WHERE IN GOD’S WORLD? BERMUDA
by Tina Tocco
Fascinating Facts about Bermuda
Bermuda is a group of islands located roughly 570 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
Although the country is made up of 138 islands, it’s only about one-third the size of Washington D.C. Its main islands are connected by bridges.
The shipwreck of the Sea Venture in 1609 led to the accidental settling of Bermuda. About 150 English travelers were headed for Virginia, but landed on Bermuda when a hurricane blew their ship off course. They named the islands the Somers Isles in honor of Sir George Somers, their leader. The country was later renamed for Spanish sea captain Juan de Bermudez, who discovered the islands in the 1500’s.
Though Bermudians govern themselves, their country remains a territory of the United Kingdom. For that reason, it has two anthems: “Hail to Bermuda” is considered a local anthem; the U.K.’s national anthem, “God Save the Queen,” is the country’s official national anthem.
Well over half of the population here is Christian.
Bermuda’s climate is mild but humid. As a result, the vegetation includes beautiful flowering shrubs like hibiscus, bougainvillea, and poinsettia. Mangrove trees grow on most of the islands.
Bermuda is home to many varieties of birds, such as the Green Heron, White-tailed Tropicbird, and endangered Bermuda Petrel. You might spot humpback whales and bottlenose dolphins bobbing off the coast. Since 1620, Bermuda has protected the green sea turtle, an endangered species that can reach a whopping 440 pounds!
Popular sports here include football (soccer), sailing, cricket, rugby, and netball (similar to basketball).
Not surprisingly, fish is a popular food in Bermuda. Foods you might eat here include codfish cakes with bananas, fish chowder with hot peppers, and shark hash (minced shark with spices).
Two important Bermuda holidays are Emancipation Day (honoring when Bermudians were freed from slavery in the 1830s) and Somers Day (honoring Sir George Somers). They’re combined into a two-day holiday at the end of July or beginning of August (August 3 and 4 in 2017). One of the most important traditions of the holiday is the cricket Cup Match, which is watched by many Bermudians.
Learn the Language:
Though English is Bermuda’s official language, Portuguese is also spoken here. Try these Portuguese words and phrases:
Welcome — Bem vinda
How are you? — Como você está?
My name is… — Meu nome é…
This is fun! — Isto é divertido!
Let’s eat! — Vamos comer!
Good night — boa noite