No matter a person's occupation, life in the country seems more reliant on family
and friends. People are the center of life on the island and due to this the people
seem relaxed as time slows down and there is seemingly always time for a conversation.
In fact meals can go on for hours as more talking is done than eating. Although
work dictates schedule and money, it is the social aspect of the country that truly
determines the lifestyle of the people.
The people of Dominica generally identify as "Dominican,"
(with the stress being on the second "i," not to be confused with the
term of the same name by which the people of the Dominican
Republic identify). What it means to be Dominican is debatable as differing
groups define it in different ways. For the upper class and many young city dwellers
the term is associated with the island's history, art, and its past, focusing
on both foreign influences as well as local Carib influences. Others view this definition
as being somewhat exclusive since many Dominicans don't strongly associate with
this past or, more specifically, with certain aspects of it. For many, British roots
are more important than French, while for others it is reversed causing a rift in
the definition of the identity based on ethnic roots and customs. Additionally,
the island is divided economically and many people from both sides of this gap have
difficulties relating to the other side, creating a rift in definition of being
"Dominican" by social and economic status. Generally, the island's
poorer population tends to define "Dominican" in terms of daily culture
and food above all else; many of the wealthier citizens define it more in terms
of history, art, and modern urban culture.