People and mentality
|Those who visit the Cape Verde
Islands for the first time should bring: time
and muse, patience and clemency. Tourism on many
of the 9 total inhabited islands hasn't yet left
any marks of its often destructive tendencies.
Visitors are still often greeted by warm, uncomplicated
and spontaneous reactions and the country still
features a type of "splendid isolation"
thanks to its special geographic position.
Yet this small island world
is more cosmopolitan than many would think. Centuries
of immigration have turned the Cape Verdeans into
a "people of the world", who have become
indigenous around the globe, whether wanted or
|Almost 2/3rds of the entire
population of Cape Verdean nationality lives in
foreign countries. Many haven't only integrated
and assimilated themselves there, they have also
assumed the nationalities of their host countries.
Their children have long since become a regular
part of the respective societies and countries
that they've settled in.
Only about 400'000 Cape Verdeans have remained
in their homeland.
Those remaining are, for the most part, old people
and the grandchildren left in their care. They
somehow hold the fort and lead their lives based
mostly only the monies wired from their relatives
in foreign countries. And yet it seems that both
sides of this unusual society have accepted and
settled with this form of fate. For the Cape Verdeans
living in foreign countries, the strong emotional
connection to the homeland remains. This "sodade"
or yearning accompanies them wherever their fate
As such, the visitor can expect an open, emancipated
and happy society whose connections to Europe,
America and Africa couldn't be any more profound
and whose exemplary tolerance and candidness encounters
and welcomes those peoples who at one time suppressed,
enslaved, made submissive and colonized them.