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Venezuelan Culture Essay

797 words - 4 pages

Sometimes people are too busy to learn about other countries. However when you travel and start to know people, culture and customs from other countries, you want to know more about the countries in the world. This is a way to enrich your own culture and to value what you are and where you come from.

Venezuelans have mixed race heritage of Spanish, African and American Indian. The influence of the indigenous people and their culture on the modern Venezuelan life is found in typical staples of the country, such as arepas and cachapas, in the geographically names and in the vocabulary. The African influence is limited to a few words of vocabulary and gastronomy, but it is particularly ...view middle of the document...

This extroverted behavior is visible in the traditional forms of greeting and in people’s body language. When meeting somebody, even if it is for the first time, it is common to give a kiss on the right cheek; women greet men and women this way, while men only kiss women. Between men a strong-gripped handshake is the custom and many times this is accompanied by the placing of the other hand on the side for greater emphasis. A hug is also used between men, especially if the men have not seen each other for a while.

Body language between Venezuelans is also much more fluid and pervasive. People stand very close to each other while talking and will gesticulate with their hands and bodies to make a point. It is also common for people to touch each other to even further emphasize what it is that they are saying.

Religion. Freedom of religion is guaranteed by the Venezuelan constitution. Most Venezuelans—at least 90 percent of the population—are Roman Catholic. Others are Evangelists and Adventists, and to a lesser degree, Mormons. There are also significant Jewish communities in Caracas and Maracaibo. Venezuela also has a smaller number of Islamic practitioners.

Most indigenous religious practices were lost with the decimation of the Native American population and the few surviving indigenous populations practice their religious traditions in complete isolation from the national culture.

Gender. People are quite right when they say that Latin-American men often discriminate against women at work (machismo). In...

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