Culture of Curacao

Topics: Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Aruba Pages: 5 (1669 words) Published: January 12, 2011
Assignment 1:
For our assignment we wanted to define the culture of the inhabitants from Curacao. We chose this culture because it was until recently a colony of the Netherlands and we wanted to know if the influences of the Dutch culture are still visible. We also chose this culture because a lot of people who work and live in the Netherlands are from Curacaoan decent and Curacao is a popular holiday destination for Dutch people.

We studied this culture via different ways. We interviewed people from Curacaoan decent, studied the culture of Curacao via movies, books and music and we did research about Curacao in on the internet and books.

General information:
Curaçao is an island in the southern Caribbean Sea, off the Venezuelan coast. Curaçao is the largest and most populous of the three ABC islands (for Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao) it has a land area of 444 square kilometers and a population of 141,766 (January 2009)

Fashion and dress codes
The locals of Curacao dress fashionably, particularly for indoor events in the evening. Unlike evening parties the dress code for outdoor festivals is casual. Because of the strong trade winds that the island has makes the wearing of skirts a problem.

In some of the Curacaoan restaurants the wearing of shorts or sandals is prohibited and some of the casinos require formal wear to enter the building, like gowns for women and jackets for men. Clothes that are a revealing a lot of skin and the wearing of bathing suits are not appropriate in public areas other than the beach of the island. If you want to go hiking in the countryside, you should bring hiking shoes and long pants for protection from the cactuses that grow there.

Psychical and personal space
The Netherlands Antilles have a density of 198.000 people on 800 kilometers of land. It is on the 53rd place of the density list of countries and dependencies. We learn that Curacao is a high density country but because Curacao is also known for its hospitality we learned that people from Curacao are used to crowded rooms and houses and are happy with this fact because they have all kinds of family around them. You can also compare this to the personal space that Curacaoans need. They are used to have a lot of people around them and Curacaoans are not often by themselves, most of the time they have a whole group of family and friends around them, that means that they need to share a lot of things like rooms and belongings and that they do not have a lot of personal space.

Curaçao’s culture embraces many languages and although Dutch is the official language of Curacao we see that English, Spanish are also spoken all over the island. Besides that, many residents of Curacao speak Papiamentu, a mixture of Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French, English, and Arawak Indian. This language was first discovered in 1775 correspondences on the island and in 1802 the language was officially recognized.

The word Papiamentu is derived from the Spanish “papear” which means to speak or to converse. The languages was orginal a language between slaves in the 17th century. Papiamentu is spoken on all kinds of levels in Curacaoan society and is a key element in the identity of the island.

People from Curacao are not very punctual; they do not take time very strict and have a laidback attitude towards it. When you meet up with someone in Curacao they are easily a quarter late because other things have come up in the meantime. Because it is very common to arrive late on the island, people from Curacao do not have troubles with it, but when people from Curacao arrive in other countries like The Netherlands, The United States or Asia they might come off as lazy or uninterested.

The original inhabitants of Curaçao were Arawak Amerindians until a Spanish expedition under the leadership of Alonso de Ojeda set foot on the island in 1499. The Spaniards exported most of the indigenous population to other...
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