Skip to main content

The People

The People

Grenadian Culture


Grenadian culture is a mixture of British, African, West Indian and French influences which has left an indomitable influence in the folklore, dialect, music and general way of life. French influence on Grenadian culture can still be found in surnames, names of villages and the local dialect or Patois. Historical sites also portray remnants of French and British colonial architecture that have been well preserved.

African heritage is deeply rooted in Grenadian music, dance and festivals. Soca, calypso, steel pan and DJ music form the heart of the annual carnival where street parades and musical competitions display the contenders competing for the various carnival titles. Activities during that period include Soca Monarch, Groovey Monarch, Dimanche Gras, National Queen Show, Panorama, Jouvert, Pageant, Monday Nite Mas and Parade of the Bands.

Other cultural interests that take place during the year include drumming, folk dance and singing festivals.  More popular are Grenada Spice Jazz Festival, Christmas, Rainbow City Festival, St. Patrick’s Day Festival, Fisherman’s Day Festival, St. Mark’s Day Festival, Maroon Festival.

An important aspect of Grenadian culture also is that of storytelling, with folk tales bearing both African and French influences. Tales of La Diablesse, a well-dressed she- devil, and Ligaroo (from Loup Garoux), a werewolf, depict the French influence and the character, Anancy the spider trickster, which originated in West Africa.

Food also plays an important role in Grenadian culture where "oildown" is the national dish. This involves a dish cooked in coconut milk until all the milk is absorbed, leaving a bit of coconut oil in the bottom of the pot. A mixture of salted pigtail, pigs feet (trotters), salt beef and chicken, dumplings made from flour, provision: Breadfruit, green banana, yam and potatoes. Callaloo leaves are sometimes used to retain the steam and for extra flavour. Indian influence is also seen with dhal puri, rotis, Indian sweets, and curries in the cuisine.


Grenada’s education system is modeled largely on the British educational system. The majority of schools are Government-owned or assisted, and free education is available for children between the ages of 5 and 16. There are several privately owned primary schools and one privately owned secondary school.

There are 151 schools in Grenada, including 73 registered pre-primary schools and 20 secondary schools, we well as the T.A. Marryshow House, which is a tertiary institution, Marryshow House, which is a branch of the Extra Mural department of the University of the West Indies (U.W.I.) and the St. George’s University, which is an internationally renown American offshore institution.


1,275 inhabitants per physician, 410 per nurse and 300 per hospital bed. There are four Government owned hospitals: General Hospital (St. George's), Princess Alice Hospital (St. Andrew's) and Princess Royal Hospital (Carriacou), providing between them 340 beds (2000), as well as the Mt. Gay Hospital (St. George's) for the mentally ill. There are also a number of private clinics.


Approximately 108,132 (est.  2008) people inhabit Grenada, including the 6,521 inhabitants of Carriacou and Petite Martinique. The nation’s citizens are primarily of African, East-Indian and European descent, with the largest proportion of the population, approximately 75%, of African descent. About 50% of Grenada’s population is below the age of 30. Grenada is an English-speaking nation with a few people mainly the older generation speaking French patois.


Numerous Christian denominations are represented by churches on the islands.  Among these are: Roman Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist Christian Scientist, Baptist, Seventh Day Adventist, Jehovah’s Witness, Mennonite, Pentecostal and Evangelical.Non-Christian religion represented is Islamic.