Local traditions and culture in Caracas

  • Thick green area, you have to go there!
    Thick green area, you have to go there!
    by RafaelTheSecond
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Most Viewed Local Customs in Caracas

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    Venezuelan dish

    by Saringuis Written Feb 7, 2006

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    One of the traditional Venezulean dishes is "Pabellon". It coonsists of black beans, fried platanos (sort of banana), rice and teared up beef cooked in a saus, with some cilantro bringing a certain freshness. To West-Euopeans it might look absolutely gross, but trust me, you do not want to miss out on this marvel!!!

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    Heavy breakfast

    by Saringuis Written Feb 9, 2006

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    A lot of Venezuelans start the day with a strong meal. When you're used to having a small bowl of cereal or just a cup of coffee in the morning, this can be quite the challenge! A typical breakfast can be empanadas or arepa, with filling ofcourse. One of the fillings I tried is very tasty (I forgot the name though) it's similar to scrambeled eggs only.. different!

    Arepa with cheese and eggs

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    Polar Ice

    by Saringuis Written Feb 9, 2006

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    In Venezuela you will see advertismens for "POLAR" beer, everywhere. Now I'm not usually too much of a beer fan, but polar ice is the perfect beer for this kind of person. It's very light and fresh. The other versions of polar are good too, except "polar light", unless you like bitter bubbly water...

    just can't get enough of it...

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    Venezuelan men... wow!!!

    by carolinaEspada Updated Oct 4, 2004

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    They come in many varieties, shapes, every color, every size, most of them have an extraordinary sense of humor, most of them are awesome dancers, most of them are extremely sweet and great huggers...

    I couldent live with out them.

    In the picture, from left to right: Nicolás Bracho, Lucky-Me in red hawaian shirt (*), Fernando Valera, Alejandro Dembo and Pedro José Acosta.

    All of us, loving friends since kindergarten.

    (*) Thank you Frank Burke for this hawaian shirt. I love you!!!

    Venezuelan men... wow... and there is Lucky-Me
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    Venezuelan folks

    by travelife Written May 18, 2005

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    Like other Latin American countries, Venezuelans are also very warm and friendly but its difficult to talk to them if you dont speak Spanish. The taxi I was arranged by the hotel, there was this Venezuelan who drove and spoke very good English where we discussed many issues of Venezuela. Woked formerly as a tourist guide, he is a proud Venezuelan.

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    "When you wish upon a...car"...

    by carolinaEspada Written Feb 29, 2004

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    Make sure is a red one. But in order to make a wish you need to see a black dog. A red car and a black dog, and then make a wish. It will come true!

    I dont know if this is a tradition in Caracas or just in my generation. But many of my friends (and myself) cant see a red car without looking around for a black dog inmediately.

    "When you wish upon a "car", makes no difference who you are
    Anything your heart desires will come to you"...

    But you have to spot a black dog at the same time... Is not as simple as wishing upon stars...

    Carro rojo & perro negro
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    Caracas or Caraca

    by travelife Updated May 18, 2005

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    It may seem they say Caraca instead of Caracas. But VTer Kelly disagrees. She say it is indeed Caracas but with a very short and soft 's'. This is just a bit of change in the 'Spainsh' used in Latin America.

    web-pic

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    A GREEN SHELTER CLOSE TO CARACAS DOWNTOWN

    by RafaelTheSecond Written Apr 29, 2008

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    Los Caobos is a very interesting green area close to the city centre of Caracas. I like to walk in the mornings (this is the safes ttime to enjoy the park...do not go there in the end of the afternoon..very dangerous), lots of trees and with native species of Venezuela. it is also a great space for you to see exotic birds and many different kind of parrots. Nice people like walking in the boulevards for a pleasant walk and being with the Nature.

    It is the entrance of two very nice museums..the BIODIVERSTY MUSEUM and the FINE ARTS MUSEUM!!!

    Beautiful place and close to many landmarks of Caracas, the famous theater Tereza Careño, and the Mesquita and the nice and central neighborhood of Candelaria!

    the subway station nearby is Bellas Artes.

    APRIL 15TH 2008

    Thick green area, you have to go there!

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    NEW CURRENCY IN 2008!!!

    by carolinaEspada Written Jan 10, 2008

    Your attention please... (and if you dont know math, take a BIG breath):

    Since January 1rst, 2008, we are moving gradually from (old) Bolívares -bills and coins- to Bolívares Fuertes - new bills and new coins-. The "problem" is that we are using both -old and new- at the same time... That has turned out to be very confusing for almost everybody. You can pay in old money, in new money, AND EVEN MIXING OLD AND NEW!!! You can get your change back in one or the other OR BOTH!!! Be carefull, pay attention, print the equivalence chart and carry it in your wallet. The "Banco Central de Venezuela" informs that we will "working" with the two kinds of bolívares from 3 up to 6 months, and even more time if we need to in order to eliminate for ever the old bolívares. Once eliminated the old ones, we will not call anymore the new currency: Bolívares Fuertes, we will call it "Bolívares" again.

    There is another problem... and there have been serious complains from our blind citizens: the Braille marks are not strong, bumpy enough for them to tell the difference in between the new 6 different kinds of bills: 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and a 100 Bolívares Fuertes. Fortunatelly, the new coins are easy to identify by touching them... but very hard to see if you are old or need glasses.

    This is going to take time; patience and time.

    Bol��var (old) and Bol��var Fuerte (new) 1 Bol��var Fuerte = 1000 (old) Bol��vares
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    All about the Benjamins

    by Meztli81 Updated Dec 29, 2006

    Before I left, I had heard people say take American dollars, because the black market will exchange them at a much better rate than the official at the airport, but I decided against it, being scared that being robbed might leave me short of alot of money if I carried it on me and imagining the "black market" to be shady individuals on dark street corners. I ended up just taking atm cards but I ended up regretting it. Everybody, and I mean everybody, from hotel clerks to taxi drivers to soda vendors are willing to trade you dollars for more bolivares then I got out of the atm (not to mention the fees I was charged). My friend who took 500 American and traded it through black market kept joking on how much less she was spending than me with our different exchanges. I admit - it is a risk if you're stolen from, so you'll have to weigh that, but considering my experience I'd do it the next time I'm there. Also, careful you don't get too many bolivares you're not going to use because it's hard to trade them back for dollars.

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    THE VENEZUELAN FLAG

    by carolinaEspada Updated Jul 20, 2006

    It might look like some other Latinamerican flags that have the same colours due to historical reasons. But OUR flag is:
    yellow, blue and red; and is the only one to have 7 white stars, displayed in rainbow shape.

    Remember yellow, blue and red... AND THE 7 STARS...
    THAT IS VENEZUELA!!!

    2006 UPDATE
    "The República Bolivariana of Venezuela" -renamed by the former president 8 years ago-,
    has now an addtional star on the flag. Now: 8 stars, and not everybody is happy with this
    this.

    Venezuelan flag
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    NATIONAL COAT OF ARMS OF VENEZUELA

    by carolinaEspada Written Oct 9, 2004

    In Spanish is simply called "escudo", which means "shield".
    El Escudo Nacional. But I checked my dictionary and it said: heraldry, an escutcheon, coat of arms. My friend M.C.Valecillos from Tsukuba, Japan, assured me that the correct way to say it is: "National Coat of Arms of Venezuela".

    So, there...

    Thank you once again, M.C.

    National Coat of Arms of Venezuela
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    Venezuela's National Anthem

    by carolinaEspada Written Oct 9, 2004

    Is called: ¡Gloria al bravo pueblo! (Glory to the brave people!).

    Lyrics by Vicente Salias; music by Juan José Landaeta.
    President Antonio Guzmán Blanco declared it our oficial national anthem on May, 25th, 1881.

    Whenever you hear it, you are supposed to stand up, sing with respect and period. Yes. Period. No clapping at the end, no whisteling, no yelling "hurray"!!! No. The end and absolute and respectful silence.

    But... that is the way it was... young people nowdays, clap, whistle, root and chear... I guess I will have to get used to it.

    Here it is:

    GLORIA AL BRAVO PUEBLO

    Coro

    Gloria al bravo Pueblo
    que el yugo lanzó,
    la ley respetando
    la virtud y honor.
    I

    ¡Abajo Cadenas!
    gritaba el señor;
    y el pobre en su choza
    Libertad pidió:
    A este santo nombre
    tembló de pavor
    el vil egoísmo
    que otra vez triunfó.

    Coro

    -II-

    Gritemos con brío:
    ¡Muera la opresión!
    Compatriotas fieles,
    la fuerza es la unión;
    y desde el Empíreo
    el supremo Autor,
    un sublime aliento
    al pueblo infundió.

    Coro
    -III-

    Unida con lazos
    que el cielo formó
    la América toda
    existe en Nación;
    y si el despotismo
    levanta la voz,
    seguid el ejemplo
    que Caracas dio.

    Coro
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    listen to the music on the www below.

    Clave de Sol
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    GREAT HUGGERS!!!

    by carolinaEspada Written Nov 11, 2004

    Yes, we venezuelan are great huggers. We are not shy about kissing and hugging (friends we have had of ever, or even people that we have recently met).

    Now, men embrase each other, but a man will not kiss another man. We dont do that here. (They do that in Russia).

    On the contrary, a woman can hug and kiss another woman, but should never kiss her on the lips. (They do that in Rumania).

    Men kissing men, and women kissing other woman on the lips is not a Venezuelan tradition.

    Venezuelan men and women hug and kiss each other if they are plain regular friends, pals, classmates, work partners, whatever. You never kiss anyone on the lips. You have to be in love for that...or, at least, have sexual intentions.

    But I love this super hugging and kissing all the time.

    Super hugging
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    Ponchecrema: OUR MERRY CHRISTMAS DRINK!!!

    by carolinaEspada Written Nov 28, 2004

    "Ponche crema" (also written "ponchecrema") is a typical venezuelan drink, specially for Christmas. You can get it all year long in liquors stores or supermarkets... but I woundent have a sip of ponchecrema from January until November. It´s a December celebration's drink. (Specially on the 24th and the 31st).

    What is it like? Very simple: very sweet, "thick-heavy-with body", white liquid. You can make your own with Venezuela's finest rhum "Aniversario" + milk + condemsed milk + one egg + a little bit of nutmegg.
    MIX REALLY WELL and chill.

    But you always can buy a bottle of the original brand "Ponche Crema de Eliodoro González P."

    The homemade one you mush make, chill and drink. The "comercial" one -once opened- you can save it in the refrigerator for ever... for next Xmas. And that is something you really want to drink in a venezuelan snowless Chistmas.

    Be merry!!!

    And dont forget:

    One pochecrema
    two ponchecremas
    three ponchecremas...
    DRUNK!!!

    Ponche Crema de Eliodoro Gonz��lez P.
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Caracas Local Customs

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