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49 Facts about Barbados for the 49th Independence

49 Facts about Barbados for the 49th Independence

1. Barbados was named after the Bearded Fig Tree found all over the island when first discovered.

2. Barbados first appeared on a Spanish map in 1511.

3. The British were the first settlers in 1625 when Captain John Powell landed with English ship the Olive Blossom.

4. The first town settled was Holetown.

5. The Capital today is Bridgetown.

6. Barbados is divided into 11 parishes.

7. Only two parishes do not have a coastline, St. Thomas and St. George.

8. Barbados is 14 miles wide and 21 miles long (166 square miles).

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9. The average daily temperature in Barbados is 28 degrees.

10. The currency in Barbados is the Barbados Dollar and is tied to the US Dollar, US $1 = BDS $2.

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11. The time in Barbados is GMT – 4 and there is no daylight saving time.

12. Barbados became independent in 1966.

13. The national dish is Cou Cou and Flying Fish.

14. The national flower is the Pride of Barbados.

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15. The national sport is cricket.

16. The sport Road Tennis was invented in Barbados is the 1930s.

17. The blue on the flag represents the ocean and the yellow represents the sand, the broken trident represents breaking free from its status as a colony.

18. The flag design was chosen from an open competition with thousands of entries, Grantley Prescod’s design was chosen as the flag of Barbados.

19. The Lord Nelson Statue in Bridgetown (erected 22 March 1813) is older than the famous Lord Nelson Statue in Trafalgar Square in London.

20. Barbadians are more commonly known as Bajans (BAY-jen).

21. The official language is English but a Bajan dialect is widely spoken.

22. The nickname for the island is “Bim”.

23. Barbados is the Easternmost Caribbean Island.

24. Barbados has two seasons: the ‘wet’ (June – November) and the ‘dry’ (December – May).

25. Barbados is often spared from hurricanes as the island is just south of the hurricane strike zone.

26. The last hurricane that cause damage to Barbados was Hurricane Janet in 1955.

27. Barbados is the most densely populated Caribbean Island.

28. The population of Barbados is 284,644 (2013).

29. Close to 90% of the population are of African descent.

30. The Barbadian parliamentary democracy is modelled on the British Westminster system.

31. The Governor General is currently Elliott Belgrave.

32. The Prime Minister is currently Freundel Stuart, he is the 7th Prime Minister of Barbados.

33. The next election is to be in 2018.

34. There are two political parties, the DLP (Democratic Labor Party) and the BLP (Barbados Labor Party).

35. Historically the economy of Barbados depended on sugarcane cultivation and its byproducts, but now Barbados depends heavily on the tourism industry.

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36. Barbados is the country that invented rum with the Mount Gay rum brand going as far back as 1703. Mount Gay Rum is sold in 110 countries in the world.

37. Barbados is home to the oldest Jewish synagogue in the Americas dating from 1654.

38. The main religion in Barbados is Christianity (95%) with the largest denomination being Anglican (40%).

39. Barbados and Japan have the highest per capita occurrences of centenarians in the world.

40. Barbados has a literacy rate close to 100% with the government spending 6.7% of GDP on education (2008).

41. Barbados is the birthplace of international pop star Rihanna.
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42. Other international singers include the band Cover Drive and singer Shontelle.

43. Spouge is a type of Barbadian music created in Barbados in the 1960s by Jackie Opel.

44. Barbados was the only vacation destination with a scheduled Concorde service. One of the retired Concorde planes now resides at the airport in Barbados and is open for tours.

45. Barbados was the first Caribbean island to have piped water.

46 Barbados has the second largest (critically endangered) hawksbill turtle breeding population in the Caribbean.

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47. Obadele Thompson was the first individual Olympic medalist from Barbados (Bronze in 2000).

48. The world smallest snake is found only in Barbados, it is called the Barbados threadsnake.

49. Last but not least, “a Mongoose in Barbados never crosses the road unless someone is watching”.

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