Dominican Republic Culture

Dominican Republic Culture

North America

Dominican culture is a mixture of European, African and, to a lesser degree, indigenous elements. Among the popular festivals that are known in the country is the carnival, which is celebrated in many communities. There is even a Maroon Carnivalrelated more to African than European customs. In addition, there are the patron saint festivals that each community celebrates in homage to its patron saint.

The nation is known for two musical rhythms called merengue and bachata, both of which have been popular since the mid-20th century. The merengue is based on musical elements such as the tambora, güiro and accordion along with other unique elements of the Dominican style. It receives great recognition through the popular singer and songwriter Juan Luis Guerra and also the famous Johnny Ventura and Sergio Vargas.


The Dominican Republic is made up of 68.9% Catholics, 18.2% Evangelicals, 10.6% non-religious, and 2.3% others. [33] Some sources place atheists at 7% and others almost 10%. [34] Recent immigration, as well as proselytism, has brought other religions, such as, Spiritist: 1.2%, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: 1.1%, Buddhist: 0.10%, Bahá’í: 0.1%, Islam: 0.02%, Judaism: 0.01%, Traditional Chinese Religion: 0.1%. There are an unknown number of voodoo practitioners. [35]

Judaism appeared in the Dominican Republic in the late 1930s. During World War II, a group of Jews escaped from Nazi Germany who took refuge in the Dominican Republic and founded the town of Sosúa. They have remained the center of the Jewish population ever since. [36] Atheism became official recently in the country with the appearance of the Ateodom group (‘atheists of the Dominican Republic’), with more than 400 militants from all strata. With the passage of time the members have increased, according to its founder Quilvio Vásquez. [37]


According to educationvv, the official language of the country is Spanish and in current speech its Antillean form (Caribbean Spanish) is used. Many Africanisms, neologisms and foreigners are used, especially from English, due to the cultural pressure originating from the United States of America.

Due to the large population of Haitians residing in the country, the use of Haitian Creole is common, especially in the border regions with Haiti, but it is spoken only by Haitian residents, mostly illegal, in the country. Relations with Haiti and its strong Africanness have led, due to the war history and abysmal cultural differences, to a concealment of the African contribution to the Dominican culture that today is increasingly recognized.


Dominican cuisine is predominantly a mix between Spanish, Taino, and African. The typical cuisine is quite similar to what can be found in other Latin American countries, but many of the names of the dishes are different. A typical breakfast consists of mangú (boiled green banana puree) and eggs, a dish that the Dominican Republic shares with Cuba and Puerto Rico. In other versions it is accompanied by fried meat (usually with Dominican salami) or cheese. As in Spain, lunch is the main, and most important meal of the day. Lunch usually consists of rice, meat (either chicken, beef, pork or fish), habichuela (beans), and a serving of salad, commonly called “la Bandera.” The sancocho is a stew often with seven varieties of meat. [38]


The Dominican sport is recognized for its contribution to the development of baseball and as an inexhaustible source of virtuous players in the North American Major Leagues. They have stood out there: Juan Marichal, David Ortiz, Albert Puyol, Bartolo Colón, etc. In recent times, the development of his volleyball and athletics is notable, where great champions such as Félix Sánchez appear. [39] In boxing, the country has produced dozens of top-level fighters and several world champions [40] such as Joan Guzmán. Basketball it also enjoys a relatively high level of popularity. Al Horford, Felipe López, Charlie Villanueva and Francisco García are among the players of Dominican origin who have made it to the NBA.

Some Dominicans also follow soccer administered by the Dominican Soccer Federation ; [41] and American football controlled by the Dominican American Football League. [42] Volleyball, which was introduced in 1916 by the US Marines, is controlled by the Dominican Volleyball Federation. Other sports practiced in the country are Tae Kwon Do, with the Olympic silver medalist Gabriel Mercedes ; and judo. [43]


The prevalence of HIV / AIDS in the Dominican Republic in 2003 stood at an estimated 1.7 percent, with an estimated 88,000 Dominicans being HIV-positive. A mission sponsored by the United States is helping fight AIDS in the Dominican Republic. Although since the first case of AIDS was registered in the country in 1983, the disease has become the main cause of death in women between 15 and 49 years of age and in adults of productive age. The dengue is endemic in the country, and there are cases of malaria. [44] In 2007, the Dominican Republic had a birth rate of 22.91 per 1000, and a death rate of 5.32 per 1000. [45]

The practice of abortion is illegal in all aspects in the country, a prohibition that includes the following concepts of rape, incest, and in situations where the mother’s health is in danger. This prohibition was contained tacitly in Article 8.1 of the previous constitution of the 25 July of the 2002, but it was with the enactment of the current Constitution, dated 26 January of the 2010, which expressly Dominican legislature dealt with it. In effect, Article 37 of the current constitution establishes the following:

“Right to life. The right to life is inviolable from conception to death. The death penalty may not be established, pronounced or applied, in any case.”

Dominican Republic Culture