On Tuesday, the Grenadian people celebrate the 49th anniversary of their country’s Independence from the United Kingdom.
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“This country significantly contributed to the Caribbean integration process. Grenadians have much to be proud of,” said Carla Barnett, the secretary of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
Before the Europeans arrived in the Americas, Grenada was home to the Indigenous peoples. Christopher Columbus sighted it during his third voyage to the Americas in 1498. Afterward, various European countries colonized this Island.
In 1649, France took control of the Island, which became one of the wealthiest colonies due to its sugar production capacity. Following the French defeat in the Seven Years' war, the Paris of Treaty ceded Grenada to Great Britain in 1763.
Having overcome a brief rebellion by pro-French forces, Grenada remained a British colony for over two hundred years.
National independence movements began in the 1950s. In March 1967, Grenada became part of the Commonwealth and was granted full autonomy over its internal affairs. Left-wing politician Eric Gairy was the first Grenadian Prime Minister.
Grenadians partake in official ceremonies and colorful parades to celebrate their country's Independence Day. They also dress up, visit their loved ones, make merry, and remember their struggle for freedom.
Under the slogan “The Journey to 50, reflecting on the Past, Planning for the Future,” this year’s celebrations comprise the National Calypso Competition final, in which six dancers will compete for the title of Calypso Queen or King.