27 May, 2009

The EU in the Caribbean – Guadeloupe


The archipelago that Guadeloupe is located on is in the Caribbean Sea. It is considered to be an Oversea Department of France. It is therefore considered to be a region of France and is part of the European Union. Christopher Columbus landed on the island in 1493 and named is Santa Maria de Guadalupe de Extredura to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary from the monastery in it, Extremadura. When discussing this history of the island, tourist guides point out that Christopher Columbus discovered the pineapple here. Throughout the years it was a territory contested by the British and the French, with the French finally taking control of the island for good.

People, who travel to it may find the fast sugar cane fields interesting – this is the main form of industry on the island besides tourism. Culturally speaking, Guadeloupe is renowned for its citizen’s literary achievements. In fact, several Nobel Prize winners for literature call this nation their home, most notably the famous poet Saint-John Perse.

All of the arts, especially sculpture and painting, are important throughout the island and several famous artists have come from here. Dance and music, an interesting combination of Indian, French and African cultures are popular, especially the quadrille, the national dance. The traditional dress of the women on the island is famous.

Now, only used for special occasions and festivals, this dress is comprised of many different colored fabrics worn in layers; a traditional kerchief and gold jewelry are added to complete the look. Football (or soccer) is popular here as it is on many of the islands scattered throughout the Caribbean. And several famous football players have come from here. The island range known as Guadeloupe is a beautiful place to visit. Its many beaches make for an excellent vacation destination for anyone.



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