The Six Races or Ethnic Groups of Guyana

In primary school and in social studies classes, I learned that Guyana comprises of six races or ethnic groups. Namely:

  1. East Indians
  2. Africans
  3. Chinese
  4. Amerindians
  5. Europeans
  6. Portuguese

In this article, I won’t delve into the details of how many of the races listed above are not races but nationalities; I’ll treat that topic in another article. For now, I just want to highlight a serious error in classification.

We can define European as people who originated from the continent of Europe. These can include those of French, English and Dutch ancestry. But it can also mean Portuguese because Portugal is a country in Europe.

So, if the Dutch, French and British English are all thrown into one basket as Europeans, on what grounds are the Portuguese isolated as not Europeans but “Portuguese.” Reminder: Portugal is still a European country.

In my constant drive to improve the education system in Guyana and around the world, I suggest that this disparity be explained or corrected.

Notify of
1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
kevin DL
kevin DL
2 years ago

The Portuguese that settled came to Demarara – Guyana, were all from the Madeira Islands. They are still Portuguese islands off the coast of North-west Africa. Madeira was like a mini Caribbean island. The islands were only discovered in 1420, the settlers were mainly from southern Portugal, but weren’t many so they brought slaves from nearby Morocco and the Canary Islands. Later the sugar cultivation took off there and many slaves from West Africa were brought over too. Slaves formed 20% of the islands population in the 16-17th century. The population naturally mixed – with the addition of more settlers… Read more »