Bermudian culture is a blend of British and African heritages. The British influences predominate in institutions, including the form of government, educational system and legal framework. Judges still wear powdered wigs, bobbies direct traffic, cricket is the most popular sport and a pint of ale at the local pub is a common way to cap off a day's work. English is spoken on Bermuda and the majority of islanders are Christian. The African influence is more subtle but can be found in island music and dance - particularly in music of African origin, which comes via the West Indies, such as reggae and calypso, and also in the rhythm of Gombey dancers.
Gombey dancing is the most interesting art form unique to Bermuda. While it has roots in West African tribal music, Gombey dancing also incorporates influences from Christian missionaries, the British military and, most visibly, American Indians, from whom the Gombey dancers have adapted their costumes. To the uninitiated, the Gombey dancers may just look like wildly costumed characters jumping up and down to loud music, but in fact the dancing is carefully choreographed to specific rhythms and often portrays biblical stories. The dancers traditionally take to the streets on Boxing Day and New Year's Day.
The cultural roots of Bermudian food are mostly British.
Our local artists are joined by several famous artists, who have chosen Bermuda to either live, work or vacation on the island. They include Mark Twain, Eugene O'Neill, Noel Coward, James Thurber, Peter Benchley, Georgia O'Keefe and Winslow Homer.