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Social Life in St. Kitts & Nevis

Behavior

The Kittians and Nevisians are conservative in most aspects of their lives and this is best seen in their behaviors, dress, and dining etiquette. They tend to dress and act conservatively, much of which is based on their deeply rooted Christian faith.

As a visitor to St. Kitts & Nevis try to follow the lead of the locals by dressing conservatively (see below for details), dining in the local etiquette (see our St. Kitts & Nevis Dining & Food Page), and avoid sensitive conversation topics, such as politics, finances, and business unless initiated by your local counterpart. Also try to avoid being loud, rude, showing off wealth, or getting noticeably drunk in public.

Dress

The traditional dress of St. Kitts & Nevis reflects that of much of the Caribbean and is heavily rooted in Africa and Europe. For women this traditional dress was simple as a long, free-flowing white dress was the norm, with a corset on top, a pocket on the waist, and a hair wrap, to protect their heads from the sun. For men the dress was topped with a straw hat, again to protect them from the sun. Men also tended to wear short-sleeved jackets with long, loose-fitting beige pants. Today the people of St. Kitts & Nevis wear these traditional clothes, but they also wear western clothing and, due to the country's many beaches and hot weather, they can be fairly liberal in their dress as shorts and short-sleeved shirts are common. If the clothes aren't short, it generally means the clothes are loose-fitting to fight the heat.

As a visitor to St. Kitts & Nevis, you are also welcomed to wear shorts, short-sleeved shirts, and loose-fitting clothing, but just about anything is acceptable. Even in nice restaurants, many of which are on the beach, dress tends to be fairly casual. However, in religious, political, and business settings the dress is more formal as pants and long-sleeved shirts are common, especially at churches and in formal meetings.

This page was last updated: December, 2013