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"French Creole" is spoken by immigrants from Haiti.Those immigrants often are able to converse in heavily accented English, but few have been formally educated in the language. Residents sometimes use the term "family islands" to symbolize the desired unity of the scattered population and the image of small, cohesive out-island communities.About 85 percent of Bahamians are of African ancestry, and most of the remainder are of European descent. Regional and class-related dialects vary from "Standard English" among the urban elite to "Bahamian English" among the poorer people.People of Asian ancestry constitute a very small segment of the population. Approximately 60 percent of the population is urban, a proportion that is growing rapidly as young adults migrate from out-island settlements to the urban areas of Nassau and Freeport. There are finely nuanced differences in vocabulary and pronunciation from island to island.During the 1830s emancipation was legally mandated. National culture was forged through the interactions of British and African traditions.Britons contributed the English language, Protestantism, a market economy, and European technology.Many Lucayans were taken to Hispaniola and Cuba as slaves, and the rest died of newly imported diseases.The Spanish never settled the Bahamas, and the region became a haven for pirates.
The Heritage Museum of The Bahamas is open from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. The name Bahamas derives from the Spanish baja ("shallow") and mar ("sea").Within the country, a distinction is made between the capital of Nassau on New Providence Island and the out islands of the archipelago.Plantations, slave revolts, colonial governance, the insular existence, the sea, hurricanes, and many other elements contributed to the cultural synthesis.The islands remained a British colony until independence was peacefully attained in 1973. Many Bahamians perceive Haitians in terms of negative stereotypes and consider them scapegoats.