The issue of the existence of a Caribbean culture has evolved as a controversial topic. Some concede that due to the cultural diversity of the region, it is virtually impossible to cite a Caribbean culture as anything more than a figment of the imagination. Whereas, others with equal vehemence hold the view that the common historical experiences that the territories have shared, have forged a lasting bond that unifies us all.
In order to fully understand the notion of a Caribbean culture, certain terminologies inherent to this discussion must be explained. This includes such terms as Caribbean, culture, and society. The task of formally defining the Caribbean entails some amount of difficulty, as with each basis used to delimit the Caribbean there lays some amount of inaccuracy. Therefore, for the purpose of this discussion the Caribbean will be defined geographically as including all the islands of the Greater Antilles, Lesser Antilles and the Netherland Antilles , as well as the Cayman Islands, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the islands of the Bahamas and the mainland territories of Belize, Suriname, and Guyana. Culture, is the ever changing values, traditions, social and political relationships and world view shared by a group of people bound together by a combination of factors that can include a common history, geographic location, language, social class and or religion. (Nieto, 1992) A society is a population of humans characterized by patterns of relationships between individuals that share a distinctive culture. (Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia, 2008) The extent, to which the notion of a Caribbean culture may be viewed as being non-existent, is inextricably linked to the fact that each Caribbean territory possesses unique cultural features.
The range of languages spoken in the Caribbean is a significant contributor to the region’s cultural diversity. Language is often viewed in the region as the integral force that opposes all efforts at integration. The