Topic 3 Social & cultural learning in Martinique: traditions, local values, linguistic specificities

Covering an area of 1128 km², Martinique is distinguished from other overseas departments by its small size and the density of its population. In general, Martinique’s population is aging and it is one of the French departments with the oldest population. Most of the population is Catholic and it is worthwhile to note the high percentage of single-parent households (25% of families).

Distinctive local cultural manifestations include :

Taking place in February or March each year, it’s the most flamboyant and longest celebration of the island, lasting for 4 days. The biggest parade takes place in Fort-de-France and smaller ones are organized in other towns. Each of the carnival days has a distinctive dress code and traditional characters.

During Christmas time, specific Christmas carol singing events are held with friends and family  which include also traditional food and drinks such as rum punch.


In Martinique, 2 languages co-exist: Martinican Creole and French. Creole is the regional language of the island, spoken also on the neighbouring islands of Guadeloupe, Haïti, Dominica and Saint-Lucia. It has a French lexical base, but contains many African syntactic and lexical contributions from West African languages, Kalinago, an indigenous Amerindian language, as well as English and Spanish.

Creole is the mother tongue of the majority of the Martinican population and is spoken as a second mother tongue by certain categories, in particular the békés, descendants of former French landowners. Its use is often restricted to informal situations – family, friends etc. If you want to learn Creole, the SERMAC cultural center in Fort-de-France offers inexpensive classes and there are also many books and online resources available.


To read more about the island’s culture see here:

French courses

There  are many instances offering French courses on the island.

Le Mouvement du Nid

Association based in Fort-de-France acting in support of persons in situation of prostitution. They offer free French classes to migrant women regardless of their situation. Inscriptions by Whatsapp on +596696 77 33 22

Pole EmploiFrench lessons for job seekers

OFII – Republican integration contract training path including French lessons

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