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Aruba Culture

by Troy

Aruba Culture

Aruba is one of the many beautiful and stunning islands that make up the Caribbean. Aruba’s culture and people have many different backgrounds; from the Indians, to the Spanish, and lately the Dutch. However, through the years the place has become the abode of many different people.

Many Arubans are linguists – speaking four languages namely English, Dutch, Papiamento, and Dutch, while in the same conversation. Papiamento is a tuneful language resulting from every Aruba culture that has impacted on the region, including hints of Portuguese, Spanish, French, Dutch, and local Indian languages. Papiamento is spoken throughout the Netherlands Antilles but is more of Spanish-based on Aruba’s closer attachments with the South American mainland. For visitors of the place, an effort to use Papiamento words such as Bon Bini meaning welcome or Dushi meaning sweet or lovely, will delight your Aruban hosts.

The Arawak legacy is stronger on Aruba culture than on most other Caribbean islands, although the native language and culture did not last long into the nineteenth century, and no full-blooded Indians remain. The features of most islanders clearly show their genetic heritage.

Aruba has its own discrete culture that often includes celebrations. Music and color are a significantly great part in the majority of cultural events and most particularly the yearly Carnival and Dia Di San Juan or St. John’s Day celebrations. These celebration greatly portray Aruba culture, with Arubans dressing in red and yellow to represent fire throughout the Dai Di San Juan celebration. The celebration originated from a mix of pre-Christian Arawak harvest festivals and the efforts of Spanish missionaries to combine them with the San Juan celebration. The day is celebrated with dancing and singing, and Aruba is the only country who celebrates it this way.

The Carnival celebration reflects religious Aruba culture as this is about cleansing one’s body of sins, and helps Arubans to prepare for Lent. The celebration also infuses themes of colors, dance, music, creativity, and merriment. Aruba culture on superstitions and traditions shows greatly on their celebration of the New Year called Dande. The word Dande means to revel or to carouse or to have a good time which began after King William III of Netherlands declared slaves to be free. Rituals are performed by a group of five or six people, although more can join, who go along with a singer and travel door-to-door to express best wishes for the New Year with repetitive songs and the host collects money in his hat to give to the group.

Today, Aruba shows great culture that doesn’t shy away from the world. Arubans love of music and celebrations on the island reflects this, the most popular styles of which are the lyric-heavy calypso, merengue and beat-based soca, and a local blend known as socarengue. Aruba culture is truly diverse and wonderful that guests can come across with when they visit the beautiful place of Aruba.
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