Bermuda (Somer's Isles), near the Gulf Stream in the northwest Atlantic, is NOT in the Caribbean but British North America according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and official British records. Bermuda is a nominal British territory - nominal because despite being British in 1968, the island was granted internal self-government – while Britain retained control of defense and foreign policy. It is self-governing internally, in that it makes all its own laws and does not use any from the United Kingdom. It treats everyone - including the British - not born in Bermuda with a Bermudian parent, or without Bermudian status obtained prior to 1995 or by marriage after 10 years of marriage to the same Bermudian (and living with the spouse), as a foreigner.

Only Bermudians can own any property, vote and own any land. Non-nationals are limited to buying the top 5% of land in market price, subject to certain provisos.

Bermuda is one of the oldest, smallest but most populated of the British Overseas Territories - and oldest British Commonwealth with a land area of only 21 square miles.

Most visitors' maps portray Bermuda, wrongly, as only one island. It has 6 principal islands or former islands and 120 others for practical purposes (138 in total, including mere rocks) in its total land area of under 21 square miles

Going from northwest to east, the six principal islands or former islands are Ireland Island (north and south), Boaz Island, Somerset, Main, St. David's and St. George's, about 22 miles by road in total length.

All six principal islands are now joined together and to other accessible islands or former islands such as Coney Island and Cooper's Island - by 12 bridges and a causeway. Most visitors confine themselves to these six principal islands without knowing they are going from one to the other (because there are no island signs) or are discouraged from seeing islands which are not among the principal group because there is no scheduled service to them. But some of the smaller ones are fascinating. The bridges linking the principal islands are less than 100 years old. Before then, ferries were used at most crossings. Some were mere rowboat ferries.

Bermuda’s economy is dominated by two industries – tourism and international business, financial, insurance and re-insurance services – which together account for approximately 90 per cent of GDP. Offshore banking and related services have been the mainstay of the financial sector, although in recent years, insurance has grown to the point where Bermuda is now the world’s third-largest insurance market.

The small light-manufacturing base in Bermuda is engaged in boat building, ship repair and perfume and pharmaceutical production. There is some agriculture, concentrated in the growing of fruit and vegetables, although most of Bermuda’s food is imported along with all its oil, machinery and most manufactured goods. Bermuda has recently established an important diamond market.

Bermuda celebrates Junkanoo which is by far one of the world's most culture-rich ancestral carnivals. The spirit of Junkanoo was brought to the Americans by the African slave forefathers who, while being forced to leave their beloved motherland, steadfastly refused to leave behind their ancestral culture deeply embedded in their genes.

Celebrated on May 31st, Junkanoo, , which is also Bermuda's day, features people dancing, jumping, and singing, along with music and drinks.


Information provided courtesy of: Caribbean Association Midwest America