Bermuda has a very rich, diverse cultural heritage. Explore some of the elements of this through the following pages.
What is Culture?
The Regional Cultural Policy of the Caribbean Community defines culture far more broadly than the anthropological context; and refers to culture as:
[…] The distinctive ways in which a particular grouping of people has responded to, reflected on and expressed their historical and presently continuing experience of life. These ways are explored and expressed in everything from clothing and cuisine – from the dimension of biological survival – to dance, painting, storytelling or any of the other art–forms, which have no apparent immediate survival value. This sum total of intricately connected ways of being […]worked out by a people in relation to a particular environment and with a particular legacy of ideas, beliefs and practices is what gives a people a sense of cohesiveness, a sense of having a particular irreplaceable value in the world. […] It is our culture which makes it possible to bond ourselves meaningfully to our physical and social environment and to each other. (6)
While culture is something that is inherited through beliefs and traditions, it is important to note that culture is not a static entity but continues to evolve in response to the people and experience of the world.
What is Heritage/Cultural Heritage?
Heritage is something that is inherited from one’s ancestors. Cultural heritage can be thought of as the legacy of physical artefacts and intangible attributes of a group or society that are inherited from past generations including monuments, research, language, religion, architectural works, art, oral traditions and archaeological sites, maintained in the present and bestowed for the benefit of future generations.