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The culture of Oranjestad is rich with the mixture of the various influences which have affected the area throughout different time periods of the history of Aruba. The main influences on the culture of Oranjestad are those of the ancient Arawak Indians, the Dutch, and the Caribbean travel culture. However, remnants of Spanish culture remain in some ways on the island and influences from modern Western culture are also increasingly prevalent.
The original settlement of the Oranjestad area was by the Arawak Indians who thrived there for over fifteen hundred years, and their presence remains felt there despite their disappearance. Visitors can explore this aspect of the culture more completely by visiting exhibits at the Historical Museum of Aruba ( http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=... ) or checking out the Arawak cave drawings at Arikok National Park http://arubatravelinfo.com/arikok.html.
The major influence on the culture of Oranjestad is actually that of the area’s second primary settlers: The Dutch. Oranjestad is often cited as being a Dutch colonial village, and although there is only partial truth to this, the culture of the Dutch thrives in the art, dining and every day life of the area.
Oranjestad is now a popular tourist destination and, as a result, the culture of the area has been heavily influenced in recent times by the travel culture surrounding the Caribbean. This includes some reggae influence, some eastern spirituality and a great dose of Western modernization. The latter is seen most prevalently in the entertainment of the area, especially the casinos.