Introduction Dutch and English. A high percentage also


My onion model is based on my birthplace, Curaçao. Both my parents
were born in Curaçao but with various European and South American ethnic backgrounds. I
have lived there for the first 19 years of my life and am proud consider it the
place that had the most influence on me growing up.

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A total population of 161,577 at the start of 2018 , makes Curaçao the biggest and
most populated island in the Dutch Caribbean. Average life expectancy is 78.3

Roman Catholic 72.8%, Pentecostal 6.6%, Protestant 3.2%, Adventist 3%,
Jehovah’s Witness 2%, Evangelical 1.9%, other 3.8%, none 6%, unspecified 0.6%.

A vast majority of the inhabitants are multilingual for we have 3 official
languages: Papiamento (a creole language that is a mixture of Portuguese,
Spanish, Dutch, English, French, as well as elements of African languages and
the language of the Arawak), Dutch and English. A high percentage also speaks
Spanish due to the Spanish influences of colonial times and being so close to
South America.



Because Curaçao was a major slave hub during the Atlantic slave
trade, the majority of the population is from Black African descent. Curaçao is
a melting pot due to the various sizeable minorities of Dutch, South American,
Asian, Portuguese, Arabic and Jewish descent.


World fact book, 2018) (worldmeters,




The original inhabitants of Curaçao were the Arawak
Indians, which originated from inlands of South America. The Arawak tribe on Curaçao were quickly wiped
out after the discovery of the island at the hands of the Spanish by Alonso de
Ojeda in 1499. In 1634 however, Curaçao fell into the
hands of the Netherlands who found interest in the island due to a natural
harbor ideal for trade. When the island gained wealth with the slave trade by
the Dutch West India Company, Curaçao received an explosion of immigrants. After slavery was abolished in
1863 it took Curaçao some time to find new wealth with the refineries, refining
Venezuela’s crude oil, which played a vital part in the second world war by supplying the allied
forces with oil. After realizing their importance the joined the rest of the
Caribbean in their call for independence, which we received on October 10,





The flag

(tourism board
Curacao, 2014)


Curaçao, just like the
other colonies, had been under the Netherland’s flag until the forming of the
Netherlands Antilles which had its own flag. Curaçao longed for its own
flag for a while due to our pride and finally got their wish in 1984. The flag
is composed of two blue horizontal stripes separated by a thing yellow one and
two stars at the top left. The top blue stipe symbolizes the sky while the lower
one represents the loyalty of the people and the sea that surrounds us. The
yellow is a reminder of the bright sunshine and characterizes the happiness of
our people. The five points of the stars represents the 5 continents where
people have migrated to Curaçao and stand for peace and happiness. The smaller star represents
“Klein Curaçao” (little Curaçao), a small island South-West of our coast.

smith, 2010)



guide, 2018)


of our architecture is based of Dutch design in colonial times, however with
one major difference, the bright colors. In the early days of the city, Willemstad,
all the building used to be colored white but due to the bright sun, this
caused eye problems and a rule was made to give all the buildings in the city
various bright colors. This rule still counts today and gives the city a
vibrant, joyful feel that can be felt walking through the various alleys and
streets. Most buildings are made from coral stone which causes the paint to
peel over the years and results in new coats of paint being constantly applied
keeping the colors bright and new. In time, as Willemstad’s traditional styles were
modified to accommodate the island’s dry and breezy climate, Caribbean accents
such as verandas, porches, fretwork, and shutters were added. All this has
resulted in Willemstad to be placed on the UNESCO World Heritage list due to
its uniqueness.




(Wikipedia, 2018)



George Maduro

John Lionel Maduro was born on July 15, 1916 on Curaçao. He served as an
officer in 1940 by helped in the efforts to repel the German invasion of The
Hague and was posthumously awarded the medal of Knight 4th-class of
the Military Order of William, the highest and oldest military
decoration in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Under German occupation, Maduro
refused to where the star of David and joined the resistance forces until he
was captured and sent to Dachau concentration camp where he died in 1945. He is
one of the few war heroes from Curaçao and we therefore have great respect for him. He
has shown us how important we could be for The Netherlands even if we come from
a small island as Curaçao. The Madurodam in The Hague was built by his family in his honor.
Although he was born in Curaçao he is often thought of in The Netherlands as Dutch a native.

(Wikipedia, 2018)


Andruw Jones

(USA Today, 2012)


A now retired professional baseball outfielder, Jones has played for
major MLB teams such as Atlanta Braves, LA Dodgers and New York Yankees just to
name a few. Although he was not the first “yu di Kòrsou” to make it to the MLB,
he was the first to gain financial success with baseball. Due to this and the
fact he has receive numerous prestigious awards he became a huge inspiration
for the following generations of baseball players from the island since it has
long been the biggest sport on the island. We have since gained great success
in the little league and have since produced multiple players finding their
success in the MLB.





Arguably our biggest historical hero is Tula Rigaud.
Tula, alongside Bastian Karpata led the slave revolt of 1795 that lasted more
than a month, where he freed almost all plantation slaves on the island and
united them to fight for their freedom. His efforts were stopped when the Dutch
army intervened and was subsequently
executed. However it was his bravery that inspired the slaves not to be content
with their lives and stride for a better one. This has left a lasting footprint
in the way of thinking of many inhabitants of the island to always try to make
life better. Now we have a museum and multiple monuments to honor Tula and
there has even been a movie made of the story.

(Paul van der Steen, 2011)   






(tourism board Curacao, 2014)


Also called “The Curaçao Blues”, it
is the oldest and most powerful African rooted rhythm practiced on the island. First
used by Curaçaoan slaves to express their sorrow and frustration with life’s
hardships and originated from Congo. Basic makeshift instruments were used such
as the tambu (drum), kachu (cow’s horn), agan (piece of iron or a ploughshare),
and chapi (hoe). Clapping, usually done by the women, accompanies the music. The
rhythm gave spiritual strength to dance, to sing and clap and by stomping the
feet in the ground, the humiliation of slavery was released from the body.

board Curacao, 2014)



TODO, 2017)




Each “carnival” in the
Caribbean has its own variation and in Curaçao it’s no different.
Here we have the custom where every group has different themes where they base
their costumes on. In the beginning of this tradition it was more an exclusive
event, consisting only of the Creole middle class which held private masquerade
balls in their social societies. Carnival started as e celebration leading up
to ash Wednesday(the first day of Lent) where your ancestors would take
possession of your body by wearing a mask and you could therefore not be held
responsible for the sins committed during this period. It was, and still is to
this day, accustomed for people to drink excessively and commit adultery.
Nowadays there are huge parades held in the streets that last all day where
with a lot of dancing and typical carnival music.


Known as ghost music, this tradition was brought over to the island when
African slaves arrived. Benta is a musical bow originating from Ghana. The
music of Zumbi is played with benta on the eastern part of the island and on
the western part with a flute. The difference between the soft and loud tones
of the music, which was carried far by the wind, created eerie sounds as if
ghosts where dancing. Because this music was practiced in the woods in secret,
people were afraid of entering the woods in fear of facing the ghosts.

board Curacao, 2014) (curacao
chronicle, 2017)

(tourism board Curacao, 2014)





National identity

The saying “yu di Kòrsou” (child of Curaçao) has
long been used by the inhabitants of the island to describe themselves. The
longstanding issue although, has been who exactly are these “yu di Kòrsou”?
There aren’t any Arawak Indians left, and the island has passed from Spanish
colonial rule to being a part of the Dutch kingdom. Yet despite this, it is the
Black African
descendants that refer to themselves as the most original
inhabitant of Curaçao. In some cases they deny inhabitants of other ethnicities that were
born on the island, to use this popular term, which has caused a rift in the
societies. This way of thinking has changed a lot over the years but some older
generations still refuse to accept people born on the island as natives.



This plays a huge role in our community, especially when it comes to
respecting elders. People of old age are often referred to “shon” which is a
symbol of great respect. Their words and opinions are taken into great
consideration and you can seldom win an argument against the elderly. Respect
also comes in the form of always apologizing when you have done something
wrong, even if this means making up many excuses to convince others of your



One of our most important
values is happiness. We try to enjoy everything as much as possible for example
by throwing big parties for friends and family or even just enjoying the little
things by just relaxing in the hammock all day