Forward, upward, onward, together, is imperial to all other slogans in The Bahamas. It gives many Bahamians a great sense of pride and identity along with other indigenous symbols like our national flag. With these two symbols we can sum up what it really means to be a Bahamian. In addition to these profound and nationally revered symbols, the many great Bahamian men and women that contributed to the upward mobility of the Bahamas makes this little nation stand shoulder to shoulder with the greatest nations of the world; Nations like America, Canada and Europe.
Even our Bahamian food stamps The Bahamas as a tourist destination that millions of people travel to experience along with sun, sand and sea. Simply stated, this Bahamaland is just simply the best little great nation in the world. On July 10, 1973, The Bahamas experienced its independence from Britain. The identity and culture of Bahamians began to form as our fathers, stood in solidarity to lay the foundation for The Bahamas as we know it today.
I was born post-Independence, and I am enjoying all the benefits that this free, independent nation of ours has to offer – while at the same time, carrying with me the culture and pride that was bequeathed to me. Having been blessed by God to be so strategically located on the globe in a sub-tropical climate, it is such a great feeling to be able to wake up to mornings of beautiful sunny days with mild winds and 80° temperatures all year long. Along with perfect weather, we have the world’s most beautiful beaches which provide the most peaceful tranquil environment that is desired by most.
Therefore, one can imagine that on work days the best spot to eat lunch is at the beach, parked in our cars and watching the waves as they ripple over the gleaming white sands. On holidays, one can also imagine that the place to be is on the beach enjoying a family fun day of swimming, eating, building sand castles and playing in the surf. The Bahamian cuisines are among the worlds finest and can be seen as the number one culture in The Bahamas.
Most of our Bahamian dishes include the conch which can be found in great abundance in our Bahamian waters. We have dishes like steamed conch, cracked conch, conch salad, conch chowder, conch n’ rice and conch fritters. No matter where the location Bahamians will go the greatest distance to find our famous conch dishes. Fish and crab are also favorites in The Bahamas. The three most commonly eaten fishes are, snapper, grouper and barracudas (no matter how poisonous this fish is said to be).
Grand Bahamians will drive to the furthest point on Grand Bahama or brave the congested traffic in Nassau to get to the native spots where these dishes are served. In conclusion, one cannot be a true Bahamian unless the enthusiasm and excitement of Junaknoo is flowing through their veins. Junkanoo is celebrated on a national scale on the Boxing Day and New Year’s Day holidays. This is a time when most Bahamians come out in full force to cheer on their favorite groups. The most popular groups are Saxons and The Valley Boys, both of which are located in Nassau.
These groups have become so intertwined into our culture that many Bahamians have pledged their loyalty to them like they would their favorite political party. The music and skillfully pasted costumes have been a world attraction for many years. There are many other indigenous customs that a true Bahamian identifies with; A very religious group of people and the great love of shopping in the USA. Above all, what it means to be truly Bahamian is to love what we have and pass it on to the next generation to ensure that our culture will never die.