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With it’s blue skies, summer climate and exotic fauna, you might be forgiven for thinking that the Caribbean nation of Barbados has little in common with the wet and windy climes of Scotland. But as Andy Adam of the Scottish Society for Barbados explained to The Hour, the two countries actually go back thousands of years.
Originally a Spanish and later British territorial possession, the island became an independent state in November 1966, although is still a member of the British Commonwealth.
English remains the official language of the country and that – along with the tropical climate - has lured a sizable population of British ex-pats to Barbados, including a number of Scots.
Andy has lived in the country since 2000 and currently heads the Scottish Society for Barbados. The Hour’s resident chef Eadie Manson spoke to him about Barbados’ Celtic community.
“There are a lot of Scottish people out here and many have been here for 20-30 years. Myself and my wife came out in 2000 and haven’t looked back since.
“The society has been there for many years and we regularly do a St. Andrews night and a Burns Supper. There is probably a core of about 30-40 in the society but our Burns’ Supper is supported by about 200 people.”
Asked by Eadie whether he misses Scotland Andy admitted that although home is where the heart is, he had no plans to move away from his Caribbean paradise:
“It’s a great lifestyle. It is summer all year round and the food is great. I miss home now and again but I do like being here.”
One location in Barbados where the Scottish link is glaringly apparent is in the capital city of Bridgetown, where there is a mountain area named The Scotland District. There is also a Callendar, Arthur’s Seat and even a Montrose.
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The Hour in Barbados