The Caribbean Continues To Provide Cultural Inspiration Around The World

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Bob Marley, the Caribbean's greatest music icon, performing in New Zealand concert, Monday, 16 April 1979. (Unsplash image/Bill Friars)

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. May 27, 2021: The Caribbean is a relatively small part of the world, comprised mostly of the Caribbean Sea and a series of islands and coastlines that surround it. It’s made up of several modest-sized countries and territories, many of which retain their connections to European countries like France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. 

Its combined population is just under 44 million, making it smaller than seven of Europe’s largest countries and slightly larger than Canada. 

Yet, despite its comparatively small size, the Caribbean is a cultural powerhouse, providing inspiration for artists of different kinds and influencing many people in just about every part of the world. 

Music

Music is perhaps where the Caribbean nations have had the biggest cultural impact. The region’s biggest export, Bob Marley, helped to make reggae popular around the world. Despite his passing in 1981 at just 36, Bob Marley continues to be an influential musician both at home and around the world. 

Reggae isn’t the only genre of music to come from Jamaica and the Caribbean though. Ska, Toasting, Mento, Kumina, Dub, and Dancehall have all become favourites around the world. 

The upbeat Soca genre also originated from the Caribbean in the early 1970s, having been invented by Lord Shorty in Trinidad and Tobago. 

After many Caribbean immigrants moved to the UK in the 1950s and 1960s, they began to influence musical culture in the country. Ska and punk are two genres that developed through Caribbean influence. 

Similar trends were seen in the United States, with hip hop developing in Caribbean communities living in the South Bronx of New York City. Several of the country’s most famous rappers, including The Notorious B.I.G. and Grandmaster Flash, have Caribbean backgrounds.

Movies and Television

With clear skies, luscious greenery, and miles of golden beaches beside blue seas, the Caribbean is a great place for movies and television shows to be set. 

Many famous movies have been filmed or set in Caribbean nations, including The Little Mermaid franchise, Along Came Polly (2004), Wizards of Waverly Place (2009), and Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997). Even 007 has visited the Caribbean, with Thunderball (1965), Dr No (1962), Live and Let Die (1973), Goldeneye (1995), and Casino Royale (2006) all being partially set there.

Perhaps the most famous movie franchise of all to come out of the region is The Pirates of the Caribbean, a set of swashbuckler films created by Disney that feature big-name actors like Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom. 

Pirates and piracy are a popular theme for filmmakers and the Caribbean’s history of piracy that was most prominent between the 16th and 19th centuries has proved to be a good source of inspiration. 

Games

Like with movies and television shows, the Caribbean provides a great backdrop and theme for games of all kinds. Of course, all of the Pirates of the Caribbean video games have been set in the region since they are based on the film series.

Other pirate-themed games include Pirate Hunter, Age of Pirates, and Port Royale 3: Pirates & Merchants. However, there are other well-known examples that are either set in or draw influence from the Caribbean, including Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty: Ghosts, and Far Cry 6. 

Some other titles include So Blonde, a point-click adventure game about a woman stranded on an island, and  Caribbean Wild, one of many themed online slot games that are available to play in leading online casinos. It features bright tropical graphics, pirate-themed symbols, and a big bearded pirate that walks around with a parrot on his shoulder. 

In fact, it was a Caribbean country that first enabled online casino games to be offered legally. In late 1994, Antigua and Barbuda passed the Free Trade and Processing Zone Act, paving the way for companies registered in the Caribbean nation to offer remote wagering to players elsewhere in the world. 

The Caribbean is a relatively small region in terms of both population size and landmass. But despite this, it has developed a rich culture that it has exported all over the world, including popular music genres, hit movies, and countless video games.