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Bonaire’s Culture

Bonaire (Boneiru in Papiamentu), which is part of BES islands (Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba), was originally inhabited by the Caquetio Indians from Venezuela. In 1499, the Spanish conquerors: Alonso de Ojeda, Juan de la Cosa and Americo Vespucci arrived in Curacao and claimed these territories for the Spanish Crown.
Many ethnic and racial influences are present in Bonaire today; Indian, African, Asian and European inhabitants have all contributed to our rich culture. Nowadays, according to Omnibus Survey Caribbean Netherlands, most of them are Roman Catholic (68, 2%), so Easter, Christmas are big celebrations here.
Most of the Bonaire’s traditions take origin from African homelands and European, e.g: The music is a blend of tribal beats but using modern instruments.
If you come to Bonaire you should know some words in Papimentu, the most spoken language here:
• Bondia: Good morning.
• Bon tardi: Good afternoon.
• Masha danki: Thank you so much.
• Ayo: Goodbye.

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