Just for Fun:
Test Your Caribbean IQ

A visit to the islands is always a learning experience. Knowing something about Caribbean culture beforehand makes your trip more interesting and helps avoid embarrassing gaffes.

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Most Caribbean people have a terrific sense of humor. They see things realistically and have an easy going manner. In fact, some of them helped me come up with these questions and answers.

For instance:

1. In Jamaica , the best way to upset a rastafarian is to:

a) buy him a Red Stripe

b) not buy anything he's selling

c) tell knock/knock jokes about (or dis) Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie

d) ask how he manages to comb all that hair

2. As a greeting in many of the islands, instead of wishing you a "Good Evening," many locals will say:

a) Good-Bye

b) Have a nice evening

c) Good Night

d) Sure gets dark early around here, doesn't it?

3. Sugar was not a natural crop of the Caribbean before European settlement. Where was it originally brought from?

a) Hawaii

b) Tahiti

c) The Canary Islands

d) Hershey, PA

4. Staying with the subject of sugar, where was it first grown in the New World before it was introduced to Barbados and the other islands?

a) Uruguay

b) Venezuela

c) Brazil

d) Who cares, I'm diabetic!

5. The first brotherhood (more commonly known today as a union) that established workman's compensation for injuries sustained while on the job was:

a) The Brotherhood of Rum Distillers

b) The Brotherhood of Rum Drinkers

c) The Brotherhood of the Sea; i.e. pirates

d) The Brotherhood of Man

6. Hammocks were unknown to Europeans until the Spanish "discovered" them. Whose invention, along with all that gold and silver, did the Spanish steal?

a) The Carib Indians

b) The Mosquito Indians

c) The Arawak Indians

d) Jimmy Buffet's

7. Speaking of Europeans and conquest, the Carib Indians had arrived well ahead of the Spanish and were involved in exterminating the peaceful Arawak inhabitants. Although the Caribbean Sea was named after them, the Caribs were also newcomers to the islands. Where did they come from?

a) Atlantis

b) Easter Island

c) The Orinoco Region

d) Uh, the Atlantic Ocean ?

8. The fierce Caribs supposedly were cannibals and had a rating system about which of the Europeans were the tastiest. Who had a Five Star Rating?

a) The English

b) The Spanish

c) The French

d) The local priest

9. Who supposedly tasted the worst?

a) The Portuguese

b) The Dutch

c) The English

d) The local priest

10. On which island were the Europeans so afraid of the Caribs that the cannons at one fort actually pointed inland ?

a) Puerto Rico

b) Cuba

c) St. Vincent

d) St. Augustine

11. When meeting an islander for the first time, the best way to make friends with him or her is to:

a) Wait for them to say hello

b) Wait for someone to introduce you

c) Immediately say hello to the person

d) Ask why there are so many black people around

e) Act afraid or embarrassed

12. Which island territory actually discovered by Columbus was the first to be under the U.S. flag?

a) Puerto Rico

b) Cuba

c) U.S. Virgin Islands

d) Dominican Republic

13. The translation of the original Danish name for the capital of St. Thomas, now called Charlotte Amalie, was:

a) Keg Hall

b) Fraternity Row

c) Rum Shop

d) Shop-til-you-drop

14. Descendants of the once fierce Carib Indians have been reduced to a single community on a single island. What island is that?

a) Guadeloupe

b) Grenada

c) Dominica

d) Key West

15. The speed bumps on many islands are called:

a) A Politician's Bankroll

b) A Drunken Tourist

c) A Sleeping Policeman

d) The Only Paved Part of the Road

16. Which island has the only tropical forest in the U.S. National Forest system?

a) St. Thomas

b) St. John

c) Puerto Rico

d) St. Croix

17. On which island is it actually legal to drive on the right side of the road?

a) St. Thomas

b) Tortola

c) Guadeloupe

d) On any with more than one lane

18. Which island did developer Laurance Rockefeller donate two-thirds of to the U.S. National Park System?

a) St. Croix

b) St. Thomas

c) St. John

d) Fire Island

19. There are few poisonous snakes in the Caribbean. That's because:

a) There's not enough water

b) It's too hot

c) Most islands are too far from the continent for snakes to "raft" over on floating debris

d) St. Patrick actually got there first

20. Which of the following is the only food native to the Caribbean and not brought in by colonizing Europeans?

a) Bananas

b) Cocoa

c) Lobster

d) Coffee

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