Question: What does Dushi mean?
As the world swirls, I’ve clutched calm by mentally voyaging back to the sweet island of Curaçao: the small Caribbean island I had the joy of visiting this summer. To understand why I’m using the word “Sweet“, let’s explore the Papiamentu word, “Dushi.”
“Dushi” is a beloved and frequently-used word in Curaçao. In the island’s Papiamentu language, “dushi” means sweet, nice, or good. In Curaçao, you can use “dushi” to praise a food, lovely person, or pleasing place. The word is like a hug.
What are examples of Dushi in Curaçao?
My most dushi moment in Curaçao occurred at Playa Jeremi, a spot on the northwest shore of Curaçao that is one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve seen in my life. It wasn’t just the contrast of the spiky cacti against the sprawling azure sea, however, that spun my heart. It was spotting this father and daughter swim-cuddling:
Did you squeal, too, when you saw that sweetness?
My second dushi Curaçao moment is this fish mural from Willemstad. The island pulses with Caribbean colors, but this particular building stole my heart. “Hello and welcome!” the fish seems to be singing. Let me embrace you with my fishy fins!
I originally drove by the building on my first day in Willemstad, but was going too speedily to photograph it. For days, I couldn’t find it again, but as if by magic, it materialized just before my departure. Leaning out the window, I lapped up the art with my camera, snapping heartily, and thanking artists Chantaal Tams and Danique Henriquez for their contribution to the city.
A closing dushi moment: While night-strolling by the Queen Emma floating bridge in Willemstad, a signal sounded, then people began running off the bridge, giggling and giddy, as the structure started swinging open for a ship. A rainbow ride!
I took almost 100 photos as the rainbow lights changed shape to let the boat through! With every inch the bridge moved, a different building appeared from my vantage point. Silhouettes of happy people bounced along, momentarily trapped in the hovering rainbow in the middle of the water, laughing all the while.
Curaçao is one of the sweetest places I’ve ever voyaged, and if you’re feeling stressed, gazing at photos of the island — or even visiting in person! — can soothe like a caress. Curaçao, and all the ABC Islands in fact, sit outside the hurricane belt, so don’t discard ideas of travel there because of recent storms. In fact, the island is using its protected geography to assist its neighbors affected by the hurricanes, meaning that bringing business to Curaçao can support the whole region.
So what about you? Which of these moments most resonates with you? Have you been to or thought about Curaçao before? Do share!
I was a guest of the dushi Curaçao Tourist Board, but all dushi declarations are my own!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is National Board Certified Teacher, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a full-time public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 3.7 million readers have visited this site over the decade. Lillie also runs Teaching Traveling Global Education Community and Drawings Of… Educational Cartoon Site. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow on social media with the links below!