Memos > Welcome to Martinique!

Welcome to Martinique! - Culture

Martinique is a French island 7,000 km away from Paris.

What does it look like?
Why and for whom is it famous?

Andréa comes from Martinique. Set off in discovery of her home island...

A spot of geography

Martinique is situated in the archipelago of the French West Indies, in the Caribbean Sea, not far from the coasts of South America. It is about 70 km long and 30 km wide. 400,000 people live there. Fort-de-France is the island's main city today.
This "postcard" island is a little Paradise on Earth! The north is hilly and wooded, while the south has lots of beautiful beaches and tourist facilities. You can go hiking and do water sports like sailing or diving. 
The island is famous for its vegetation, banana and sugarcane plantations, beaches and the volcano of Mount Pelée. In 1902, this volcano killed 30,000 people in just 2 minutes...

A few famous figures

The inhabitants of Martinique naturally speak French, but they are also often familiar with Martinique créole, which is still widely spoken. Writers such as Raphaël Confiant and Patrick Chamoiseau defend this language to ensure it remains a living one.

But the most famous defender of Martinique culture is, without a doubt, Aimé Césaire. This major figure for the island was both a writer and politician, a poet and an anticolonialist. Césaire died in 2008.

Living famous people from Martinique include such singers and athletes as Joey Starr, Nicolas Anelka and Gaël Monfils. Perhaps Andréa will one day add to this list...
Panorama martiniquais
This memo is part of the workshop
Panorama martiniquais

Did you know?

In Martinique, there are a great many institutions (schools, libraries, etc.) named after Victor Schoelcher. He fought for the abolition of slavery in 1848.

What about elsewhere?

There are other French overseas territories including Guadeloupe, in the French West Indies; French Guiana, in South America; Reunion Island, in the Indian Ocean; New Caledonia, off the Australian coast; and French Polynesia, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean! Can you pick them all out on a map?

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