Venezuela stands as the country with the largest oil reserves in the world. It is not just its oil and mineral resources; the country is also rich in its culture. Venezuela has a diverse culture that influence by both the natives and a variety of people who came to the place from other parts of the world. Despite its diverse population, the country has original and distinct art, music and literature.
Venezuela has a population of almost 32 million that comprises of people with Amerindian, European, African, and Asian lineage. Interestingly, 85% of the country’s population concentrated in its northern area. Most of the European immigrants to the country have been from Spain, but there have been others too. The mid-20th century saw the influx of people from other European countries including Germany, Italy, and Portugal. Even people of European origin came to the country from North America. Venezuela also has some people of English, Polish and French origin.
Around 69% of the country’s population comprises of ‘mestizo,’ which refers to a combination of European, Amerindian and African descent. Around 20% are of European origin (white). 10% of the people are of pure African descent and 1% of true Amerindian origin.
Venezuela first inhabited by the Arawak and Carib Indians. Christopher Columbus then claimed to be a Spanish territory in the late 15th century. The Spanish ruled the country from a distance from the capital Caracas. It meant that the rest of the areas didn’t develop the capital. When the Spanish made an attempt to unify the entire region under one country, there was high resistance under the leadership of Simon Bolivar. Bolivar continues to be one of the important figures in the history of Venezuela, considered as a national hero.
Bolivar wanted to create Gran Colombia that comprised of Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador. However, the plan didn’t take final shape, and eventually, Venezuela emerged as a sovereign country in the early 19th century under the leadership of Jose Paez. The country’s borders were not well defined at the time, and this has continued to create border disputes with neighbors until this day.
Religion influenced early Venezuelan art, but gradually historic representations became an important part of it. Modernism became the center in the 20th century. Some of the most famous artists from the country include Arturo Michelena, Antonio Herrera Toro, Cristobal Rojas, Armando Reveron, Jesus-Rafael Soto, Manuel Cabre, Carlos Cruz-Diez and Yucef Merhi.
Spanish is the primary language of the country, as the majority speaks it. There are however more than 40 other languages spoken in different parts of the country. There are many indigenous languages which are commonly spoken by Venezuelans. These include Wayuu, Yanomami, Warao, Kahlihna, Piaroa, and Guahibo among many others. Most of these languages find their origins in words spoken by the Arawaks, Caribs, and Chibcha.
Some of these other languages include English, Italian, French, Catalan, Chinese, and Arabic. There are 23 states in the country, and you can come across different styles in different areas.
Roman Catholic is the primary religion of Venezuela. According to polls, more than 88% of the people are Christians. 71% of the population is Roman Catholic, and 17% is Protestant. In fact, 8% Venezuelans are either atheists or agnostics. Around 3% of the country’s population follows some other religion. There are small Muslim and Jewish communities too in the country.
Social Aspects of Venezuelans
Venezuelans are well known for being friendly and warm people. They welcome the known with an abrazo or a kiss, but handshakes are used to greet strangers. In Venezuela, people are not much concerned or conscious about personal space. So you can find people standing very close when they hold a conversation.
People in the Venezuelan capital usually wear conservative casuals. Men should usually wear jackets and ties to social gatherings, but suits are the typical formal wear. Shorts and beachwear are every days at the beach and pool, but you will not find people wearing them anywhere else. The public smoking ban in Venezuela.
The origins of Venezuelan literature go back to the era after the Spanish conquest of the region. The country’s research has the strong influence of Spanish literature. The first genre in literature was Venezuelan Romanticism, which followed the rise of political literature. Fermin Toro and Juan Vicente Gonzalez were the key figures associated with it. Narrative writing has a significant part in the country’s research. Fermin Toro and Andres Eloy Blanco played a major role as poets contributing to it.
Some of the big novelists and writers of Venezuela include Romulo Gallegos, Arturo Uslar Pietri, Teresa de la Parra, Adriano Gonzalez Leon, Mariano Picon Salas, and Miguel Otero Silva. Jose Gil, Fortoul, Laureano Vallenilla Lanz and Andres Bello are other major literary figures.
Corpus Christi considers as the major festival of Venezuela. It marks by people wearing uniforms and masks of Dancing Devils. The festival has gained worldwide exposure and acclaim. The history of this tradition goes back to Spanish colonization. Venezuelan weddings are also unique. The couple is tied together as a symbol of lifelong relation.
Music is also an integral part of any country’s culture. The cuatro is the national musical instrument of Venezuela. The country’s original music styles originated around the region known as Llanos. Rafael Bolivar Coronado and Pedro Elias Gutierrez, Juan Vicente Torrealba, Alberto Arvelo Torrealba, and Simon Diaz are some of the leading figures associated with the country’s music. Teresa Carreno is a globally famous piano virtuoso from Venezuela.
At Christmas, a traditional musical style known as the Zulian Gaita perform almost everywhere. Joropo is the national dance.
Venezuela offers much more than its rich oil and mineral reserves to the world. Even though native Native Americans first inhabited it, it has become home to people from different parts of the world. The country’s rich culture gives indications of both the early indigenous people and the modern times. People from Venezuela has gone on to become famous in different pursuits across the global platform. Even in their broad diversity, the people of Venezuela knows for their warmth and friendly attitude.
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