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Tuesday 25th June
Barbados Information - Page 2
Early migrants to Barbados were the Amerindian Arawak and Carib people. The Spanish arrived at the end of the fifteenth century, introducing unfamiliar diseases and enslaving the islanders. By the time the British arrived, in 1627, the island was unihabited.

Barbados became an English Colony with an economy based upon tobacco, cotton and sugar. The plantations were dependent on slave labour until the 1830s when slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire.

In 1961 Barbados was given full internal self-government and in 1966 the country gained independence.

Barbados became a republic in November 2021 but links with Britain continue through the Commonwealth.

Traditionally the economy of Barbados relied on the sugar industry. Today its economy is based on the services sector which provides employment for the largest percentage of the working population. Tourism is Barbados' main source of foreign exchange and offshore finance and information services also benefit the economy.

The global economic crisis caused a slowdown in tourism and financial services in 2009 leading to a wide budget deficit. (2011)

The National Independence Festival of Creative Arts is a celebration of music, song, dance, drama and poetry. An annual event in November, leading up to Independence Day, the festival is an opportunity for artists, performing artists and musicians to stage exhibitions and performances. A variety of crafts are also represented at the festival.

Cricket is the national sport of Barbados. Famous Barbadian players include John Goddard, Sir Garfield Sobers and Sir Clyde Walcott.

Football, basketball and tennis are also popular sports. Other sports are swimming, scuba diving, windsurfing and sailing.

Easter, Christmas and New Year are celebrated in Barbados. Holidays include Errol Barrow Day (21 January), National Heroes Day (28 April), Labour Day (1 May), Kadooment Day (2 August), Emancipation Day (3 August) and Independence Day (30 November - 1966).

"Crop Over" is a festival that dates back to the eighteenth century and the time of the large sugar plantations. The festival lasts a number of weeks and culminates with the Grand Kadooment, a carnival parade and celebration.

News from Barbados is available from Newslink.

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