Located in the West Indies. The area is 431 thousand km2, the population is 270 thousand people. (2002 estimate). The official language is English. Capital city. Bridgetown (80 thousand people, est. 2001). National holiday – Independence Day November 30 (since 1966). The monetary unit is the Barbados dollar.
Member of the UN and its specialized organizations, the Commonwealth of Nations, OAS, Leningrad NPP, CARICOM, Inter-American Development Bank, Caribbean Development Bank, etc.
Geography of Barbados
Located between 13°3′ and 13°21′ north latitude and 59°27′ and 59°40′ west longitude. It is washed by the Atlantic Ocean, the length of the coastline is 97 km. Surrounded by coral reefs. The surface is flat, gradually rising towards the center of the island. The highest point is Mount Hillaby (336 m). Explored oil reserves on the shelf are 2 million barrels, natural gas – 112.4 million m3 (2001). The climate is tropical. Daily temperature difference from +20 to +32°C. Rain falls mainly from June to October, the average annual rainfall is 1412 mm, hurricanes occur less frequently than in other Caribbean countries. The rivers dry up almost completely during the dry season, they are of no economic importance, the largest water source is the Gramhol swamp. Tropical forests that previously covered the island are almost completely destroyed, a single massif of 30 hectares has been preserved, 64% of the territory is occupied by agricultural land. The soils are lateritic, red-brown, very fertile. The animal world is poor. Among large animals, green monkeys brought from Africa stand out, among predators – also imported mongoose, 8 species of bats, 40 species of birds.
According to Countryaah, between 1990-2000, the population increased by 10 thousand people, its annual growth decreased from 0.4% in 1985 to 0.2% in 2000. Birth rate 13.3%, mortality 8.4%, infant mortality 11.7 people. per 1000 newborns (2002). Life expectancy 73.5 years, incl. women 76.1, men 70.9. The share of the urban population is 50.6%. At the age of 0-14 years, 21.4% of the population, 15-64 years old – 69.8%, 65 years and older – 8.8%. The adult literacy rate is 98%, St. 80% of the workforce have secondary, specialized secondary and higher education, and more than 20% have university education. OK. 9/10 Barbadians (self-name – “baid-wives”) are descendants of former African slaves, whites – 4%, the rest are mulattoes, groups of immigrants from Asia. In everyday life, the local dialect of the English language is used – beijen. More than 100 confessions are represented, 2/3 of believers are Protestants. The proportion of adherents of the Anglican Church, which was in con. 19th century 90%, reduced to 1/3, Pentecostal, Methodist, Moravian Brethren. Catholics 4%, followers of Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, 17% are atheists.
History of Barbados
Barbados has been inhabited by the Arawak tribes since 350 AD. e. Opened in 1518 by Portuguese navigators, in the middle. 16th century began to be mastered by the Spaniards, who refused further colonization. In 1625, English settlers appeared, from the 1640s. sugar cane began to spread, which caused the massive importation of slaves from Africa. The Legislative Assembly was created in 1637. From 1649 to 1652, hostilities took place on the island between the troops of O. Cromwell and the colonists, who remained loyal to the king. At their end, the Barbados Charter was adopted, which played the role of the first Constitution of the country. Negroes received the right to vote in 1831, the first of them was elected to the assembly in 1840. Mass popular actions in Barbados in 1937 forced Great Britain to grant the right to form trade unions and political parties. In 1950, universal suffrage was introduced, The government began to be formed following the results of parliamentary elections. From 1958 to 1962, Barbados was part of the West Indies Federation, and on November 10, 1966, independence was proclaimed.
Science and culture of Barbados
For children under the age of 16, education is compulsory and free. There are 74 public and 30 private primary schools and 23 and 10 secondary schools, respectively. Since 2000, the computerization program for secondary education – Edutech – has been implemented, which provides for the installation of a computer in each classroom of primary and secondary schools. Education is continued by 38% of secondary school graduates. The College of the Barbados Community was opened in 1968, which has been awarding a bachelor’s degree since 1990 and provides education in 9 specialties to 3,100 students. College of Education and Technology. Since 1972, a private Academy of Commerce has been operating, which trains specialists in office work and computer science. Higher education since 1963 has been provided at the local branch of the regional University of the West Indies, where there are currently 4 faculties: law, humanities, social sciences, natural and exact sciences. 2.7 thousand students study. Two daily newspapers, a business weekly and a monthly are published. There are 7 radio stations. The television station, opened in 1964, in 1971 became the first station in the Caribbean to broadcast in color. The two private cable stations together account for approx. 100 channels.
Folklore develops in beijen, literature in English. The largest prose writer of Barbados is J. Lamming, whose novels and essays are largely autobiographical. The works of the most famous poet and critic – E. Braswaite reflect the ideas of negritude. The first public library was opened in 1847, the state library service was established in 1985, operates in the capital and has 7 branches in the province. Painting originates in the 19th century, modern fine art was formed in the 1950s. Local artists are participants in international exhibitions, landscape painting is the most popular. In Barbados, there are two of the three monuments of the so-called surviving in the Western Hemisphere. Jacobite style that developed in England in the 17th century. – Abbey of St. Nicholas and the estate of Drox Hall. Bridgetown has an art museum. The music has a strong African influence. Jazz, calypso style and steel barrel playing are popular. Music festivals are held annually, since 1993 the Holder Seasons have become a major cultural event, at which concerts are given, opera and drama performances are staged. An African and Caribbean Film Festival is held annually.