYLE
Fishing brings in good income for many locals. Fish of all kinds are caught by the local fishermen. Fish sellers travel to the villages in pickup trucks when a good catch is in. On getting to the villages, they blow conch shells along the streets to announce that fish are for sale.
2. FEEDING GUESTS
Guests invited for any meal are, as a matter of must, fed until they are satisfied. Rum is the most popular drink on the island. It is drunk before or after a special meal, or even during a break in the day. The Vincentian rum is 70% alcohol and it is offered to all male guests.
3. SOURCE OF SUBSISTENCE
Few households can subsist entirely from their farming. This is because, even though farming is popular on the island, yields are not that much. Therefore, most families have some members engaged in wage labor.
4. LIVING ABROAD
Thousands of Vincentians live abroad. Of course, almost all these have kit and kin dependent on them back home on the island to which they remit money on a regular basis. Such remittances from abroad have become an essential part of the Vincentian economy.
5. LAND OWNERSHIP
Owning land on the island is not too rigid. Agricultural land may be owned outright, rented or sharecropped. Another provision is that land may also be held jointly by a number of siblings and their heirs. This is made possible by the unique Caribbean land tenure system known as “family land.” All who have a share in the land have a right to its produce.
6. COOL DIVISION OF LABOUR
Both men and women work together on almost every activity. But typically, women do the gardening while men do the farming and work at sea. Traditionally, only women sell produce in the market square, while only men sell fish. Generally women are paid less than men at service jobs.
7. WOMEN ARE RICHER
On the Unlike many other peasant economies, Vincentian women have more economic power than men and are often heads of households. In spite of this, men have a higher status. Men and women relationships are usually placed overtly in a context of monetary/sexual favor exchange.
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8. CONJUGAL RELATIONSHIPS
There are three forms of conjugal relationship recognized on the island. These are:
- “Visiting” (the couple resides separately)
- “Keeping” (non-married, living together)
- Legal marriage
Among the majority of the population, marrying later in life is common. Usually, this happens after a couple has had several children together. Something else is common: women and men tend to have a number of children by different partners.
9. NO DEFINED FAMILY TYPE
Family types on the island are not clearly defined. Households in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines may be composed of extended families, nuclear families, or individuals. What is typical on the island, though, is the matrifocal, multigenerational family type. Overall, the composition of the household is flexible.
10. CHILD LENDING
On the island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the practice of “child lending” or “child shifting” is practiced. What this means is better understood in times of need. At such times of need, children are “lent” or “shifted” to the households of kin who can help to lighten the subsistence needs of a household.
11. NAVEL STRING SUPERSTITION
On the number 11 facts about Saint Vincent and the Grenadines , they have a few superstitions of their own. An example has to do with the “navel string.” For most , the umbilicus or “navel string” is planted under a fruit-bearing tree shortly after birth. This is done, it is believed, so that the child would have a healthy and productive life.
12. LOVE NAVAJO SUPERSTITION
A new born child is given a name after about four weeks from day of birth. Meanwhile, care is taken not to become too attached to the infant. It is feared that such could make the child die from too much love. This is locally known as love maljo.
13. TWO NO-GO AREAS
Vincentians give of themselves and their resources to an extraordinary degree. However, two customs that Vincentians hold as a serious breach of etiquette may strike a visitor as unusual. These are:
- Calling someone’s name in public
- Use of cameras by foreigners
In spite of Vincentians’ very generous nature, these are most likely to elicit an angry or violent response.
14. MEANING OF “GRENADINES”
Agricultural practice is a top source of income on the island. And, as mentioned in the introduction, “grenadines” is Spanish for pomegranates. But that is all about it for pomegranates on the island. The pomegranates fruit does not grow on the island of Saint Vincent and Grenadines.