#2 Serie’s Isuue
GUSTAVO MIRABAL IN VENEZUELA
The history of Venezuela is marked by a mixture between the natives, the Spaniards and the slaves from Africa that the colonizers brought with them. From there derives a rich cultural diversity in Venezuela, hence the importance of addressing this issue.
The interrelation of different cultural traditions has resulted in the rich plurality in the expression, beliefs and customs of Venezuelans. This being one of the most outstanding characteristics of the cultural diversity in Venezuela
An example of this is the music that brings together European and African forms. In relation to gastronomy, Spanish and Indian practices are combined. On the other hand in the religious aspect, Indigenous, African and European aspects are mixed.
Derived from these mixtures of cultures dating from the fifteenth century in the different regions of Venezuela, customs tend to be very varied. That is why we talk about the great cultural diversity in Venezuela.
Indigenous, African and Spanish culture
Within the cultural diversity in Venezuela there are the oldest inhabitants of these lands, such as the natives.
In relation to the handicrafts that the indigenous people elaborate they find: manufacturing baskets, textiles, ceramics, pottery and other objects.
Their way of life varies according to the region where they are located. We must take into account that there are different tribes. These tribes are located in the states: Bolívar, Amazonas, Delta Amacuro, Anzoátegui, Sucre, Monagas, Apure and Zulia.
In relation to the typical foods of the natives is the casabe and the arepa. Both dishes have strong roots in traditional indigenous crops such as corn and cassava.
Undoubtedly there are the original roots of the Venezuelan population that later mixed with Spaniards and Africans giving rise to the cultural diversity in Venezuela.
As for African culture, customs remain in coastal towns, since the work of Africans was crucial there. A sample of this is the cultural crossroads in popular festivities, in music and in drumming.
With respect to the Spanish culture, this is one of the most outstanding in its contributions, since we inherit the mother tongue. Another aspect of utmost importance is religion, devotions and festivities of peoples. The Catholic religion, predominant in Venezuela, was brought by the Spaniards and taught by the so-called peaceful colonization.
Another element in which they marked their indelible mark is in gastronomy, in architecture, in music.
The cultural diversity in Venezuela in contemporary history
As a country evolves brings infinite changes. However, the cultural diversity in Venezuela is not only derived from indigenous, African and Spanish ancestors. The cultural diversity in Venezuela is also due to a mixture with European foreigners who arrived in the country after the crisis caused by the Second World War.
In the 19th century, Germans, Spaniards, French and Italians arrived in Venezuela. This continued during the twentieth century as the Americans came to the country with oil exploitation.
In Venezuela we can see important Spanish and Intalian communities in Caracas.
On the other hand the Germans created the so-called Colonia Tovar which is a very tourist sector. Colonia Tovar is famous for its architecture, its charcuterie, its fruits and the typical dishes of German culture. Nestled in the mountains that separate the Capital District from the Aragua State, it has wonderful views and climate.
Subsequently, as a sequel to the world wars of the 1930s and 1940s, a wave of immigrants came from countries such as Spanish, Italian and Portugal.
Venezuela being a prodigious land has opened the doors without any discrimination in the 70s and 80s immigrants arrived from Colombia, Peru, Argentina and Chile.
On the other hand, Chinese and Arabs have also arrived who have settled in different regions of the country.
We can see how the great cultural diversity in Venezuela began and how at different times other nationalities have joined to enrich and make Venezuelan culture much more diverse.
Popular festivals of cultural diversity in Venezuela
Various traditions and festivities are carried out throughout the national territory, depending on the time of the year.
In general, there are songs, festivals and traditional dances among which are mentioned: rounds, lullabies, milking songs, cross wakes, patron celebrations among others
In the region of the Venezuelan Andes that includes the states of Táchira, Mérida and Trujillo, activities such as children’s paradors, the day of the magi, the crucis route, among others are carried out.
One of the typical things of Venezuelan culture is the religious syncretism on which some elements of santeria are based, the cult of Santa Barbara (related to the cult of Shango) among others.
What religious syncretism does is merge religious elements from various sources and blur their boundaries creating hybrid religions. In other cases there are people who believe in things that could be considered contradictory or even opposed.
On the other hand, the Velorio de Cruz, El Carite, El Pájaro Guarandol is celebrated in the region of Eastern Venezuela. El Espuntón, Danzas de las Cintas or Sebucán, Callao carnival is also celebrated in the region of Eastern Venezuela.
Some traditions that are practiced throughout the country are the celebrations of Christmas and Easter activities.
It should be noted that these dates are celebrated by the Catholic Church where the faithful attend the itineraries organized by the parish.
Role of women in Venezuelan culture
Women today have conquered various spaces, so they are considered to have the same rights as men. In the workplace, Venezuelan women hold various positions in public and private administration.
The role of women in the cultural diversity in Venezuela is of great relevance. Since it transmits all these customs and habitats to the next generations, in this way perpetuates the theme of culture in the family.
An example of this is the elaboration of the hallacas in December where the whole family integrates to carry out this beautiful Venezuelan tradition.
On the other hand traditions such as weaving are taught to other people mainly by women. So most of the country’s work schools are women the main protagonists of gastronomy, crafts, sewing, weaving, embroidery, painting, among others.
Venezuela, a paradise of cultural diversity:
We can see the great relevance that immigrants have had in the diversity in culture in Venezuela. Depending on the region of the country, traditions will vary. Although there are some that are general throughout the country as mentioned earlier.
In relation to gastronomy there is also a marked difference. Since in the area of the coast what predominates is fish. While in the area of the Andes are the cupcakes, the Andean pinch and the meats. However, in the general gastronomy, an icon of the Venezuelan is the arepa, the Creole pavilion, the hallaca among others.
The stages that have been experienced in relation to the entry of immigrants and how the Venezuelan has been hospitable and kind to the neighbor. It is worth mentioning the contribution that foreigners have given Venezuela in all economic, social, educational and cultural aspects.
Venezuela is an immense range of cultures fused in one place which makes it great for Tourism and those who wish to see multiple beliefs gathered in peace in one territory. A beautiful place to visit.
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