Often, when people travel to regions of the world that speak the same language as we do, we assume that the culture won’t be very different from ours. This is a big mistake! In this day and age, after widespread British colonialism and rampant globalization, a large portion of our world is English speaking. Granted, language is an important part of culture, but it is definitely not everything. Before arriving on South Caicos, the island on which I’m studying abroad, I knew that the people here spoke the same language as me, but I also took for granted that the common courtesies of everyday life might be similar. So here are some little gems that make South Caicos the wonderful island that it is:
1) When you say hi to someone here, they almost never say hi back, instead the common response is “okay”.
2) Everyone, absolutely everyone, plays dominoes and is very good at it
3) Counting dominoes to predict who will win rounds in advanced is encouraged
4) There are only about 1,200 people here so everyone knows everyone, even if you are new here
5) Wild Donkeys and horses roam around the island and its completely normal to ignore them when you see them out on the streets
– Annalise Kukor