Customs and traditions of Venezuela

Venezuela is Catholic country; so many local traditions are based on the observance of Christian norms of behavior. The Church here is the center of political, cultural and spiritual life, and the priest in the community normally has unquestioned authority. In the isolated inland areas the ancient tribal beliefs are still practiced and value system is markedly different from the usual Europeans dogmas. At the same time, Venezuelans are very tolerant of cultural and racial differences, and mixed marriages are extremely common, leading to the formation of original multicultural nation.

Spanish language is widespread, but English is used much less to speak it is only possible in the business districts of large cities and on some islands of the Caribbean.

The main focus of all local life is family. Venezuelans spend in the family much more free time than even the inhabitants of the neighboring Spanish-speaking countries, and often even the men abandon their traditional hobbies in favor of the children and the house, considering it is quite normal and are proud of the amount of time, paying home. Also very important is the “gateway to the world” together with family all family, no matter whether it is some local carnival or Sunday mass. Typically, three generations of people are living in the same house, while older people have higher status. Grandparents (“abuelitos”) care for children, especially if both parents are at work, as it is very common in Venezuela. They often take care of the kitchen and take care for the rest of family members.

Many women in Venezuela are working, and there is no discrimination in this – great number of them reached professional heights, suffice to say that number of women exceed in such important sectors of the national economy, as law, medicine and education (in local universities, the vast majority of professors are woman). They also play an active role in politics (in the number of female congressmen country is ahead of many countries of Latin America). However, on the shoulders of Venezuelan women is care of children, elderly family members and home.

Big houses are common for Venezuela. The Venezuelan government has sponsored the market of affordable housing for long period of time, but recent economic difficulties have led to the fact that many people cannot afford good housing. Poor families are building their own “houses” of different material they can find and real slums rise up around major cities; slums are called “ranch”. There is often no electricity, no water or sanitation. Many residents of the coastal areas of Venezuela are building houses on stilts (“palefitos”). Such plants are dry and some insects so characteristic to the coast line are missing here. In this area, houses are built of adobe bricks or limestone blocks. Some Indian peoples have preference for building unique types of traditional houses – “Yanomami” in the form of a huge round roof “Yano” and the walls, barely outlined woven mats. One such house can accommodate up to 100 families, and each family has its own place. Some Indian peoples continue to adhere to their traditional way of life both in everyday life and in work. For example, almost all the “Vayuu” work in the trade, “Yanomami” are engaged in hunting and fishing, and “Pemón” are gathering and fishing.

Another focus of social life in Venezuela is numerous restaurants and cafes. Visiting it people discuss sports and political events, deals are made, or simply having unhurried conversation about everything that has at least some interest. Venezuelans like to eat out (and often with the whole family) and meet friends at restaurants. It is probably the reason that led to the fact that in Caracas there are more restaurants per capita than in any other Latin American city.

In the relations between themselves Venezuelans are polite and correct and do not have nepotism common to many Latin American countries. However, in the course of many options nicknames are assigned interlocutors purely to simplify communication. By familiar people (not friends) fairly colorful treatment like “my love” ( “mi amor”) or “my joy” is easily applied. With friends and familiar people is used more explicit wording of the treatment, resembling rather a nickname, formed on the basis of external data interlocutor ( “fat man”, “saffron” and TD) or other memorable attributes. Some Venezuelan nicknames may seem a little harsh, but it should be noted here that in the local language, there are many nuances that allow to give even humiliating at first glance word quite acceptable color.

Venezuelans have a peculiar relationship to time, even claiming that they live “in the Venezuelan time” ( “hora venezolana”). There rarely much in a hurry, service in restaurants is also unhurried, and the conversations are long and broad. But business problems are solved very quickly and always finished with the thorough  conversation, as if business partners see each other the last time; punctuality in business is valued highly enough.

Football and basketball are extremely popular as a form of recreation, especially in mountain areas. Venezuelan racehorses are among the best in the world, so the horse racing and other equestrian competitions are also among the national sports. Venezuelans like to spend their vacation on the beach or on the numerous freshwater lakes of the country, where they enjoy water sports, surfing, snorkeling, snorkeling and fishing. Also extremely popular are bullfights or “corrida de toros”.

Stadium in the city of Valencia can simultaneously accommodate up to 27 000 people, no less modern is arena in Maracay, San Cristóbal and Maracaibo. Most popular are cock fights, the traditional national game called “bolyas-kriolyas” or “the Venezuelan bowling,” well, and, of course, numerous musical performances are held here.

Venezuelan women are very beautiful. This country is visited by people who want to find pretty wife. Girls in Venezuela are very nice, intelligent and open. Even if people here are poor, they behave positively and have smiles on their faces. Women are extremely pretty and all the dangers and all the beauties of the Venezuelan nature are nothing comparing to the beauty of their women.

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