Culture

The population in the USVI is largely made up of Caribbean people whose ancestors were Africans and Europeans. You will find people from all across the Caribbean living in the Virgin Islands as well as Americans from the mainland, Europeans and Hispanics.

English is the main language in the USVI and the majority of the population speak, write and read English only. Some residents speak quickly and with an accent making it difficult to understand. Emigrants from other islands have brought other languages to the Virgin Islands therefore it is not uncommon to hear Spanish, French-Patois and Creole.

Local Caribbean food consists of soups, stews and curries that include meats, fish and root vegetables.  Popular favorites easily found on St John are pates and rotis.

Music in the Virgin Islands is definitely Caribbean. You can hear reggae, steel pan, calypso and soca. Many other music venues can be enjoyed from Latin and blues to jazz and classical.

Virgin Islanders are religious people. Popular religions include Baptist and Catholic. But there are many denominations represented here on St John. Superstitions and storytelling are very common. There are often stories about jumbies (spirits) that walk around in homes, on the street and anywhere the person telling the story wants them to be. Jumbie stories are a Caribbean tradition and are often used as cautionary tales for children.

In the Virgin Islands saying Good Morning, Good Afternoon and Good Night are not the same thing as saying Hello or Hi; the former is a warmer greeting and is the norm for friends and strangers.  Whether passing someone in the street or entering a local business, a proper greeting will go a long way

While visiting the islands take your time to appreciate the local arts, events and music. Definitely try some local food, desserts and drinks, you will enjoy them. Make your vacation a true Caribbean experience by enjoying the local culture!