Benin and Aruba

Benin and Aruba

Sevimi Seton and Mekkah Marcus

There are 195 countries in the world! Each country has its own customs and traditions, just cultures in general. Music, clothing, foods, it’s amazing! But, let’s focus on Aruba and Benin.

Aruba is an island located on the Caribbean Sea, bordering South America. Aruban culture is inspired by many, like indigenous peoples of South America, descendants of African slaves, and Spanish and Dutch colonialists. The most common religion is Roman Catholic, which about 50% or more of the population practice. The traditional language spoken in Aruba is Papiamento, which is a creole language that’s also commonly spoken in Curacao and Bonaire. Although ‘Papiamento’ has a way stronger Spanish influence in Aruba than how it’s spoken in Curacao and Bonaire, a tiny population speak English, Spanish, and/or Dutch. Papiamento originates from one single Afro-Portuguese proto-Creole, which developed as a lingua franca in Western Africa in the days of the slave trade. In the traditional menu maize dishes funchi , pan bati, goat meat, fish, and stoba stewpots of local vegetables, peas, beans dominate. But, nowadays, rice, chicken, beef, and fish are eaten most. The number one snack is the pastechi, which is a small pie filled with cheese or beef. A new generation of Aruban musicians, combine traditional Aruban and Caribbean musical styles, with modern influences of hip-hop and reggae. Traditional music in Aruba is like a mix of waltz, danza, mazurka and tumba.

Benin is in Africa, specifically in West Africa. Benin borders Burkina Faso, Togo, and Nigeria. Benin has many religions, like Isalm, Christantiy, and Voodoo. Benin’s ofical language is French, but there are many dialects and native tongue. Benin used to be called Dahomey, until the French colonized it. Benin’s traditional clothing depends on which part you are from. There is bobo, bomba, and so much more. A bo bo is a “pagne” wrapped around your breasts and below. It’s usually for women, but men can wear it too. A bomba is also a “pagne”, but it’s wrapped around your waist and you wear a loose shirt as a top that matches your “pagne”. It’s preferably for women to wear. Music is a very important part of Benin. Most music you listen to in Benin is now modern, like pop and rap. But before, it was traditional music. Sagbohan Danialou was one of the most popular musicians in Benin back in the day. One of his popular songs is “Amon nou déhou dou”, which talks about life and jealousy. More modern day singers are Nikanor, Sessime, First King, and so much more. Benin is a very cultural place and has many different traditions.

Not many people have heard of Benin, or Aruba. Benin and Aruba have some similarities in culture, but it’s mostly different. Each culture is very important to the people who live there and their identities.