What It Means To Be “Bahamian”


bahamiansWhat is it that defines the Bahamian character?

A Bahamian is one who had been conferred citizenship by the Bahamas Government, whether by birth or by documentation.

But when I ask, “What it means to be Bahamian?” I am not talking about legalities, I am talking about the cultural and social aspects.

Have you ever met someone who, even though born in The Bahamas to Bahamian parents, just doesn’t make you think “Bahamian” when you meet them? Conversely, have you ever met someone from outside The Bahamas that you’d swear was was a born and bred Bahamian?

What is it that defines the Bahamian character?

Some will give cheeky responses like, knowing how to pronounce “boongie” and “Briland”, or eating peas & rice and having an affinity for conch.

Others will be more profound and say that it has to do with putting The Bahamas before their political party or even one’s self.

But what does it mean to you?

Please let us know in the comments section what it means to you to be a “Bahamian”.

7 thoughts on “What It Means To Be “Bahamian”

  1. Being Bahamian should mean the same rights for Bahamian women where citizenship for their children born outside the Bahamas is concerned. A country cannot move forward unless all its citizens have the same rights be they male or female.

  2. While not a Bahamian, as an international traveller and adventurer I have lived in Spain, Scotland, Canada, England, New York, Connecticut, Florida and, happily, New Providence, The Bahamas.

    Apart from three notable Nassau-based exceptions best forgotten, most Bahamians I met, befriended, lived among and admired proved an enviable people.

    Quick to laugh, easy to talk to, polite – especially the children – Bahamians certainly can teach the rest of the world much about humanity, living life to the full – taking time to sympathize with those of us who can only wish we, too, had the good fortune to be born Bahamian.

    Long may your proud flag fly.

  3. Many Bahamians seem culturally lost. That is why there is so much disagreement over what is Bahamian art or what is Bahamian music. A lot of Bahamians don’t know what it means to be Bahamian. They are too ingrained into the culture of the USA.

  4. To be Bahamian means to have pride in your country, knowledge of its history and to be immersed in the culture that is unique to The Bahamas.

  5. I am a white Bahamian. Can trace my roots back to 1797. That’s 215 years in this country and mostly just in Nassau. That’s pretty impressive, I’d say. I accept that when I meet tourists, they are surprised to know there are white Bahamians. The first time I met a white Trinidadian, I was amused by their accent and thought they were mostly black or Indian descent. So I accept the lack of knowledge by foreigners. What I have trouble with is the fact that many Bahamians do not “know” there are white Bahamians. Many, many times I have been places where there are children – schools, camps, etc., and they think I am a foreigner. I send my son to summer camp and they think he is a foreigner. They are surprised that we are Bahamians. The first time I meet people in any kind of business or social environment, they assume I am a foreigner. Sometimes people say it’s because of a lack of a Bahamian accent, but plenty of black people went away to school and lost their Bahamian accent. It’s just an odd thing, the immediate assusmption of foreign over native, pretty well 100% of the time. What’s up with that? (Luckily I have perfected a pretty good “I’s a home gal, bey! SMT”)

  6. I wish I was born Bahamian!

    Fortunately I have been able to meet many Bahamian people. I would describe them as friendly, helpful, welcoming, fun, family orientated, easy going, happy,positive, and caring. Bahamian people live their lives to the fullest. They enjoy each day and every moment.

  7. I have been coming down Freeport way for 32 years. Live on Royal Palm way. It is home to me. Bahamians are rich in faith, diverse in their devotion to our Lord with the many churches that scatter the landscape. They live their faith. They are chairitable, loving, kind, smiling, and warm. I always miss the Island while back in Chicago. The culture is alive and colorful, from my first memories of Gumbay summer to Junk-a -noo, a people and place i fell in love with many years ago….

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