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Culture & People
 
 
 

Guadeloupe's culture is probably best known for the islanders' literary achievements, particularly the poetry of Saint-John Perse, the pseudonym used by Alexis Léger. Perse won the 1960 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Guadeloupe has always had a rich literary production prolonged today by many living writers, poets, novelists, essayists and journalists, among them Mesdames Maryse Condé and Simone Schwartz-Bart, M. Ernest Pépin.
Also culturally important are the arts, particularly painting and sculpture. Famous painters and/or sculptors include Michel Rovelas, Claudie Cancelier, Jean-Claude Echard, Christian Bracy, Roger Arekian, les Frères Baptiste, Michelle Chomereau-Lamothe, Léogane, Pédurand, Nicole Réache, Richard-Viktor Sainsily.

Music and dance are also very popular, and the widely accepted interaction of African, French and Indian cultures has given birth to some original new forms specific to the archipelago. Islanders enjoy many local dance styles including the "quadrille au commandement", "zouk", "zouk-love", "kompa toumbélé", as well as all the modern international dances. Typical Guadeloupean music includes la biguine and gwo ka à la base. Popular artist such as Kassav', Francky Vincent and Admiral T embody the traditional from the past and the new generation of music while others such as Tom Frager grew up there. Many international festivals take place in Guadeloupe, like the Creole Blues Festival, the Marie-Galante Festival, Festival Gwo-Ka Cotellon, etc. It goes without saying that all the Euro-French forms of art are also omnipresent in the melting pot.

Another element of the Guadeloupean culture is its dress. Women in particular have a unique style of traditional dresses, with many layers of colourful fabrics, now only worn on special occasions. On festive occasions they also wore a madras (originally the 'kerchief' from South India) head scarf tied in many different symbolic forms. The headdress could be done in many styles with names like the "bat" style, or the "firefighter" style, as well as the "Guadeloupean woman". Jewellery, mainly of gold, is also important in the Guadeloupean lady's dress, a product of European, African and Indian inspiration. Many famous couturiers like Devaed and Mondelo are Guadeloupeans.

Football is popular in Guadeloupe. Thierry Henry, a star of the French National Team and Spanish League club FC Barcelona, often visits, as his father Antoine was originally from the island. William Gallas, whose parentage is Guadeloupean, visits the island when not playing for Arsenal or the French National team. Lilian Thuram, a star football defender for France and FC Barcelona, was born in Guadeloupe. The French national team and Everton FC striker, Louis Saha, is also of Guadeloupean descent, as is MK Dons goalkeeper Willy Gueret. Pascal Chimbonda of Tottenham was also born in Guadeloupe. The region's football team experienced recent success, advancing all the way to the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-finals, where they were defeated just 1-0 by CONCACAF powerhouse Mexico. Many fine track and field athletes, such as Marie-José Pérec, Patricia Girard-Léno, and Christine Arron are also Guadeloupe natives. The NBA players Mickaël Piétrus, Mickaël Gelabale, Rodrigue Beaubois were born in this island. Famed body-builder Serge Nubret, Johnny Yrius also hail from Guadeloupe.

 

 
 

 



 


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