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World Health Day & Caribbean Culture

Black man farmer harvesting vegetables
© Wix Media

World Health Day is celebrated every year on the 7th day of April. The primary aim of this event is helping us reimagine what the world would be like if we had clean air, good water, and healthy meals. We get to envision what life would be like if more governments and corporations focused on making wellness-focused policies to create cleaner cities, healthier people, and a more habitable planet.

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World Health Day has a worthy objective. A healthier (cleaner and more comfortable) earth will create an environment that improves life for all. Yet, while this objective is grand, we must start little, and starting little means looking within.

Questions like:

  1. What can I do to make my health better?

  2. What meals would help me live longer?

  3. How can I design my environment for a healthy lifestyle?

would get you started on how to improve what you are already doing.

A culturally intelligent mind may even look beyond what is readily available, like meals or medicines from other cultures that have remarkable results on health – like Caribbean food!

What Is Unique About Caribbean Culture?

Some would describe the Caribbean region as the melting point of different languages, dishes, music styles, and customs, and they would be right. The overarching benefit of this diversity is the varied and rich ideas for life, philosophy, well-being, and health that is ever-present amongst its people.

To the Caribbean, food is an important aspect of life, a core component for a long and healthy existence.

Jamaican specialty
© Simon Reddy / Alamy Stock Photo

Some of the most healthy meals you can find are stewed meats or fish soup with dumplings and vegetables, a wide variety of sautéed greens like cabbage and callaloo, and various root vegetables known for being more complete carbohydrates like yam, dasheen and many others you need to try! And fruit, oh my don’t get me started with the fruit! Not only are they beyond delicious, they have many of the vitamins and minerals needed to maintain optimal health such as papaya, pineapple, mango and avocado.

There are carnivals too and they should not be missed! Here you have people who know how to mix life’s seriousness with some good amount of playfulness, music, and a healthy meal. Make sure to indulge in the camaraderie of Caribbean people!

How Do Caribbeans Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle?

Caribbeans still get ill and experience health challenges that people from all other regions experience. But the presence of numerous herbs and plant-based remedies is one of their secrets to a long and healthy life. These herbs have been used as cures for diseases, both for Caribbeans and visitors from time immemorial.

● Aloe Vera

● Calabash

● Fever Grass

● Gumbo Limbo

● Jackass Bitters

● Mimosa

● Periwinkle

● Siempre Viva

● Soursop

● Snake Plant

From treating skin injuries, inducing childbirth, and handling fevers to antidotes for snake poison, every one of those plants constitutes the healing “treasury” of the Caribbean people. Other plants like Irish Moss and Moringa also make up their medicinal staple.

Living in a sun filled yet hurricane prone climate has allowed Caribbeans to build connections with the Earth and Sea, and contributes to their mobility, peace of mind, and tendency to look for a brighter day. However growing up in a colonized country, where race has been used to dominate and divide, has also pushed them to be resourceful and resilient with plants, food and physical activity that many in more ‘developed’ nations did not have privy to.

World Health Day, a Healthy Lifestyle and the Caribbean Culture

World Health Day opens our eyes to the fact that many do not live healthily even though we all deserve to. There is much we can personally do to live healthier lives which not only better ourselves but also our communities and the planet. Most lifestyle changes are challenging because we have formed unhealthy habits over time. Yet a healthier and more fun-filled life delivers energy to attack head-on challenges like shifting one’s mindset or developing new habits to achieve the positive outcomes you’re looking for.

Caribbean culture is made up of diverse people from several ethnicities, and has a strong connection to nature which provides more opportunities to live healthier lives. Caribbean people have created an environment where healthy meals are accessible and laughter is encouraged, and laughter is certainly a good medicine.

Caribbean Festival
© Smarter Travel

Tough Convos believes in the value of a culturally diverse environment, both in communities and organizations. And health is just one of the factors that improves when you take the wisdom and practices of other groups of people from faraway lands. Learning about the people and cultures in your own organization can make your personal and work lives better. Book a call with us to find out more about how we can help you create diverse teams that are inspired to build the inclusive culture you deserve.


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