Welcome to the Bahamas! If you’re relocating soon to these beautiful isles or you’re planning your life’s next big adventure in this archipelago, this article will help you get acquainted with the Bahamian culture. We’ll get you walking and talking like a local in no time.
A primer on Bahamian history
To get to know the Bahamas’ culture is to know the local history. Comprised of over 700 islands and approximately 2,000 rocks and cays, the Bahamas was first occupied by the Taino people (eventually known as the Lucayan) during the 11th century. During the age of exploration, various explorers such as Columbus and William Sayle set food on the islands, with the later establishing a European settlement in what we now know today at Eleuthera. New Providence, the seat of the Bahamian government, was also settled by Sayle’s group.
The Bahamas enjoys a colorful history, marked by corsairs and pirates during the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as wars such as the American War of Independence and the Seminole Wars. Eventually, the Bahamas was made a colony of the British Crown in the 20th century, until independence to the islands was granted on July 1973.
Bahamian culture and society
As of 2017 estimates, the Bahamas is home to a population of approximately 372,000 people, spread across 30-40 inhabited islands. Most of the population resides in New Providence, the seat of government and center of commerce. New Providence is also the home to the capital, Nassau. Meanwhile, the city of Freeport (the second largest city) is located in Grand Bahama, and is a center for technology and trade. A small portion of the population lives in the Family Islands. The largest of the Bahamas’ islands, however, is called Andros Island.
The Bahamian population is estimated to be comprised of Afro-Caribbean settlers, while a small portion is made up of European immigrants and those of mixed ancestry. Despite the diversity in culture, English is the official language, while Creole and French are widely spoken.
Healthcare in the Bahamas
Healthcare is one of the standouts in the Bahamas, as health standards have greatly improved in the country over the recent years. Topnotch and state-of-the-art medical facilities can be found in Nassau and Grand Bahama. Aside from providing quality healthcare, these hospitals are also providing employment opportunities for qualified Bahamians.
Access to a major hospital can be an issue, however, if you’re going to live in one of the farther islands in the archipelago. Still, plenty of smaller private hospitals as well as clinics operate throughout the Bahamas. If you’re looking to be part of the national health insurance scheme, do note that the Bahamas currently doesn’t have one that involves expats. Private health insurance providers, however, are available and can take care of all your basic needs.
Are you thinking of relocating to the Bahamas soon?
For more information about the Bahamas, including relocation and employment tips, browse our website. To explore your real estate opportunities, contact Darville-Wong Realty today at (242) 327-5122 or [email protected].