The culture of St. Maarten is a blend of its African, French, British, and Dutch heritage. Although St. Maarten is a single island, it contains two separate nations: Saint-Martin, a French overseas collectivity; and Sint Maarten, part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Although each side's culture is influenced by their respective administering countries, they share enough similar heritage and traditions.
The native Creole population can trace most of their roots to Africa, France, the Netherlands and the British Isles. Only some stones remain from the ruins of the two forts built by the Spanish occupation in its early take over. But during the colonial period, the British settlers and several military dominations left their idiom as the main language spoken on the island and have made a large impact on St. Maarten's culture.
Nowadays, due to a major influx of immigrants searching for better employment and living conditions, over the past twenty years the number of Creoles has been surpassed by the number of immigrants. Today, the island's population of 77,000 is highly diverse, containing people from more than 70 different countries.
Popular music on St. Maarten includes a variety of styles beloved throughout the Caribbean. Calypso, merengue, soca, zouk and reggae all contribute to the festive culture.
St. Maarten is an island in the northeast Caribbean Sea, approximately 300 km east of Puerto Rico. The 87-square-kilometre island is divided roughly 60/40 between the French Republic and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, but the two parts are roughly equal in population.
Some Local foods
The most popular types of cuisine on the French side are traditional French and spicy West Indian Créole. Fresh seafood appears on all menus, sometimes prepared in Créole style with spices, sometimes in the classic French manner with herbs. Local rum drinks often precede a meal and fine French wines provide the perfect accompaniment.
Dutch St. Maarten oofers you International dining opportunities. Prices range from inexpensive to extremely high. In between, there are many moderately-priced restaurants, many featuring American-style food. Island rum drinks, or the locally produced specialty, Guavaberry liquor, often accompany a meal.