Cultural History

Grenadian culture is a mixture of British, African, West Indian and French influences which has left an indomitable influence in the folklore, dialect, music and general way of life. French influence on Grenadian culture can still be found in surnames, names of villages and the local dialect or Patois. Historical sites also portray remnants of French and British colonial architecture that have been well preserved.

African heritage is deeply rooted in Grenadian music, dance and festivals. Soca, calypso, steel pan and DJ music form the heart of the annual carnival where street parades and musical competitions display the contenders competing for the various carnival titles. Activities during that period include Soca Monarch, Groovey Monarch, Dimanche Gras, National Queen Show, Panorama, Jouvert, Pageant, Monday Nite Mas and Parade of the Bands.

Other cultural interests that take place during the year include drumming, folk dance and singing festivals.  More popular are Grenada Spice Jazz Festival, Christmas, Rainbow City Festival, St. Patrick’s Day Festival, Fisherman’s Day Festival, St. Mark’s Day Festival, Maroon Festival.

An important aspect of Grenadian culture also is that of storytelling, with folk tales bearing both African and French influences. Tales of La Diablesse, a well-dressed she- devil, and Ligaroo (from Loup Garoux), a werewolf, depict the French influence and the character, Anancy the spider trickster, which originated in West Africa.

Food also plays an important role in Grenadian culture where "oildown" is the national dish. This involves a dish cooked in coconut milk until all the milk is absorbed, leaving a bit of coconut oil in the bottom of the pot. A mixture of salted pigtail, pigs feet (trotters), salt beef and chicken, dumplings made from flour, provision: Breadfruit, green banana, yam and potatoes. Callaloo leaves are sometimes used to retain the steam and for extra flavour. Indian influence is also seen with dhal puri, rotis, Indian sweets, and curries in the cuisine.