Bermuda s Vactions and Travel Creative Writing

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[. . .] A number of the recipes are of total Bermudian origin and have been passed down from one generation to the next. Favorite dishes include sweet potatoes and pan-fried fish, potatoes and codfish served with egg or tomato sauce. Other favorites include black rum and fish chowder and sherry peppers, broiled lobster with melted butter and lemon. The meals may be accompanied by a fruit punch, tea, or a local libation. Bermudians also love to express themselves artistically. Artistic expression plays a very big role in the lives of Bermudians. There are musicians, dancers, writers, and other artists who enjoy both local and international acclaim. Local art creations are showcased in theatres, galleries, and art stores regularly (Bermuda, 2019).

Religious Roots and Beliefs

Most Bermudians are of the Christian faith. The strongest church is the Anglican Church (23%). Other popular churches include the Roman Catholic Church (15%), African Methodist Episcopal (11%), the Seventh Day Adventist (7%), and various other denominations such as Jehova’s Witnesses, Canadian and Scottish Presbyterianism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christian Science, Baptist, and the Methodist Church. Over the last few decades, there have been shifts from the old established religious sects towards newer charismatic outfits that are mostly considered evangelical churches. Congregations are heavily involved in their communities and take part in various organized social programs. Because of their big involvement in the community, religious leaders have a lot of influence as unofficial guides and leaders of the culture. Tourists visiting the island can gain access to many of the churches. If one wishes to attend a service, the Saturday newspaper lists the church services that will be going on over the weekend (Spain Exchange, 2019).

The Church of England has been very dominant on the island since the British colonized it. In fact, Bermuda is divided into 19 parishes with the divisions dating back to 1618 when the law required that each parish have an Anglican church. The divisions created for the parishes are still in existence today and are mainly for administrative purposes than they are for religious use. The law in Bermuda guarantees religious tolerance. People are required by law to accommodate each other notwithstanding their religious inclinations. Catholics on the island number in the 10,000. Many of the Catholics came from the Portuguese Azores. A great number of the population subscribe to the protestant sect with roots from churches that were established by slaves. One of the major protestant churches is the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The church was started by African Americans in 1816 and was introduced in the island in 1970. The Methodist church enjoys a 7000-membership population on the island. While they are present on the island, the least prevalent denominations on the island are Rastafarians, Muslims, Jehova Witnesses, and Jews (Frommer Media, 2019).

Economy

Unemployment rates in Bermuda are generally low. Almost everybody of working age is engaged in some paying work of some sort. 15 percent of the Bermudian population is made up of expatriates who are working on temporary permits. These people are allowed to work once the employer gives sufficient reason to the Bermudian government that there is no Bermudian resident who can fill the said position. Expats work in various capacities including as dishwashers to very highly skilled professions. The role expats play in Bermuda is big and they contribute significantly to the economy of the islands. The Bermudian workforce is mainly composed of people doing professional or administrative services and work. 2 percent of the population is engaged in fishing and agriculture. Famers farm citrus fruits, dairy products, flowers, vegetables, and bananas. Nonetheless, agriculture only accounts for 6% of arable land utilization in Bermuda (Advameg, 2019).

International business in Bermuda, which is made up mainly of financial services and insurance, now make a big portion of the economy of Bermuda. This industry now accounts for about 85% of Bermuda’s GDP. Tourism as an industry comes in second at 5% of GDP but it employs more people than the financial services sector employs. Most of the tourists visiting Bermuda visit from the United States. The sector, therefore, struggles whenever the United States experiences an economic downturn as was the case between 2008 and 2009. Indeed, even the financial services sector is heavily affected by US economic cycles. As a result of the financial downturn in 2008, the sector has bled up to 5000 expatriate jobs to date. The loss of these jobs can be felt in other sectors such as retail as the total spending power of the population reduces. Bermuda imports most of its consumptive goods. Since the islands are small and agriculture cannot be practiced on a scale large enough to produce sufficient food, the islands also import food. In 2016, Bermuda recorded very little GDP growth and actually reported a 0.1% contraction. Unemployment rate between 2016 and 2017 was 7% and the public debt grew to pass $2.4 billion. The government is working to attract more foreign direct investment. Even with these conditions, the per capita income in Bermuda is one of the world’s highest (Theodora, 2019).

Government

Bermuda is a parliamentary democracy. It is the same system adopted by the governments of New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada. A parliamentary democracy relies on there being an organized political party system where each party spells out their policies to the electorate during a general election. The Bermudian government is composed of:

1. The Governor, an appointee of the Queen

2. The Depute Governor, an appointee of the Governor

3. The Premier, the House of Assembly majority leader

4. The Cabinet, selected by the premier

5. The Legislature consists of the Senate and the House of Assembly.

The House of Assembly is made up of 36 elected representatives. The Senate is made up of 11 members who are appointees of the Governor. Five of the senators are recommended by the Premier, three are recommended by the official opposition party, and three are independents who are chosen totally at the discretion of the Governor.

Bermuda has 36 constituencies where each constituency has a representative in the House of Assembly. The government is formed by the party that wins the general election – the party that garners the most seats in the House. The official opposition is the party with the biggest minority in the House (Government of Bermuda, 2019).

Struggles and Triumphs

There are three main problems that Bermuda currently faces. The problems can be fixed if proper action is taken. If the problems are ignored or not properly handled, however, there is the possibility that they will continue to grow big. The three main problems Bermuda face are low birth rates, national debt, and governance issues. The birth rates in Bermuda are so low that there is a general trend where ‘born’ Bermudians are disappearing at an alarming rate. This is a problem as the trend will result in very low internal demand for goods and services that companies can reliably depend on and so lead to economic instability. This situation is further heightened by the fact that the 2008 crisis led to many expatriates leaving the island and the trend has not reversed significantly from then. Further, national debt is an issue largely because of the spending and revenue profile of the government. Government overspending has been on the rise and is bound to continue to rise as budgets surpass revenue in nearly every budget year. This trend is dragging the economy and has led to the prolonging of the recession in Bermuda. A few years ago, unemployment was basically non-existent in Bermuda. In 2016-2017, unemployment rate had jumped to 7% which is relatively high for Bermuda (Burchall, 2012).

As far as governance is concerned, there is need for drastic change in decision makers so that Bermuda can chart a new path towards economic excellence. For the past 14 years, there have been very little changes in top personnel in top decision making organs of the government. The decisions these people have made have largely resulted in the economic situation that Bermuda is in now. The government seems to be focused on siphoning off a big portion of the foreign exchange in Bermuda and this has led to a sharp decrease in foreign exchange flowing through the economy. The consequences of these actions and decisions have been a slow but steady bleeding of jobs and economic opportunities (Burchall, 2012).

Amid the challenges, the island has had many triumphs. Some of the areas that the island has been particularly successful in is disaster management and the prevention of crime. The levels of crime have reduced over the past few years with gang violence and gun crime being one of the areas seeing the best results. Most gangsters have been sentenced to jail or sailed off the island for good. In 2013, the island saw only 21 firearms offenses. It is quite rare to… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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