The Wonderful People of Dominica
Dominica has a relatively small population of just about 70,000, and the people of Dominica, are known for their warm hospitality, their devout faith, and morally respectability. Dominica is not only rich in nature but prosperous with Dominica people who are beautiful and friendly. Distinct among those are the indigenous people known as the Carib Indians who were reputed for their aggressiveness and hostile tendencies. .
The majority of people in Dominica are between the ages of 15-64 years, and can expect to live to an age of 72, but more notable is Dominica’s largest centenarian population in the region, with a count of twenty two people on average. Our oldest recorded life span was that of the now famous Ma Pampo who lived to a young age of 127. By her account, she accomplished this on a healthy diet of local legumes, fruits, ground provisions, and dumplings.
The population growth in Dominica is hindered by the emigration of citizens who have families living in more developed countries like the UK, USA and other Caricom countries. The country continues to witness the influx of Haitians, and Dominicans (from the Dominican Republic) Nigerians and Chinese people. The country’s ethic grouping is largely black, with African ancestry, the remaining populations is Carib Amerindian, white, Lebanese, Syrian, and Asian.
Most of Dominica people are devout Roman Catholics, while member numbers of churches such as Seventh Day Adventist, Rastafarian, Jehovahs Witnesses continues to grow.
The country, Dominica has an impressive 94% literacy rating among Dominica people, and its education structure is based on the British system of education. The main language spoken on the island is English, but as a direct consequence of French influence through domination and proximity to the French departments Martinique and Guadeloupe, Patois or Creole is spoken. This language is commonly used and widely understood between people of Dominica, and is the primary form of communication in some rural communities. However, modernization and globalization threatens these languages, and there is a concerted effort to ensure the Creole language in Dominica is preserved. Prior to 1990, the language was not taught in schools and is now part of the curriculum. Ironically, the language was once forbidden in the bourgeois classes, deemed the language of the poor and common man. Of course this mentality has long since changed, and the language is celebrated by the continued use and the efforts towards preservation. The country shares its Patois base language with the St Lucia, Haiti and the French neighboring islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique.
The majority of Dominica people are descendants of Africa, however there are approximately 3000 Carib Indians also known as the ‘Kalinago’ people who live on the east coast of Dominica in an area known as the Carib Territory. They have been granted a ‘reserve” of land in which they live, and work, with the goal to ensure their culture and heritage are continued. The Carib people of Dominica are well known for their basket weaving skills, and pottery, canoe building and other crafts. They also use their own herbs for medical purposes and their dances, beliefs and traditions are still important to them.