Local traditions and culture in Dominican Republic

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Most Viewed Local Customs in Dominican Republic

  • fairy_dust's Profile Photo

    Dominican food

    by fairy_dust Updated Feb 25, 2007

    If you get a chance to live with the locals instead of some tourist resort, you'll probably eat a lot of rice and beans. Also, meat and potatoes, crackers and cheese, coffee, and fresh fruit (plantains, pineapples, papaya, cantelope, etc. Meals are simple but good and filling. And they have all sorts of ways to cook plantains - boiled, fried, etc.

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    Ask for "la cuenta"

    by ashley05p Written Feb 13, 2007

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    No, the waiter is not being rude, you have to ask for the bill! I think this is true in most Latin American countries, but after you finish eating, you have to ask for your bill (la cuenta, if they speak Spanish).

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    Colmados

    by ChristinaNest Updated Aug 29, 2006

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    Colmados – small general stores- provide people from the street or neighbourhood with the essential shopping. Supermarket culture is not that wide spread yet as there are a lot of poor people who can never afford to fill up their carts with all they need. So every day that they have a little money, they go to the colmado to buy the essentials: some rice and beans (not always a full pound), a few plantains, some cheese, a few cigarettes (if there’s no money for a full pack). That’s what is keeping these independent shops alive. The colmados are also the place to get the neighbourhood news, to chat, or get a cheap ‘meal’. Every day you can see people getting their lunch at the colmado: some cheese and cheap salami cut into pieces and served on a plastic plate or a piece of paper, some crackers, and a few toothpicks to serve as forks. We’ve had many lunches like that, standing at the counter, often accompanied by local workers having their lunch and chatting. A simple and cheap meal, but I enjoyed it better than eating at some touristy place.
    Colmados usually don’t have scales so everything is measured by the owner’s eye and I’m sure they are experts the same way an experienced bartender can serve you the exact amount of drink straight from the bottle without measuring it.

    A colmado in Puerto Plata
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    Tipping

    by razorbladekiss Written May 24, 2006

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    Tip your maids and waiters..... we left the maid a some money and some hard candies each day and she in return gave us more bottled water and made those cute towele art things.... very cute.

    and the waiters would wait on u hand and foot after u have tipped them for the rst of your stay... a few bucks can go along way

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  • ChristinaNest's Profile Photo

    Houses

    by ChristinaNest Updated Apr 23, 2006

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    When you go out of the sheltered resorts you can notice some big differences between Dominican houses. Near the big towns or beach resorts you can see some mansions, complete with swimming pools, large gardens and many servants. And then in the villages, by the road,and in the less developed south, you can see many shacks, where often there's no water, and electricity is often stolen by illegal connections to the main power lines (sometimes at the price of a life). The houses have no window-panes, just shutters. Driving past such houses, I often saw a big family gathered in the living room, the grandparents sitting in rocking chairs, the kids playing around in ragged clothes, sometimes they waved and smiled at us. Makes you wonder whether such a simple life, without too many possessions isn't kind of happier...

    A school in Samana
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  • ScubaCat's Profile Photo

    Share a conversation with a local

    by ScubaCat Updated Feb 26, 2006

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    The people of the Dominican Republic are very friendly people and are interested in talking with the tourists about not only their day but what the tourist can tell them about their countries. The Dominican's will welcome the visitor to their home & offer them whatever they have available although the Dominican's are very poor. Most Dominican's live in 3 bedroom houses (living room, parents bedroom & children's bedroom) and although their furnishings are meager & their doors are nothing but sheets, they take pride in having their dwelling spotless....cleaner than most americans. I swear I could eat off their floor & not get sick....not a speck of dirt anywhere! The Dominican's also have very large family's...typically around 8 to 12 children. The children are expected to help out with daily tasks such as cleaning, washing, walking to the river for water which is 5 miles away, cooking on the outdoor kitchen, gathering firewood for boiling the water & cooking as well as tending to the very large family garden. They also have lots of livestock in order to feed the family's, chicken's, cows, etc. that provide the protein of their meals. For fruit, the abundance of coconuts & banana's are picked from the trees. When school is in session, the children too young to attend & those that have already graduated at 8th grade pitch in with those extra duties that the children attending school don't have time to do. Although the school children put in their fair share before school & way after dusk has fallen. Despite the poverty that they live in, the Dominican's are very happy people and take pride in themselves & their homes. I enjoyed visiting with the local's & I know you will too.

    Me with the children The average Dominican Home The parents bedroom of the home The kitchen The school
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  • Firestar24's Profile Photo

    Inside a home

    by Firestar24 Written Dec 5, 2005

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    We were lucky enough to visit a Dominican family during our visit to the country and found very pretty, immaculately clean if basic, rural houses. All the houses are painted in pretty pastel colours - usually pink & green. There was one main room with areas sectioned off for bedrooms. Quite alot of land surrounded the house and on this was a water-pump, a goat-shed, and a separate shack for cooking on an open fire. This family also had an outhouse which I believe is a rarity in this area. They do have electricity, but it is "borrowed" by a homemade link to the main lines. The family told of many people who had been electrocuted trying to "borrow" electricity. They cooked goat stew in a large wok-type pan on the fire in the little building at the back while we drank sweet, black coffee in the sunshine.

    A house The kitchen The water pump Inside the house The goat shed

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  • quartinb's Profile Photo

    coconuts

    by quartinb Updated Oct 1, 2005

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    a caribbean island with lots coconut trees. so, u should try iced coconut water with a straw. just sit by the pool, or by the beach and have a tasty sip...
    very refreshing with all that caribean heat!

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  • quartinb's Profile Photo

    salsa

    by quartinb Updated Oct 1, 2005

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    like in all south american countries music is the everywhere. several tipes of music, like merengue, salsa, and so on.
    and yes, being a music lover i brought a couple of records, and at home KAZAA site made me download the best artists that they had pointed me during my stay. wonderfull caribean sound.
    highly recomendable:))

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  • tracknfield's Profile Photo

    Men will take your place

    by tracknfield Written Sep 9, 2005

    I was in Dominican Republic on a mission trip and when laying block the dominican men would come and take your tool and start doing your job and in their culture the woman do not work. So do not be upset with it just take a break and go back to working again in a little bit.

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  • micas_pt's Profile Photo

    The market

    by micas_pt Updated Sep 6, 2005

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    This photo was taken in Higuey, the major city in La Altagracia Province. This is a local market. As you can see in the photo, it's neither clean nor "organized". For Europeans it looked like a great mess but actually that is the way of living. The smell is kind of "strange" for outsiders, since there isn’t a sewer system.

    Market in Higuey
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  • micas_pt's Profile Photo

    The butcher's shop

    by micas_pt Updated Sep 6, 2005

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    Well, I ran into this "nice" shop in Higuey, the capital city of La Altagracia Province. Apparently this is the place to buy “fresh” meat. I guess you can imagine how it feels to see meat hanging the whole day in the street in a hot weather like the Caribbean one, ... yep, no further explanations needed I think.

    Butcher in Higuey
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  • micas_pt's Profile Photo

    Currency

    by micas_pt Updated Sep 6, 2005

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    The Dominican Republic's currency is the Dominican Peso.

    If you're travelling to some touristy spot or resort you may pay almost everything in dollars (USA). Usually they have the prices marked for both currencies.

    When I visited DR (year 2000), in Europe each country still had its own money. As there is a "Spanish tradition" to this country and lots of Spanish tourists, they also market the prices in pesetas (Spain's currency at the time). Right now in Europe the currency is the Euro. I guess prices will also be marked for Euros, and it may as well be possible that they accept Euros.

    Street in Higuey
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  • micas_pt's Profile Photo

    Religion

    by micas_pt Updated Sep 6, 2005

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    Dominicans are Roman Catholic. Dominican Republic was colonized by Spanish conquerors that brought their religion to the island. Nowadays a major part of the island population is Roman Catholic. In this island you can find one of the major catholic religion basilicas - it is situated in Higuey, the capital city of La Altagracia Province.

    Cathedral in Higuey
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  • micas_pt's Profile Photo

    The school

    by micas_pt Updated Sep 6, 2005

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    While travelling around we visited a local school. Children were all very polite and gave us a great welcome.

    As you may see in the photo, they all wear a school uniform. It is somewhat funny to see that in such a "Caribbean" laid back place. In a country that is so poor, where streets may impress you since they don’t have basic hygienic rules or equipment, where everybody is joyful and seems to be always partying, where children play bare feet in the street ... and suddenly you enter a classroom and they are all so "immaculately dressed up". It was nice to see.

    The school
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