Culture of the Falkland Islands
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The culture of the Falkland Islands is essentially analogous to that of British culture. The Falkland Islands have a large non-native born population, mainly white and from England (and to a much lesser extent, other parts of the British Isles), but also from Saint Helena.
The English language is used, mainly in its British English form. However, due to the isolation of the islands, the small population retains its own accent/dialect. In rural areas (i.e. anywhere outside Port Stanley), known as the "camp" (from Spanish campo), the Falkland accent tends to be stronger. The dialect has resemblances to Australian, New Zealand, West Country and Norfolk dialects of English, as well as Lowland Scots.
Other notable Falkland island terms are the words "kelper" meaning a person who lives in the Falklands, etymologically, the term comes from the kelp surrounding the islands (although this term is sometimes considered pejorative); and "smoko" referring to a smoking break.
Due to the low population of the islands, most of the literature of the islands has been written by outsiders, and is non-fiction. However some poetry has been written by Falklanders, including, Ernest Spencer's Motherland.
The 1911 Britannica states:
- The houses [of Stanley], mostly white with coloured roofs, are generally built of wood and iron, and have glazed porches, gay with fuchsias and pelargoniums. Government House, grey, stone-built and slated, calls to mind a manse in Shetland or Orkney. The government barrack is a rather imposing structure in the middle of the town, as is the cathedral church to the east, built of stone and buttressed with brick.
The government barrack is now a guesthouse and is somewhat more in keeping with the surrounding houses.
Since this date, many more buildings have been erected in Stanley. In 1998, the Government of the Falkland Islands started a programme to encourage building of private houses, the development is known as East Stanley as it developed Stanley to the East. This led to a boom in the housing construction market with many new timber kit houses imported, largely from Scotland. These range from single bedroom bungalows to large 4-5 bedroom houses, the style of cladding and colours varying immensely.
Falkland houses are renowned for being brightly painted with immaculately maintained gardens, older houses frequently have intricately carved wooden fascia boards.
The Bodie Creek Suspension Bridge is sometimes stated to be the most southerly in the world.
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The Falkland Islands are basically represented by two wider territories: East Falkland Island and West Falkland Island and several hundred small islands. During time, Spanish people occupied the territory, so local influences of these strongly personalized cuisines can be found, especially in the only city, Stanley. In town, the most consumed dishes are the fish fillets or the grilled fish, the seafood salads with local herbs and the sea trout, served with fritters or steamed vegetables. The smoko is well known in all Falkland Islands and it basically consists in a snack of tea or coffee and homemade cakes. In Camp, there are many homemade dishes and very traditional meals, while in ports or towns, like Stanley, the restaurants provide a mixture of more cuisines, but the most important one remains the British, as the traditional British meal fish and chips is very popular.
- Falkland Islands Poetry
- Falkland Islands journal
- Falkland Islands Conservation
- Falkland Islands Museum and National Trust
- Falkland Islands Shackleton Scholarship Fund