True Colors Of Panamanian Culture
The diverse nature of Panamanian culture is
something to look forward to. The Panamanian culture compliments
the history of Panama. It has imbibed many influences over time.
The colonial era settlements to the present times of multi-race
communities and of course the native Indian people has left overriding
influences to Panamanian culture. Panama was in control of the Spanish
rule and this was another contributing reason to it’s cultural
union. If you take a look into the Panama Canal region you will
find a strong presence of the North American culture.
Panama customs by way of their music, their
dance, their festivities, their literature and even their cuisine
simply speak for themselves. Moreover, the co-existence of the many
influences in Panamanian culture is strongly evident in how the
people of Panama lead their lives. People inhabiting the urban areas,
particularly the Panama Canal area (where the US army was based
in the days when the construction work of the Canal was under progress),
lead refined, sophisticated lives. In the spheres of art, architecture,
music or sports, the cities represent a modern society, thanks to
the US influence, which is much-too apparent.
Conversely, the Panama countryside with its
cattle ranches and horses and Spanish folk songs, continues to be
the stronghold of Hispanic culture. The native people of Panama
restricted in the small land pockets here and there also continue
to contribute immensely to Panamanian culture. Thus, the netted
bags and beaded necklaces made by the Guaymí people and the
brightly embroidered textiles called Molas have brought Panama’s
artwork and handicrafts global appreciation. What’s more,
the epic poems of the Kuna people focus another aspect of the culture
Religion of Panama has it’s own charm as well. Panamanian
culture also showcases dance and music of different forms. Thus,
the traditional dance Tamborito introduced by the Spanish invaders
borrows steps and rhythms from native dance forms. The influence
of Afro-Caribbean music and that of other popular local music like
salsas cannot be missed. Though Spanish is the preferred language
for compositions, the themes, plots and even characters have their
roots deep into the Panamanian culture. Festivities held year-round
in Panama like the Carnaval or carnival, Festival of the Black Christ,
Fair of Azuero, Semana Santa (or Easter Week), too uphold the land’s
cultural medley. Most of the festivals are excellent blending of
Pagan and Catholic beliefs and rituals.
Panamanian culture is truly a medley of a host of influences. Its
rich culture is definitely rich in form, color and texture. The
people of Panama and its historical places certainly reflect the
depth and warmth of Panamanian culture.
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any additional information, or visit our Panama Forum for questions
and comments about Panama.