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Bonaire

Updated: Oct 3, 2022

Home> Countries> South America> Bonaire




Country Name

Bonaire.

Location

Is an island in the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean Sea near the ocean on the lee side of the island. Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao form the ABC islands, 80 km off the coast of Venezuela.

Bonaire was part of the Netherlands Antilles until the country's dissolution in 2010 when the island became a special municipality (officially, a "Caribbean public body") within the country of the Netherlands.


Capital

Kralendijk.

Reason for Naming the country

The name 'Bonaire' is thought to be derived from the Caquetio word 'Bonay', meaning 'low country'.

The early Spanish and Dutch modified their spelling to Bojnaj and also Bonaire. French influence, while present at various times, was never strong enough to make the assumption that the name means 'good air.

Another theory indicates that the name is of Spanish origin, as the Spanish were the first Europeans to colonize the island. And the name would have been derived from "buen aire" (good air).

Flag

​The flag of Bonaire, adopted in 1981, represents a Dutch island in the Caribbean Netherlands.

The flag has a large dark blue band in the lower right corner and a smaller yellow band in the upper left corner. The dark blue and yellow bands represent the sea and sun respectively while the dividing white strip represents the sky. The yellow band was formerly red as a reference to the Dutch flag but was changed at some point to avoid having two separate sections of red (from the star).

The colored bands are separated by a white strip, inside of which is a black compass and a red six-pointed star.

The black compass represents the population of Bonaire as a seafaring people, while the arrows adjuting it symbolises equality in the four cardinal directions of the compass. The red six-pointed star represents the original six villages of Bonaire: Antriol, Nikiboko, Nort Saliña, Playa, Rincon, and Tera Korá




Language

As Bonaire is part of the Netherlands, Dutch is the official language and the sole language for all administration and legal matters. However, as of 2017, it is the main language of only 15% of the population around two-thirds use the creole language of Papiamento as their main language.



Religion

Bonaire is predominantly Roman Catholic (68%), and there are also Protestant minorities. As in the rest of the former Netherlands Antilles, the predominant religion in Bonaire is Christianity, with the Catholic Church being especially important.

Although the island passed from the rule of Catholic Spain to the Protestant Netherlands, Catholicism remained the principal island religion.

Bonaire also has an Islamic center and a Jewish community


Currency

Us Dollar ($) (USD).