The culture of the Bolivian Traditions was molded and influenced by over 30 native tribal groups and different immigrant cultures. Each of them has contributed its own lifestyles and beliefs to the assortment of the country’s traditions and customs. It’s one of the thing that makes Bolivia thee most colorful country in South America! One typical misconception is that the customs and culture of Bolivia are extremely homogenous which means more people think of this country as a kind of Andean country for the reason that the Bolivian government has projected historically the Quechua and Aymara cultures only in massive tourism promotion efforts.
Although these Andean tribal groups are extremely large and are very determined when it comes to the preservation of their traditions, the real culture of the country involves many others.
The same thing happened with the Bolivian history.
By the time that the Spanish people arrive, they focused their development efforts on the highlands of the country on the west side, because their sole interest was to extract silver from the mines in Oruro and Potosi so they could later ship the silver to Spain.
However, the North and the Southern and Eastern portions of the country were virtually abandoned.
Efforts were exerted for tourism and cultures and traditions of those regions just recently with the construction of different national parks.
Due to that, many of the things that pertain to the culture and customs of Bolivia show the lifestyle and traditions of Bolivia.
As a matter of fact, this country has many interesting cultures and each one of these comes with its own legends, beliefs, clothing styles, music, dances, handcrafts, art, and holidays.
To gain a clear picture regarding the Bolivian traditions and cultures, please take note the following:
- Bolivian legends and myths – the country comes with a minimum of 36 cultures with their respective history, language, beliefs and origin.
There are hundreds of legends and myths and some of them are based on the historical events while others are based on fantasy.
- Bolivian athletes and sports – just as with most countries in South America, Bolivia also has a strong and influential soccer tradition.
This sport is so ingrained into the countries society that some businesses actually close for a big soccer game!
- Bolivian recreation and games – there are some games (cards, volleyball, and yes soccer!) that are typically played across this country, particularly during some traditional festivals and are usually accompanied by dancing and music.
- Traditional Bolivianrecipes and foods – Bolivia comes with a wide selection of foods and recipes.
- Typical Bolivian dances and music – dance and music are two of the most colorful and lively traditions that made this country famous worldwide.
Each typical dance and music type comes with a particular meaning or purpose.
- Bolivian clothing & traditional dress – with more than thirty indigenous cultures and numerous foreign cultures, the clothes and fashion in Bolivia differ greatly from region to region.
People wear hats that make it easy for others to identify what region they came from.
- Bolivian artists, art, galleries and museums – art is among the most crucial Bolivian traditions and every indigenous group comes with a different style & modern art.
- Modern and indigenous Bolivian houses – architectural styles differ greatly from region to region.
It is impossible to find a typical Bolivian home since there are so many different cultures!
- Bolivian holidays, special occasions and festivals – there are many events and festivals that are being celebrated every month throughout the country.
Each culture comes with its own festivals and holidays. Some festivals are being celebrated not just once in the entire year in some cities such as the Alasitas which is the festival of wealth that is being celebrated in La Paz in January, and in Santa Cruz in September.
- Bolivian etiquette, social customs and lifestyle – people in Bolivia are trained how to dress for a dinner party and have the habit of not opening the gifts they receive infront of other guests.
Bolivians are also kissing one another all the time for traditional reasons.
- Bargaining and shopping customs – there are some Bolivian traditions followed by people when it comes to shopping.
Vacationers are usually surprised to learn that bargaining is a typical custom in Bolivia.
- Business customs – there are some social norms or business etiquette that you must learn when you want to work or start a business in Bolivia.
For example people in Bolivia are allowed to smoke in offices, Bolivians pefer to do business with people they know and trust, and always shake hands when meeting and leaving a reunion.