Every culture in the world is found in South Florida, and making a good contribution to this melting pot is the Bahamian culture, through Bahamian art, music, food and people. This year the Bahamas marks 40 years as an independent country and is being acknowledged the entire year. The Bahamian culture is one that’s calm, yet vibrant, subtle, but an ever-present complement in South Florida.
To experience it, one needn’t look very far. Public figures such as Congresswoman Fredericka Wilson (D- Fla.) and West Park City Commissioner Thomas Dorsett, to entrepreneurs such as Richmond Evans, owner of Conch Heaven, and Monique Finley, owner of Finley’s Bahamian Restaurant, are all Bahamians who work to uplift the community in their respective posts.
As far back as Florida culture goes, Bahamian culture can be identified as an intricate part. As each Bahama island, islet and cay stands apart, it has a unique character, personality and even accent that’s still Bahamian. Folks on Abaco Island, for example, have a different accent from the Eleutherans.
Long Islanders speak differently from Grand Bahamians and Inaguans. The Bimini accent differs from Mayaguana residents, and so on.
But when it’s time to join together, Bahamians of all ages, sizes and complexions sing in unison in honor of the country’s great achievements such as Independence Day, July 10.
As the Bahamas marks 40 years of independence, several of this month’s activities in the capital Nassau and on the family of islands include the People’s Junkanoo Love and Unity Rush, Independence Reception, National Float Parade, official launch of the From Dat Time Oral and Public History Institute at the University of the Bahamas and numerous festivities around the country.
For residents of South Florida, including those who are unable to make the trip home, are local events such as those organized by the National Association of the Bahamas (NAB), including:
July 20 — Day of Fun, Food & Music, 12 noon – 5 p.m. at Amelia Earhart Park, 401 E. 65th St., Hialeah.
July 25 — Junkanoo Rushout, 5 p.m. at Overtown’s Gibson Park, 401 N.W. 12th St., Miami.
July 25 — The Bahamian Connection, 4490 N.W. second Ave., Miami.
July 26 — Independence Gospel Celebration, 7:30 p.m., Sure Foundation Ministries, 5530 S.W. 20th St., West Park.
July 27 — Independence Gala under the patronage of Prime Minister Perry G. Christie, 7 p.m, Doubletree Miami Airport, 711 N.W. 72nd Ave., Miami.
For other information call 954-888-1113 or 305-373-6295.