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History of Grenada

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The French named the island 'La Grenada'. In 1763, once the Britsh gained control, the country was renamed 'Grenada'. The name originates from Granada given by the Spaniards in the 1520s. When the British regained control, they failed in their attempts to rid the island of French influences imposed since 1649. Years on, our islands reveal influences of Amerindian customs, French and English settlement fused with African, East Indian and Caribbean ancestry. The first people believed to have settled in Grenada were the Arawak-speaking Amerindians from South America. Archaeological sites have unearthed evidence of the settlers, which reveal skilled agriculturists and fishermen who built their own boats, leaving behind skills that remain with us today. Other archaeological treasures are the petroglyphs at Duquesne Bay in the Parish of St. Mark, where carvings on large boulders depict faces and drawings from the past. The National Museum in our capital city St. George's, Carriacou Museum on the island of Carriacou and Rome Museum at Walker in the Parish of St. Andrew house rare antiques and collectibles from Grenadians of the past. There are also several historical sites preserved - and in some cases, restored - offering a physical experience of invasions, battles and tragedies throughout our history. On February 7th 1974, Grenada became the first Windward and Leeward Island to become a sovereign state. Each year on this day, we recognise this achievement through formal and informal traditions to commemorate the independence of our islands, from the formal 'march pass' by uniformed contingents and official presentations at our National Stadium to family picnics, beach parties and sporting events. Visitors travelling to Grenada in the month of February, can relish in our Independence celebrations by feasting on a plate of ‘oil down’ – breadfruit slow-cooked with meat, fish and vegetable combinations, absorbing the wonderful flavour of callaloo and coconut milk. The revolutionary period from 1979 to 1983 and the subsequent intervention of American and Caribbean military are remembered during the month of October, with a formal recognition on Thanksgiving Day. Initially celebrated on October 25th 1983 to commemorate the restoration of democracy, Grenadians have embraced this annual public holiday by showing friendship and appreciation for their families and fellow men and women by reflecting and giving thanks. Coming to our islands during this month will offer a different perspective and a humbling experience to really get to know the values and morals in our communities.

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