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Grenadians

Grenadians

PRONUNCIATION: Gre-NAY-dee-uns

LOCATION: Grenada

POPULATION: 100,000

LANGUAGE: English; French-African-English dialect

RELIGION: Roman Catholicism; Protestantism; Hinduism; Christian-African sects

1 INTRODUCTION

Grenada was first sighted by Christopher Columbus in 1498, although he never landed there. The Caribs who inhabited the island drove off all settlers, both English and French, for more than one hundred and fifty years. In 1650 a French party succeeded in acquiring the island from the Caribs in exchange for knives, trinkets, and brandy. Having gained a foothold, they systematically killed most of the native population. Forty of the last Caribs on the island leaped to their death in a mass suicide at La Morne des Sauteurs, or "Leapers' Hill." Grenada became a British possession under the Treaty of Versailles in 1783. Independence was granted by Great Britain in 1974.

In 1979 the country's leader was overthrown. The new prime minister, Maurice Bishop, formed a Marxist government that established close ties with Cuba and other communist countries. In October 1983, a faction of the revolutionary government ousted Bishop, who was killed along with several of his associates. A week later, U.S. troops, together with forces from other Caribbean nations, subdued the military council that had seized power, imprisoning its leaders and removing the Cuban military presence from the island.

Since the 1983 invasion, Grenada has moved closer politically to the United States, which provided the nation with disaster relief and long-term economic aid and technical assistance. The international airport at Point Salines, begun under the Bishop government, was completed with U.S. aid, and much of the country's infrastructure was repaired and modernized.

2 LOCATION

Grenada is the most southerly of the Wind-ward Islands and is known for the beauty of its lush and fertile land. Its nickname is "the Isle of Spice" because of the nutmeg (one third of the world's supply), cloves, mace, and other spices grown there. In addition to its main island, the country has two dependenciesPetit Martinique and Carriacouand a number of smaller islets. Grenada is one of the smallest independent nations in the Western Hemisphere. The three main islands have a total area of 133 square miles, a little less than twice the size of Washington, D.C.

The main island is green and hilly and has a mountain range that divides it in half. The interior also contains rain forests, waterfalls, crater lakes, and many rivers and streams. The coastal land has swamps, woodlands, and fertile plains.

Grenada's total population is estimated to be 100,000 people with about 90,000 living on the main island. The population is predominantly rural. About one-third live in urban areas. About 85 percent of Grenada's population is of African descent, while 11 percent have mixed black and white ancestry. The rest of the population is divided between Asians (mostly East Indians) and whites.

3 LANGUAGE

English is the official language of Grenada, but many Grenadians speak patois, a dialect that combines English words with elements of French and African languages.

4 FOLKLORE

Animals from the jungles of Africa play a prominent role in the popular anancy tales. In these stories, beasts frighten or trick their enemies, sometimes by taking on the shapes of human beings. One example is the story "King Cat," in which rats are invited to a party to celebrate the pretend death of a famous rat-catching cat, who suddenly pounces on them and eats them all except for a pregnant female who lives on to perpetuate the "rat race."

While belief in supernatural creatures is less common in Grenada today than in the past, the creatures live on in the region's Carnival figures and still appear as characters in bedtime stories. The name of one such creaturethe zombie, or walking deadhas become a commonly used word in the United States. In African lore, zombies were dead people brought back to life to do the bidding of voodoo priests.

Popular folk remedies include drinking a tea made from lime bush leaves for an upset stomach, and a preparation made of mango leaves for treating rheumatism. Compresses made from the leaves of certain plants may be applied to the forehead to treat fevers.

5 RELIGION

About 65 percent of Grenadians are Roman Catholic. Most of the rest belong to Protestant denominations which include Anglican, Methodist, Seventh-Day Adventist, and Baptist. Most of Grenada's small Indian population is Hindu. Shango, a traditional African religion, is still practiced, generally in combination with Christian beliefs. African religious practices are especially prominent on the small island of Carriacou. The mingling of Christian and African traditions can be seen in the island's boat-christening ceremonies, which combine holy water, sacrificial goats, and African-derived Big Drum music.

6 MAJOR HOLIDAYS

Grenada's public holidays are New Year's Day (January 1), Independence Day (February 7), Good Friday and Easter Monday (March or April), Labor Day (May 1), Whit Monday (May or June), Corpus Christi (June), the August holidays on the first Monday and Tuesday of August, Carnival (mid-August), Thanksgiving (October 25), and Christmas (December 25 and 26).

The country's most important festival is Carnival. In Grenada, this celebration is held in August instead of the usual pre-Lenten time to avoid conflicting with the Grenadian Independence Day. Carnival begins with a Sunday night celebration leading into the Jouvert (jour ouvert opening day ) festivities at dawn on Monday, which feature Djab Djab Molassi, who represent devils (Djab Djab is derived from diable, the French word for "devil"). These merrymakers streak their faces and bodies with grease or molasses, which they delight in smearing on bystanders.

Another traditional festival is Fisherman's Birthday, celebrated on the feast day of Saints Peter and Paul at the end of June. It involves a ritual blessing of nets and boats, boat races, and food and dancing.

7 RITES OF PASSAGE

Major transitions in life, such as birth, marriage, and death, are noted with religious ceremonies appropriate to each Grenadian's particular faith community.

8 RELATIONSHIPS

Grenada's history of British colonization is shown in many of its customs, such as driving on the left side of the road and an occasional "tea party"which is usually a fundraising event.

9 LIVING CONDITIONS

While poverty does exist on Grenada, few people are hungry thanks to its fertile farmlands. Most Grenadians own land on which they can grow crops to feed their families. Whatever is left is sold at markets. Housing ranges from wooden shacks with tin or iron roofs among the poorer villages to the attractive, brightly painted bungalows of those who can afford them. Signs of urban poverty found in other developing countries, such as shantytowns (makeshift houses clustered in unsanitary villages around urban areas), are rarely seen. Average life expectancy in Grenada is seventy years.

The residents of Grenada depend upon narrow, winding roads, many of which are not paved, to get around. Most residents do not own cars and rely on bus transportation.

10 FAMILY LIFE

Many Grenadians live in extended-family households, which may include up to three generations. Grandparents commonly help raise children, although day-care facilities are available for working mothers. Older family members, when not actually part of the household, usually live only a short distance from their children. The elderly rely on their children to look after them.

It used to be common for a family to have as many as ten children. With more widespread use of birth control and more women working outside the home, the average number of children in a family dropped to four or five in the 1980s, and the country actually had a negative population growth rate between 1985 and 1992. Part of this negative growth rate was due to emigration.

11 CLOTHING

Grenadians wear modern Western-style clothing. Women often wear straw or cloth hats for protection from the sun.

12 FOOD

The cuisine of Grenada reflects a variety of influences: Amerindian, African, French, British, and East Indian. Foods commonly found at the market include yams, avocados, callaloo greens (similar to spinach), oranges, papayas (called "paw-paws"), plantains, mangoes, and coconuts. Many fruits are available year-round.

About twenty different kinds of fish are caught off the coasts. Both fish and chicken dishes are served at many meals. Popular Caribbean staples include pigeon peas and rice, and "callaloo," a dish made from callaloo greens, okra, salted pork, crab, and fresh fish. The dish most closely identified with Grenada is "oildown," a mixture of salted pork and breadfruit steamed in coconut milk. Another favorite is "turtle toes," a combination of ground lobster, conch, and other seafood shaped into balls and deep fried.

Popular beverages include locally brewed beer; rum punch spiced with lime juice, syrup, and grated nutmeg; "mauby," a soft drink made from the bark of the maubi tree; and cocoa tea made from cocoa beans and spices steeped in hot milk.

13 EDUCATION

The adult literacy rate in Grenada is more than 90 percent. All children are required to attend school for twelve years. The average primary school has one teacher for every twenty-eight pupils, about the same as other developing nations. Higher education is offered at the T. A. Marryshow Community College and University Center which is a branch of the University of the West Indies. Recently, St. George's University began offering baccalaureate degree programs at its school of arts and sciences.

14 CULTURAL HERITAGE

Grenadian authors first came to public attention in the 1920s and 1930s. One of the nation's best-known contemporary writers is Wilfred Redhead, author of one-act plays and short stories. The visual arts reflect a high degree of African influence, and Grenada's artists are mostly self-taught. Canute Caliste, who lives on Carriacou, is one of the most prominent. His paintings show traditional life on the island, including Carnival bands, boat-launchings, dance festivals, and Big Drum performances. Many of his works include handprinted texts.

Another well-known artist is Elinus Cato, whose brightly painted renderings of town and rural life in Grenada have been exhibited in London and Washington, D.C. One of his paintings, People at Work, was presented to Queen Elizabeth II when she toured Grenada in 1985. The wooden frame for Cato's painting was crafted by renowned Grenadian woodcarver Stanley Coutain, one of the country's leading sculptors. Other recognized masters who transform the island's mahogany, teak, and cedar into works of art include Alexander Alexis and John Pivott.

15 EMPLOYMENT

Between 30 and 40 percent of Grenadians are employed by the government or work in a service industry job. About the same percentage work in agricultural jobs, often in the food processing industry. Typical food processing jobs include peeling nutmeg shells and sorting the seeds, and washing bananas and other produce.

The remainder of jobs in Grenada are mostly in construction and manufacturing. The country has a standard eight-hour work day. Grenada had a high rate of unemployment in the 1990s, with about one-fourth of the workforce unemployed.

16 SPORTS

Cricket is Grenada's most popular sport, and there is a large stadium at Queen's Park, outside the capital city of St. George's. Grenadians will start a game on any available flat area, even at the beach. Soccer, which they call football, is another favorite sport.

17 RECREATION

Calypso and steel drum music are both popular forms of entertainment in Grenada. The nation's television station, a division of Grenada Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), airs local news, sports, and covers local entertainment like Carnival, as well as broadcasting programs from the United States. There are also a number of privately owned and operated radio and televisions stations.

18 CRAFTS AND HOBBIES

The native music of Grenada is Big Drum music. Derived from the African call-and-response tradition, it consists of song, dance, and drumming. Although its roots are similar to those of calypso and reggae, it is more authenticly African. The Big Drum is actually a set of three drums, originally carved from trees and later made of rum kegs. The skin of male goats is used for the two side drums and the skin of a female goat for the middle one. The middle drum, which has pins threaded across its surface, produces the most complicated rhythms.

The singers are usually women, and the lead singer is called a "chantwell." The lyrics are usually satirical, making fun of governing figures or social customs. Dancing is performed inside a ring of people by dancers wearing full skirts and headdresses and who interact with the musicians. Big Drum music is performed on Carriacou at religious ceremonies including weddings and funerals.

Woven handicrafts include hats, purses, baskets, placemats, and other items made from straw, bamboo, and wicker. Salad bowls, kitchen utensils, furniture, and other items are made of mahogany and red cedar. Jewelry is made from black coral and turtle shells.

19 SOCIAL PROBLEMS

Poverty in Grenada increased in the 1980s due to the worldwide recession. Unemployment is high, and there was an increase in labor disputes in 1995.

20 BIBLIOGRAPHY

Cameron, Sarah, and Ben Box, ed. Caribbean Islands Handbook. Chicago: Passport Books, 1995.

Eisenberg, Joyce. Grenada. New York: Chelsea House, 1988.

Schoenhals, Kai P. Grenada. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Clio, 1990.

Sinclair, Norma. Grenada: Isle of Spice. New York: Macmillan, 1987.

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. World Fact Book. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1994.

Walton, Chelle Koster. Caribbean Ways: A Cultural Guide. Westwood, Mass.: Riverdale, 1993.

WEBSITES

World Away Travel. Grenada. [Online] Available http://www.worldaway.com/islands/grenada/home.html, 1998.

World Travel Guide. Grenada. [Online] Available http://www.wtgonline.com/country/gd/gen.html, 1998.

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Grenadians

Grenadians

ETHNONYMS: none


Grenada is an island nation of 84,000 people (1992) located at 12° 10 N and 61°40 W, making it the most southerly of the Windward Islands. It maintains a nearly constant average temperature of 29° C year-round, and precipitation is generally plentiful (150 centimeters in the lowlands to more than 350 centimeters on the windward mountainsides).

Besides the island of Grenada itself, there are several hundred small islands belonging to the country, although only two, Carriacou and Petit Martinique, have significant populations; the nation's total land area is 344 square kilometers. The population has remained stable since 1980 because although the birthrate is high, many people emigrate to other Caribbean islands, Canada, Britain, and the United States in search of employment. All but 9 percent of the population is Black, descendants of African slaves brought by the French and the British to work on plantations. Sixty-five percent of the population is Catholic, and the remaining 35 percent is Anglican, Presbyterian, and Methodist. Political and economic power has long rested with an elite group of White and light-skinned people who constitute no more than 5 percent of the population. In 1992 infant mortality was 28 per thousand, and life expectancy was 69 years for females and 74 years for males.

Grenada was originally populated by the Carib Indians. It was briefly in the hands of the Spanish, who gave it its name. Later, it was settled by the French, who conquered the Carib and who grew indigo and sugar. The British conquered the island in 1762. As a result of the Seven Years' War, Grenada became French from 1779 to 1783, at which time the Treaty of Versailles returned it to Britain. Many people remained loyal to the French, however, and some of them attacked the British settlers in what came to be designated the Rebellion of 1795. English is presently the official language, but some people still speak a French patois. Universal adult franchise was instituted in 1950 and led to the election of Eric Matthew Gairy, who appealed to the interests of the peasantry. With the exception of one brief period, Gairy held power until 1979, when Maurice Bishop came to power in a coup. He promised employment, food, housing, education, and free elections, although he quickly suspended the constitution and instituted laws designed to suppress free expression of political ideas. His socialist polices largely failed owing to the inability of Grenada to attract foreign investment. An internal government power struggle in 1983 cost Bishop his life and allowed more radical Marxists to take control. Popular resentment of the new government led to popular uprisings and, on 25 October 1983, U.S. military intervention. The constitution and popular elections were restored; Herbert Blaize served as prime minister from 1984 to 1990, and Nicholas Braithwaite assumed the post in 1990. Although politically independent, Grenada maintains the British monarch as head of state.

The gross domestic product has been rising since 1984. Since the removal of the Marxists, emphasis has been placed upon privatization of wealth and industry, with the aim of attracting foreign investors and increased production for export. A new airport has also been opened in the capital city of Saint George's, which has increased tourism and exports. The traditional base of the economy has long been the export of mace and nutmeg, which has earned Grenada the nickname "the Spice Isle." The buyers of most of Grenada's products are the United States, Britain, and the Caribbean and European economic communities.

Bibliography

Brizan, George I. (1984). Grenada, Island of Conflict: From Amerindians to People's Revolution, 1498-1979. London: Zed Books.


Smith, M. G. (1965). Stratification in Grenada. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.


Steele, Beverley A. (1983). Grenada Bibliography. Marryshow House Publications, no. 2. St. George's: University of the West Indies, Grenada, Extra Mural Dept.

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Grenadians

Grenadians

PRONUNCIATION: Gre-NAY-dee-uns
LOCATION: Grenada
POPULATION: 90,343
LANGUAGE: English; French-African-English dialect
RELIGION: Roman Catholicism; Protestantism; Hinduism; Christian-African sects

INTRODUCTION

Grenada (pronounced Gre-NAY-duh), located in the Wind-ward Islands, is known for the beauty of its lush, fertile land, and for the spices it produces. The nutmeg grown there (one-third of the world's supply in the 1980s), as well as cloves, mace, and other flavorings, have given the island its nickname, "the Isle of Spice." Grenada was first sighted by Christopher Columbus on his third voyage in 1498, although he never landed there. The Caribs who inhabited the island drove off all would-be settlers, both English and French, for over 150 years. In 1650 a French party headed by Marie Bonnard du Parquet, the governor of neighboring Martinique, succeeded in acquiring the island from the Caribs in exchange for knives, trinkets, and brandy. Having gained a foothold, they soon proceeded to exterminate the native population. Forty of the last Caribs left on the island leaped to their death in a mass suicide at La Morne des Sauteurs (Leapers' Hill). The island remained in French hands until it was ceded to the British at the close of the Seven Years War in 1763. After 20 years of alternating French and British rule, Grenada became a British possession under the Treaty of Versailles in 1783.

During the 18th century the British brought in African slaves to work on the island's sugar and tobacco plantations. When these slaves were freed through a proclamation by the British government in 1834, the sugar industry declined, despite the arrival of East Indian indentured laborers to replace them. By the beginning of the 20th century, cocoa and nutmeg had replaced sugar as the island's main sources of income. The new century brought with it a growing desire for greater political autonomy among the people of Grenada, which had been officially declared a British colony in 1877. These nationalistic feelings supported the rise to power of Grenada's first national leader, Eric Gairy, who in 1951 was elected to head an autonomous government under British rule. Remaining at the center of the political stage for over 20 years, Gairy became the nation's first prime minister after independence was granted by Great Britain in 1974.

In 1979 the increasingly autocratic and eccentric leader was overthrown in a coup d'état —the first to occur in an English speaking Caribbean nation. The new Prime Minister, Maurice Bishop, formed a Marxist government that established close ties with Cuba and other communist countries, from which they received aid and technical assistance. However, the government's political alignment caused fears among tourists and the international business community, and the country's economy suffered.

In October 1983 a faction of the revolutionary government ousted Bishop, who was placed under house arrest leading to spontaneous and massive street demonstrations. Bishop was soon released, but he was captured and killed along with sev- eral of his associates. Days later, U.S. forces invaded the island and seized power, removing the national opposition as well as the Cuban military presence from the island. The People's Revolutionary Army formed a new government led by general Hudson Austin. This invasion of Grenada became part of the rivalry between the United States and Cuba during the 1980s. The United Nations condemned the military intervention as a violation of international law.

Since the 1983 invasion, Grenada has moved closer politically to the United States, which provided the nation with both disaster relief and a substantial package of long-term economic aid and technical assistance. The international airport at Point Salines, begun under the Bishop government, was completed with U.S. aid and much of the country's infrastructure was repaired and modernized. As part of the Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth II is Queen of Grenada and head of state. The Crown is represented by a governor-general, who in 2008 was Sir Daniel Williams.

Economically, Grenada's main source of foreign exchange is tourism, especially since the construction of an international airport in 1985. In 2003, the service sector represented 76% of its GDP, followed by industry (18%) and agriculture (5.4%). Some of its most important crop products are banana, cocoa, nutmeg, mace, citrus, avocado, root crops, sugarcane, and corn. Even though the economy has shown signs of recovery, in 2000 people living under the poverty line accounted for 32% of the population. Grenada has also been a recovering from the devastating effects caused by hurricanes Ivan (2004) and Emily (2005).

LOCATION AND HOMELAND

Grenada is the most southerly of the Windward Islands. In addition to its main island, the country consists of two dependencies in the Grenadines—Petit Martinique and Carriacou—and a number of smaller islets. Grenada is one of the smallest independent nations in the Western Hemisphere; its three main islands have a total area of 344 sq km (133 sq mi), a little less than twice the size of Washington, D.C.

The island of Grenada itself is green and hilly. A central mountain range runs lengthwise through the island, dividing it in half. The interior also contains rain forests, waterfalls, crater lakes, and many rivers and streams. The coastal land includes swamps and woodlands, as well as fertile plains where fruits, vegetables, and the spices for which the island is famous are grown. Carriacou, the largest of all the Grenadines, has a small central mountain range, rolling hills, and sandy beaches. Petit Martinique is distinguished by one central hill that is 152 m (500 ft) high.

Grenada's total population is estimated at 90,343 people, of which about 9,000 live on the main island, with between 6,000 and 7,000 on Carriacou and under 1,000 on Petit Martinique. The population is predominantly rural, with about 33% living in urban areas. About 85% of Grenada's population is of African descent, while 11% have mixed Black and White ancestry. The rest of the population is divided between Asians (mostly East Indians) and Whites.

LANGUAGE

English is the official language of Grenada, but many Grenadians speak a patois, or dialect, that combines English words and grammatical structures with elements of French and African words and rhythms. Many place names are French, such as Grand Anse Bay, Morne Rouge, Sans Souci, and L'Anse aux fpines.

FOLKLORE

Animals from the jungles of Africa play a prominent role in the anancy tales that are popular in Grenada. In these stories, beasts often frighten or trick their enemies, sometimes by taking on the shapes of human beings, and sometimes through other stratagems. One example is the story "King Cat," in which rats are invited to a party to celebrate the feigned death of a famous rat-catching cat, who suddenly pounces on them and eats them all except for a pregnant female who lives on to perpetuate the "rat race."

While belief in the supernatural creatures of African legend is less prevalent in Grenada today than in the past, they live on in the region's Carnival figures and still appear as characters in bedtime stories. The name of one such creature—the zombie, or walking dead—has become a commonly used word in the United States, although removed from its original context. In African lore, zombies were dead people brought back to life to do the bidding of Voodoo priests.

Popular folk remedies include a tea made from lime bush leaves that is taken for an upset stomach and a preparation made of mango leaves that is used for rheumatism. Compresses made from the leaves of certain plants may be applied to the forehead to treat fevers.

RELIGION

About 53% of Grenadians are Roman Catholic. Most of the rest belong to Protestant denominations (33.2%), including Anglican (13.8%), Methodist, Seventh-Day Adventist, and Baptist. Most of Grenada's small East Indian population is Hindu. Shango, a traditional African religion, is still practiced, generally in combination with Christian beliefs. African religious practices are especially prominent on Carriacou, and the mingling of Christian and African traditions can be seen in the island's boat-christening ceremonies, which combine holy water, sacrificial goats, and African-derived Big Drum music.

MAJOR HOLIDAYS

Grenada's public holidays are New Year's Day (January 1); Independence Day (February 7); Good Friday and Easter Monday; Labor Day (May 1); Whit Monday (May or June); Corpus Christi (June); the August holidays (the first Monday and Tuesday of August); Carnival (in mid-August); Thanksgiving (October 25); and Christmas (December 25 and 26).

The country's most important festival is Carnival, celebrated in August instead of during the traditional pre-Lenten season in order to avoid conflicts with the Grenadian Independence Day, which occurs in February. The opening rounds of calypso and steel band competitions and other preliminary events begin at the end of July. Carnival itself begins with a Sunday night celebration leading into the Jouvert (jour ouvert) festivities at dawn on Monday, which feature Djab Djab Molassi, who represent devils (Djab Djab is derived from diable, the French word for "devil"). These revelers streak their faces and bodies with grease or molasses, which they delight in smearing on bystanders.

The main events in the two-day Carnival festival include a pageant by costumed masqueraders, steel band and calypso competitions, and a parade of bands through the streets of St. George's to the market square. Another popular Grenadian Carnival character, called Short Knee, reflects the tumultuous history of the Carnival tradition on the island. The character's costume of knee-length, colorful, baggy trousers was created in the 19th century after the government outlawed the loose, flowing "Pierrot" costumes under which weapons could be hidden.

Another traditional festival is Fisherman's Birthday, celebrated on the feast day of Saints Peter and Paul at the end of June. It is marked by a ritual blessing of nets and boats followed by boat races, all accompanied by food and dancing. The major celebration of this festival takes place at Gouyave.

RITES OF PASSAGE

Major life transitions, such as birth, marriage, and death, are marked by religious ceremonies appropriate to each Grenadian's particular faith community.

INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS

Grenada's history of British colonization is reflected in many of its customs, such as driving on the left side of the road and the occasional tea party, which is usually a social fundraising event for a needy cause.

LIVING CONDITIONS

While poverty exists on Grenada, few of its people go hungry, thanks to its fertile farmlands. Most Grenadians own land on which they can grow crops to feed their families, selling the remainder at the market. Housing ranges from wooden shacks with tin or corrugated iron roofs among the poorer villagers to the attractive, brightly painted bungalows of those who are better-off financially. Signs of urban poverty common to other developing countries, such as shantytowns, are rarely seen.

Average life expectancy in Grenada is 65 years, and infant mortality is 13 deaths per 1,000 births. In 1990 there was 1 physician for every 1,617 people. There is no railroad on Grenada, and its residents depend on 1,000 km (620 mi) of narrow, winding mountain roads for transportation. In the mid-1980s many of these roads were in poor condition, but major repairs have since been made. The main roads have been resurfaced, and others have been modified for easier access. Still, however, only 600 kilometers of roadway on the island are paved. Most Grenadians do not own cars, and the majority depend on bus transportation.

The opening of the Point Salines International Airport in 1984 was a milestone in Grenadian history, making it possible for major airlines to establish direct service to the island. Begun with Cuban aid under the Marxist regime that was in power at the time of the 1983 invasion, it was completed with U.S. assistance. The capital city of St. George's is Grenada's major port.

FAMILY LIFE

Many Grenadians live in extended-family households, which may include up to three generations of family members. Grandparents commonly assist with child care, although day-care facilities are available for working mothers. Elderly family members, when not actually part of the household, usually live only a short distance from their children, to whom they turn when they are in need of care themselves.

Within the past generation, the size of Grenadian families has declined dramatically. Formerly, it was common for a family to have as many as 10 children. However, with greater use of birth control and more women working outside the home, the average number of children dropped to 4 or 5 in the 1980s, and the country actually had a negative population growth rate (-0.2%) between 1985 and 1992, although this was partly due to emigration.

CLOTHING

Grenadians wear modern Western-style clothing. Women often wear straw or cloth hats for protection from the sun.

FOOD

Grenadian cooks may choose from among a rich and abundant variety of fruits, vegetables, and spices. Items commonly found at the market include yams, avocados, callaloo greens (similar to spinach), oranges, papayas (called "paw-paws"), plantains (which resemble bananas), mangoes, and coconuts. Many fruits are available year-round. The cuisine of Grenada reflects a variety of influences: Amerindian, African, French, British, and East Indian.

About 20 different kinds of fish are caught off the coasts, and both fish and chicken dishes are served at many meals. Popular Caribbean staples eaten on Grenada include pigeon peas and rice, and callaloo, made from callaloo greens, okra, salted pork, crab, and fresh fish. The local dish most closely identified with Grenada is oildown, a mixture of salted pork and breadfruit steamed in coconut milk. Another favorite is turtle toes, a combination of ground lobster, conch, and other seafood shaped into balls and deep fried.

Popular beverages include locally brewed Carib Lager beer; rum punch spiced with lime juice, syrup, and grated nutmeg; mauby, made from the bark of the maubi tree and downed as a soft drink; and cocoa tea (cocoa beans and spices steeped in hot milk).

EDUCATION

The adult literacy rate in Grenada is over 96%, and all children are required to attend school for 12 years. The average primary school has 1 teacher for every 28 pupils, a figure that compares favorably with those in other developing nations. Post-secondary education is offered at the T. A. Marryshow Community College and University Center (a branch of the University of the West Indies) and more recently at the St. George's University, which is offering baccalaureate degree programs at its school of arts and sciences.

CULTURAL HERITAGE

Grenadian authors first came to public attention in the 1920s and 1930s. One of the nation's best-known contemporary writers is Wilfred Redhead, author of one-act plays and short stories. The visual arts reflect a high degree of African influence, and Grenada's artists are mostly self-taught. Canute Caliste, who lives on Carriacou, is one of the most prominent. His paintings depict aspects of traditional life on the island, including Carnival bands, boat-launchings, dance festivals, and Big Drum performances. Many of his works include hand-printed texts.

Another well-known artist is Elinus Cato, whose brightly painted renderings of town and rural life in Grenada have been exhibited in London and Washington, D.C. One of his paintings, People at Work, was presented to Queen Elizabeth II when she toured Grenada in 1985. The wooden frame for Cato's painting was crafted by renowned Grenadian woodcarver Stanley Coutain, one of the country's leading sculptors. Other recognized masters at transforming the island's mahogany, teak, and cedar into works of art include Alexander Alexis and John Pivott.

WORK

Between 30% and 40% of Grenadians are employed in government or other service sector jobs and about the same percentage earn a living through some type of agricultural employment, often in the food processing industry. Typical food processing jobs include peeling nutmeg shells and sorting the seeds and washing bananas and other produce in large vats. The remainder of jobs in Grenada are mostly in construction and manufacturing. The country has a standard eight-hour work day. Grenada had a high rate of unemployment in the 1990s; in 1994 it was reported at 25% of the work force. However, thanks to governmental efforts, in 2000 this percentage was reduced to 12.5%.

SPORTS

Cricket is Grenada's most popular sport, and there is a large stadium at Queen's Park, outside the capital city of St. George's. Grenada and several other Caribbean nations hosted the 2007 Cricket World Cup. Grenadians will start a game on any flat area that is available, and they even play cricket at the beach. Soccer is another favorite sport.

ENTERTAINMENT AND RECREATION

Calypso and steel drum music are both popular forms of entertainment in Grenada. The nation's television station, a division of Grenada Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), airs local news, sports, and local entertainment (including coverage of Carnival), as well as programs from the United States. There are also a number of privately owned and operated radio and televisions stations on the island.

FOLK ART, CRAFTS, AND HOBBIES

While calypso music is popular in Grenada, as it is throughout the Caribbean, the truly indigenous music of the Windward Islands, to which Grenada belongs, is Big Drum music. Derived from the African call-and-response tradition, it consists of song, dance, and drumming. Although its roots are similar to those of calypso and reggae, it retains a more authentic African character. The Big Drum is actually a set of three drums, originally carved from trees and later made of rum kegs. The skin of male goats is used for the two side drums and the skin of a female goat for the middle one. The middle drum, which has pins threaded across its surface, produces the most complex rhythms.

The singers are usually women, and the lead singer is called a chantwell. The songs—in either English or French patois (dialect)—resemble those of other Caribbean traditions, such as calypso, in their reliance on satire and social commentary. The dancing is performed inside a ring of people by dancers wearing full skirts and headdresses and who interact with the musicians. On Carriacou, Big Drum music is performed at religious ceremonies including weddings and burial rites.

Woven handicrafts include hats, purses, baskets, placemats, and other items made from straw, bamboo, and wicker. Salad bowls, kitchen utensils, furniture, and other items are fashioned from mahogany and red cedar, and jewelry is made from black coral and turtle shells.

SOCIAL PROBLEMS

Poverty in Grenada increased in the 1980s due to the worldwide recession. Unemployment is high (12% of the work force). There was an increase in labor disputes in 1995. In 2000, people living below the poverty line represented 32% of the total population.

GENDER ISSUES

Even though there is no evidence of official discrimination in health care, employment, or education, women frequently earn less than men performing the same work. Violence against women in Grenada is common and most cases of spousal abuse go unreported to police authorities. In addition, lesbians, transgender persons, and others who live outside of heterosexual and gender conventions are often at risk of violence, rape, and other forms of discrimination, harassment, and abuse.

In 2005 the Department of Women's Affairs put forward legislation on equal opportunity and treatment in employment that seeks to provide remedies against discrimination on the grounds of sex, marital status, and pregnancy in employment, education, and the provision of goods, services, and facilities. The Department of Women's Affairs also began a gender education program to better the welfare of women through economic and self-improvement programs.

Educational data for Grenada indicates that at the secondary and tertiary levels the ratio of girls to boys is greater than one, which is feeding a large number of female professionals into the workforce. Women are now occupying senior managerial, administrative, and professional positions in all sectors of the economy.

The proportion of seats in Parliament held by women has risen to 28.5% in 2005, up from 17% in 2001. In 2008, the president of the Senate was a woman, while 8 of the 13 permanent secretaries in government ministries were female. On the issue of gender equality, there continues to be concern about inequality of pay, and under-representation at decision-making levels of the society.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Brizan, George I. Education & productive work during the regime of the People's Revolutionary Government, Grenada, 1979-1983. Grenada, 2003.

———.Grenada, Island of Conflict: From Amerindians to People's Revolution, 1498–1979. London: Zed Books, 1984.

———.Grenada's successful home-grown three-year structural adjustment programme 1992–1994. Grenada, 2005.

Cameron, Sarah, and Ben Box, ed. Caribbean Islands Handbook. Chicago: Passport Books, 1995.

Eisenberg, Joyce. Grenada. New York: Chelsea House, 1988.

Ferguson, James. Grenada: Revolution in Reverse. London: Latin America Bureau, 1990.

Gall, Timothy, and Susan Gall, ed. Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations. 8th ed. Detroit: Gale Research, 1995.

"Grenadians." Encyclopedia of World Cultures. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1992.

Schwab, David, ed. Insight Guides. Caribbean: The Lesser Antilles. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1996.

Sinclair, Norma. Grenada: Isle of Spice. New York: Macmillan, 1987.

Steele, Beverley A. Grenada: A History of its People. Macmillan Caribbean, 2003.

Thorndike, Tony. Grenada: Politics, Economy, and Society. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1985.

Walton, Chelle Koster. Caribbean Ways: A Cultural Guide. Westwood, MA: Riverdale, 1993.

—revised by C. Vergara

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