Culture

The culture of the Dominican Republic is a diverse and rich group of people who love their traditions and embrace their mix of cultures. The country is made up of African Dominicans, white Dominicans, current day Tainos and many people are a mix of these. The population leads to a exciting culture.
General Information
Geography
History
Culture
Political System
Econmics
Activities
Teacher's Page

Language

The nation's official language is Spanish originating from Spain. There are however many people who speak French, German, Italian and even more. These dialects of Spanish however can distinguish location of the speaker. The pronunciations give the sound of which region that person lives.

Religion

The people of the Dominican Republic are by vast majority roman catholic. Some people participate in secrete Voodoo but is not acknowledged by the Dominican government and is seen to them as African paganism. They practice in undisclosed areas away from the eyes of tourists or outsiders. There is also a small but growing population who classify themselves as protestant.

Edict

When invited to dinner in the Dominican Republic it is a kind gesture to bring a chocolates or a pastry. These should, however, not be black or purple due to the fact they represent morning colors. Also when invited to dinner it is appropriate to arrive 15-30 minutes later than invited to be considered on time.

Food

The food here is a blend of African, Spanish and Taino meals. Standbys are rice, beans and plantains; they occasionally use pork, chicken and seafood when available. The food is described as Comida Criolla or Creole food. This cooking often uses white rice, black or red beans to provide protein to those who cannot afford meat (like goat, or beef), plantains which are like bananas that are better to cook with.
rice-beans-plantains.jpg
This is a traditional meal in the Dominican Republic


Dance

This country is filled with spirit and passion, especially for music. You can find many streets filled with 3-4 people playing accordions and drums playing bachata, a new favorite in recent years, or merengue the traditional Spanish dance brought over from the colonization. During the colonial era music was a unifier of farmers working all day and the Dominican elite. At night they would not dance together but would dance the merengue til they retired for the night. Many Dominicans also know other imported Spanish music such as bolero and fandango.
This short clip below has two Dominicans who are only 4 and 5 and yet they are dancing merengue with ease and talent.



Tainos Today

The Taino people are still alive and thriving today. They participate in traditions and remember their flourishing culture before their cultures devastation. Today they celebrate in carnivals and participate in coming of age ceremonies. These people are actually a blend of races and merely claim their Taino heritage as their primary background. In the 1500's over 40% of Spaniard men were married to Taino women. These heritages blended from the beginning and now the people with Taino heritage want to be remembered and tell others of their contradicting knowledge of Christopher Columbus.


This current day Taino sings a traditional song. He is speaking in the native Arawak. At the end he gives a summary of the song in English. He stresses the pain the Tainos went through and how they are strong and still very much alive today.

(Dominican Republic Culture)

Latin America Home
Dominican Republic Home