We all know that we don’t pat the back of a colleague in Korea to thank them for a “job well done”. Or eat with your left hand in India, or sip vodka in Russia. In many countries, these actions are harmless. But in others, they can give a wrong impression or cause offense.
In fact, whatever culture you’re from, it’s likely that you routinely do something that could cause offense somewhere else in the world. So here is:
A primer on how to avoid mistakes in
Despite, or maybe because of, the tropical climate, Bajans tend to dress conservatively when not on the beach. A bikini will not be appreciated in town and certainly not in church. Bajans are particularly sensitive to manners and saying, “Good morning” to people, even strangers, goes a long way to earning their respect. When meeting a Bajan, try not to discuss politics or racial issues.
Talk is also important because Barbadians speak fairly fast when speaking in Creole (or Bajan, as it is called). The use of the “N” word is a no, but when talking to friends words such a “B” (which is short for “bro”) and “dawg” are used to describe or refer to a friend. Initially these words should not be used unless you know the person well. Most Bajans are fun-loving and love to go out and have fun, as is noted by the large number of young people found in the clubs and on the Southern Coast of the island. Try not to stare at persons without good cause. If you happen to bounce into someone in a club, you should immediately apologize to the person.
Keep in mind that Bajans are very protective of family, and insults to a person’s family are taken very seriously. This also relates to their views on issues such as homosexuality; even though most Bajans do not agree with the practice, your rights are still respected.
With this, you had the primer on key facts about Barbados, and key facts on culture and customs. Another important part of the culture is the local food and the local drinks. Make sure you read our posts on Barbados food and drinks:
Other tips that you’d like to share on mistakes to avoid in Barbados? Please comment below.