When we say West Indies, the first thing that comes to mind is the cricket team of West Indies. Although now the West Indies have been officially named as the Windies. However, we will learn about the West Indies today. Many of us may think of the West Indies as a country, but the truth is that the West Indies is not a country, but rather a subcontinent consisting of numerous small islands known as the Caribbean.
Discovery and naming of West Indies :
Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) is known to almost all of us. He was an Italian sailor. It is said that in 1492, Columbus wanted to cross the Atlantic to reach Asia. He wanted to find a route from the western part of Europe from where he could easily come to Asia. He thought that the reason for coming to Asia was that the Indian subcontinent was rich in various resources. And that is why he wanted to come to the Indian subcontinent. To reach Asia, he set sail with three ships named Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria.
The road to Asia was difficult for him since he had to travel from Europe to Asia along the coast of Africa. But he wanted to come to the Indian subcontinent by another route. But he made a mistake on the way to the sea. He did not take the map with him, which led him in the wrong direction by sea. He thus crossed the Atlantic in the wrong direction and, on October 12, 1492, landed on a new small island called San Salvador, although he considered it to be part of South India. And so he thought of the tribals there as Indians. It is to be noted that the natives of the West Indies, including America, used to apply red soil on their bodies, so the people of Europe used to call the natives of this region as Red Indians.
Columbus traveled from San Salvador to Cuba the following month. He thought of Cuba as China at the time, and when he traveled to Hispaniola, he thought of the region like Japan. Columbus discovered the West Indies, the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Americas. He traveled to the Caribbean a total of 3 times. But he never knew until his death that he had not come to India indeed, but that he had discovered a new world.
After his death, it was discovered that India thought Columbus was another continent. But all the Europeans who came here later called it India. And so later on, the ruling class and the people of Europe called it West India (West India or the Indies - plural for many islands). Because the people of Europe considered India of the Asian continent as East India, another thing is that the people of Europe then knew the southeastern countries, including India, Indonesia, and Malaysia, as East Indies. It is to be noted that when the British set up their business in the name of trade in India, the name of that business was East India Company.
West Indies cricket team:
The West Indies Cricket Board is made up of various countries in the Caribbean. The West Indies are a full-fledged cricket team in terms of cricket. The West Indies won the first Cricket World Cup in 1975 and the second in 1989 under Lord Clive. The cricket stumps were added to the West Indies flag after winning the first two World Cups. The West Indies also played in the 1973 World Cup final but lost to India and lost their first hat-trick. The West Indies also won the T20 World Cup in 2012 and 2016.
Countries of West Indies:
Some countries in the West Indies or the Caribbean have gained independence from various European rulers, and the rest are still under some European countries, meaning they have not yet gained independence. The names of the Caribbean countries are-
Cayman Islands (UK)
Puerto Rico (United States)
Anguilla (United Kingdom)
Antigua and Barbuda
British Virgin Islands (UK)
Nueva Esparta (Venezuela)
Saint Barthelemy (France)
St. Kitts and Nevis
Saint Martin (France)
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Saint Eustatius (Netherlands)
Saint Martin (Netherlands)
Trinidad and Tobago
United States Virgin Islands (United States)
Federal Dependencies of Venezuela (Venezuela)
Turks and Caicos Islands (United Kingdom)