This country opens its arms wide to all visitors wishing
to discover its rich cultural history with its colonial districts
and its heritage of nature scattered among the mountains, the beaches
and the valleys. It is a place also preferred by whales and dolphins
during mating season. It's a splendid show to experience.
The sporty tourist will be delighted by all the possibilities
offered such as diving, pedestrian excursions, golf and even palpitating
expeditions like rock climbing or white water rafting down the rapids
The Dominican Republic is; a romantic island, an ideal
place to serenade your beloved one; then enticing to relaxation
with its siesta after lunch hours practised by its people laying
in their hammock; other times energising where one takes taste to
dance at nay moment or place always with a smile on their lips.
Being an insular country of agricultural and of breeding,
the Dominican Republic offers a variety of dishes where the Taïnas
influences are mixed with the European and African ones, creating
an explosion of taste rich in colors, condiments and savours:
El Chenchén, the Basilica of Nuestra Señora of Encarnación
is a typical southern dish made from corn cut into small pieces
and boiled during several hours with various spices, the whole accompanied
by goat with sauce; el Chacá, also containing corn, is a
dessert prepared with milk, sugar, cinnamon as well as coconut milk;
fish and moro of guandules with coconut of Samaná; rice and
the kidney beans, a staple of the Dominican table, prepared in various
manners; plantains used to prepare mangú, mofongo and pasteles
in hoja; manioc, a based used to make fritters made with meat, cheese
and chicken called catibia or other fried delicacies such as pastelones;
chicharrones from pork: sausages, chipolatas, black and white blood
sausage are popular dishes as well as the yaniqueque ,a flour tart
fried in oil, cod torrejitas, pork and chicken fried or in sauces,
fried sweet potato, tripe, cow leg in sauce, Creole stews and more.
Typical Creole cuisine include: rice mixed with beans called moro;
the same quite juicy mixture but is el chambre; ripe banana with
sugar and cinnamon called platanos maduros in cazuela; with red
kidney beans one prepares a typical dessert soup for Lent called
habichuelas idiot dulce.
Art runs in the blood of the Dominicans as an essential part of
everyday life: a vase of bougainvilleas which decorates the table,
houses painted with intense tropical colors, traditional songs and
Painting and sculpture started to flourish with the emigration
of artists and intellectual Spaniards who, fleeing the Spanish civil
war, establishing themselves in this country. Here you will find
a craft heritage which dates back to the time of the taïnos,
craftsmen of nature, manufacturing "in the taina way"
their plates, higueros, hammocks, bags and baskets. The Limé
Dolls are also part of the current craft industry; they are made
out of terra cotta and are known for their faces without traits.
Artists incorporate amber, the national precious stone, in beautiful
jewellery, earrings, necklaces and other objects.
The Dominican music as we know it today is a result of many influences
which are interlaced since the ancient Areitos with whom the Taïnos
transmitted their culture from generation to generation. Since the
time of the conquest and through various historical circumstances,
the traditional Dominican music intermingled with the French, Italian,
African and other sounds. One finds variations of the zapateado,
toques de palo, Creole, merengue, bolero and bachata for example.
Between peasants, the traditional merengue is played by a small
group of musicians called perico ripiao.
The base of the Dominican religion is Catholicism. However, as
in all the aspects of its culture, one cannot escape from the syncretism
which characterizes it, thus, "popular religion" is formed
by catholic components which are linked with the elements of the
Indian and African religious heritage. Moreover, there are Adventist,
Pentecostal, Evangelical temples and other Christian churches.
The first inhabitants of the Dominican Republic date back to 2600BC.
They were hunter-gatherer nomads which used stone tools. Then arrived
the Salanoids around the year 250BC, one can find them a bit everywhere
in the Caribbean. A final migration from Venezuela swept the Antilles
approximately 2000 years ago and settled on the island around the
year 800 A.C. Then they were known as the Taïnos which in arawaca
language means "good" or "noble". They lived
a sedentary life rich with religious and agricultural traditions.
In 1492, Christopher Columbus reached the coasts of the island
and discovered these inhabitants of an unknown Indian race. Nevertheless,
the discovery and especially its methods of conquest, exterminated
this race within 50 years, which limited the impact of the indigenous
culture on the Dominican one.
The manioc, corn, peanut and tobacco are important products of
the current Dominican agriculture which survived the conquest. One
found vestiges of Taino art in various localities on the island
and the pottery found on the island are of higher quality than those
of the others islands.
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