Festivities are planned for Barbados Golden Jubilee celebration this month. Find out where you can indulge in fun, savour fiesty bites and authentic Caribbean rum.
Food and rum springs to mind at the mention of Barbados, the Caribbean’s gastronomic capital. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence from Great Britain.
Historical archives reveal that Barbados was inhabited by Arawaks and Caribs during the European colonization of the Americas in the 16th century. The English arrived in 1627.
“Barbados was a British colony for more than 300 years. November 30, 1966 was marked by the raising of the Barbados national flag, and playing of the new national anthem for the first time,” says Marilyn Mosely, Honorary Consul for Barbados in Vancouver.
50th Anniversary of Independence
“Celebrations will be extra special in Barbados this year, running throughout November, and will include sports competitions, fairs, community events and religious services.”
“On Independence Day, a grand parade is usually held at the Garrison Savannah – site of the original independence ceremony. Barbadians from all corners of the globe are expected to return to Barbados in celebration of November 30.”
Her highlight, she says, is the light displays of blue and gold (the national colours) at the Independence Arch, Independence Square; on Parliament Buildings and commercial properties throughout the country’s capital, Bridgetown.
BC’s Barbadian Connection
Barbadians are gearing up to commemorate this history milestone with festivities locally and abroad. In Vancouver, preparations are underway for an Independence Gala on November 12th in Surrey, British Columbia (BC).
Renita Drakes of the Barbados Cultural Association of BC explained that, the Gala also serves as a celebration for all of the Caribbean, as they would like to recognize their neighbouring islands’ contribution to their nation’s history.
She added that the Barbadian connection with the Province of BC runs deep. BC’s first Governor General, Sir James Douglas and BC’s first Lieutenant Governor, Major-General Richard Clement-Moody are both of Barbadian descent. The City of Port Moody was named after the latter.
What’s on at the Vancouver Independence Gala
On the menu, Vancouver’s renowned Jamaican Chef, Richard Sang will be showcasing his fusion of Barbadian and Jamaican flavours. Bajan seasoned roast chicken, roast-infused Caribbean style beef, the popular Jamaican Escoveitch fish, coconut bread, Black Cake (Great Cake or Bajan Rum Cake)and more.
No Barbadian fete is complete without the traditional Barbadian Landship dance. Live music is provided by Out of Many Reggae Band with limbo acts as part of the entertainment feature. There are also visual displays highlighting Barbados’s fascinating culture and history. The Gala is an ideal introduction to an authentic Barbadian experience in Greater Vancouver.
Food and Rum Festival
In Barbados, the 7th Food and Rum Festival has lined up a list of culinary and beverage experiences designed to excite your taste buds. The festival runs from November 17th to 20th, and promises an upscale celebration of gastronomic art, featuring acclaimed international and local world class chefs, rum experts and mixologists.
As a tribute to 50 Years of Independence, a full month of culinary celebration is scheduled throughout the country. More details are available on the link below.