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Colombian food culture is rich and diverse as the different geographic and cultural regions of the country have strongly maintained their culinary identity. Colombia is bathed by both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, tipped by the Amazon and traversed by the Andes Mountains.

This equals a plethora of ingredients to play with. Cooking traditions are also influenced by the availability of food resources which is why every Colombian has a distinct taste when it comes to their preferred native foods.

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Of course, Colombian cooks never fail to add another element to their cuisine: adventure. The Amazon is all about being wild. When I was little and my parents took me there, we ate snake. Boas are highly valued in the cuisine of the Amazon. You will eat what you can get your hands on there, including turtle which is prepared in what seems like a million ways.

If you have been to Medellin, you have been to Antioquia. The area is fantastic and is one of the safest in Colombia. When you think of the Atlantic Cartagena, Barranquilla, La Guajira, and Santa Martathink of coconut, snapper, armadillo, iguana, and lobster. Food here is fantastic and some of my favorite in Colombia.

colombian traditions

Fruits and aromatic spices rule the area that is home to Bogota, the capital city. Cundinamarca is colder than the rest of the country and that means comfort food: ajiaco, hot chocolate with cheese tamales, huevos pericos and so much more. This region offers some gorgeous wild boar, fresh water fish, and wild birds. The coast is, of course, a place where seafood and shellfish reigns.

The region has not just ocean, but also rivers so you get a mixture of both fresh and saltwater fish varieties. There are tons of exotic fruits that are made into refreshing juices. The region is not just fish though, there are plenty of exotic animals that are hunted by locals. Perhaps my favorite thing about the food from this area is the popularity of coconut in dishes.

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Santander has an overabundance of fruit and fish. Meats are scarce in this region.And, trust us, downing 12 grapes in 12 seconds is no easy feat! Some people even suggest that, in order to maximise the effect, you need to wear them reversed before midnight, then turn them around afterwards.

In essence you need to be surrounded by all the things you want to have next year. This tradition differs slightly from the rest, in that it involves casting off the bad things of the past year, rather than preparing for good things in the year to come.

At the stroke of midnight, Colombians set fire to the doll, which duly explodes and burns, therefore symbolically burning the Old Year and all that it represents. In order to fill your New Year with positive vibes and ensure that you make nothing but good decisions, then the first step you should take after midnight will be with your right foot.

It can also be quite fun to try and push your friends and family on to their left food after the clock strikes twelve — sorry Dad, a negative year for you! This apparently rids the body of bad energies for the year to come. By doing this, they ensure that the New Year will be bountiful and there will be an abundance of food to eat.

If people do head out, it tends to be after midnight.

colombian traditions

Select currency. From eating 12 grapes to stuffing your pockets with lentils, here are the 11 strangest Colombian New Year traditions. Eating 12 grapes at midnight. Filling your pockets with lentils. Taking your suitcase around the block. Cash in hand at New Year. With this much cash in hand, it's bound to be a good New Year!

Cleaning your house on December 31st. Put your right foot forward. Taking a bath in the river. Wheat on the table. Spending it with your family?! Read Next.Colombia is mostly a Catholic country, so most of the December celebrations are based around this religion. I took rides with my friends or family to see these lights on a chivawhat literally translates goat, yet is a colorful and rustic open bus. There were drinks, loud music and we would sing our favorite songs throughout the ride around the city, while looking at the Alumbrados Christmas lights.

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Thank you,Camilo! We place gifts under the tree for family and friends which we give on December 16, when the Novena de Aguinaldos starts. Aguinaldo means Christmas gift in Spanish. This was one of my favorite traditions. Noche Buena Christmas Eve Dinner : These festivities start late in the evening with family members gathering around a table filled with all our traditional Colombian Christmas foods.

Our parties are full of joy, drinks, music and dancing. Here is a list of a few such traditions and their translations, bearing in mind that I am in no way suggesting that you perform any of them!

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Las Uvas The Grapes : Eat 12 grapes at midnight, each grape representing a month in the New Year, and make a wish every time a grape is eaten. La Maleta The Suitcase : Run around the block with an empty suitcase at midnight on December 31, and the New Year will be filled with travel.

Natilla Colombiana Colombia-Style Pudding. Hojaldras or Hojuelas. It is interesting seeing the various similarities and difference between cultures. So nice to have a comment from you this morning.

Colombian Culture

American dishes. Hello, first of all I absolutely love your site! I moved to Louisiana from Cali in when I was a little girl and seeing your recipes definitely helps to bring me back to my Colombian roots.

Thanks for sharing this post and merry Christmas to you and your family! Hi, i love your site. It brings so many beautiful memories from Colombia. This is very nice and I remember every one of those wonderful traditions. I miss my country and you bring every memory back.

My favorite part about the holidays is the traditions that I grew up with in Colombia. I love introducing my friends to these wonderful Colombian traditions. I am here in Bogota, and the Christmas lights are truly amazing! I just love this one. Can you just picture people runing around…Lovely post and wishing you wonderful things for Feliz Navidad!

Thanks for the wonderful recipes. I spent one magical Christmas in Colombia when I was a child and remember it well. So much fun!! Erica, Sigo tu blog cada dia! I am so sharing this on FB! I enjoyed reading about your traditions so much!Its 1, miles 1, km of coast to the north are bathed by the waters of the Caribbean Seaand its miles 1, km of coast to the west are washed by the Pacific Ocean. The country is bordered by Panamawhich divides the two bodies of water, on the northwest, Venezuela and Brazil on the east, and Peru and Ecuador on the south.

In the cooler mountains, at intermediate elevations, modern cities are juxtaposed with traditional rural landscapes where mestizo farmers cultivate their small plots of coffee, corn maizeand other crops. The more accessible Atlantic lowlands, dominated by large livestock haciendas and a tri-ethnic population, have a distinctively different character.

Colombia strongly reflects its history as a colony of Spain. It is often referred to as the most Roman Catholic of the South American countries, and most of its people are proud of the relative purity of their Spanish language.

Its population is heavily mestizo of mixed European and Indian descent with substantial minorities of European and African ancestry. The economy is traditionally based on agriculture, particularly coffee and fruit production, but industries and services are increasing in importance. Colombia is the most populous nation of Spanish-speaking South America. Few countries boast such striking physical variety as does Colombia. Its broken, rugged topographytogether with its location near the Equator, creates an extraordinary diversity of climates, vegetation, soils, and crops.

North of the border with Ecuador the cordillera flares out into three distinct parallel ranges.

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Two great river valleys, those of the Magdalena and the Caucaseparate them and provide avenues of penetration from the Atlantic coastal lowlands into the heart of the country. Volcanic activity in the geologic past blocked the middle course of the Cauca River to form a great lake that once filled the western inter-Andean trough for some miles km south of Cartago. The Colombian cordilleras belong to the northern portion of the great Andean mountain system, which extends along the Pacific coast of South America.

The geologic history of this northern sector is less well understood than that of the central and southern parts. It is clear, however, that the entire cordillera has been thrust up through the subduction of the crumpled eastern margin of the Nazca Plate and, to the north, the Caribbean Plate under the more rigid but lighter South American Plate, which has been forced westward by the spreading Atlantic seafloor.

colombian traditions

These tectonic forcessimilar to those found elsewhere around the Pacific Rim, continue to operate, as is evidenced by the high frequency of often destructive earthquakes. Of the three ranges, the nonvolcanic Cordillera Occidentalwhich forms the barrier between the Cauca valley and the rain-drenched Pacific coast, is the lowest and least populated.

Two passes at elevations less than 5, feet 1, metres between Cali and Buenaventura on the Pacific coast mark the lowest depressions in the range. Elsewhere the crest is much higher, reaching 12, feet 3, metres at Mount Paramillo in the department of Antioquia.Not every white-suited person is going to have a golden gun concealed within.

Not everyone is going to be on, or be selling cocaine. Remember, Colombians hate these stereotypes. And yes, for better or worse not every Columbian woman is going to look like Sofia Vergara from the iconic Modern Family series. But contrary to all this, Columbia is a beautiful country, with rich wildlife and deeply rooted cultural traditions. The priest is one of the most crucial figures, of course, and quite a few marriage approvals run through the church, being subjected to its rules and regulations.

Before the wedding, the groom will surprise his soon-to-be wife with a serenade, while under her window, or in an intimate space usually her family home. This romantic gesture is informal but signals the beginning of the wedding nevertheless. The bridal shower will also occur before the wedding, where the mother will give her daughter cute monogrammed items to take with her to her new home.

The bride and groom also get a lot of silver gifts — plates, platters, candle-stands and so on. The priest here is required to bless the couple and gives them the go-ahead so that the marriage ceremonies may begin.

Stay tuned and attentive. The bride herself will be wearing a mantilla a mantle that will shroud her from the evil gaze, and her retinue will be in their wedding finery. The men, on the other hand, are required to wear the Guayabera suit — these are entirely made of white cotton. The Colombian Red Rose just drips the quintessence of that color, and Colombia itself is known for its sheer variety of flowers both commercially and otherwise. She is to emulate the Virgin Mary on this day, so this is all in order with the custom.

Most Colombian weddings are extremely floral — just a heads up.

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Here, the priest will bless 13 holy coins symbolizing the Apostles of Jesus and the groom will exchange this with his bride. This is usually followed by a Candle ceremony if the wedding is high on tradition. The bride and the groom light their individual candles. This takes their bond to the spiritual level, where they are now joined as one for the rest of their lives.

But beyond the feasting and the drinking, the men take off their belts. Celebrate that daddy fat! In a classic twist of fate, the bride will then pick a shoe, which will allegedly bless the owner with the honor of being the next groom! While each Colombian wedding has its own theme, the general custom is to keep partying well beyond the wee hours of the night — and then reminisce about it in the morning. The next day, you will gather in the same hacienda estate and reflect on the madness that was the night.

See Also: Malay Wedding Guide.

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Monica is a moniker for our relationship expert. She's been working as a relationship counselor for over 10 years, and over time, has sharpened her personality. Unlike typical counselors, Monica is not afraid to use a harsher method to resolve certain issues that demand it. Even if she's a virtual entity now, she can still see into your soul.

Your email address will not be published. About the Author. Monica Monica is a moniker for our relationship expert. Pre-Wedding Depression: Sex. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Contact Us. Address Dibon building, Plot No. Email ID contact wedswing.Many aspects of Colombian culture are traced back to the culture of Spain of the sixteenth century and the clash with indigenous cultures of Colombia. The Spaniards brought Catholicism, African slaves, economic system and a caste system that pulled.

The Conservatives supported the involvement of the Catholic Church in the state while the Liberals would separation of these. Conservatives succeeded in public education to address the Catholic Church and for many years the church controlled education system of the country.

Colombian Christmas and New Year’s Traditions

Both parties are involved in several civil wars resulting in a slow development of the country and the isolation of the regions until the end of the 19th century. Ethno-racial groups maintained their ancestral heritage, culture, whites tried to keep himself, despite the growing number of illegitimate children of mixed African and indigenous descent. These people were labeled with a number of descriptive names, derived from the caste system, such as mulatto and Moreno. Blacks and indigenous people of Colombia mixed and also creating this new ethno-racial group in society.

This mixx also provide a fusion of cultures. The introduction of the bill of rights for women and the abolition of slavery in decreased the tension between the races, but the dominance of the whites prevailed and prevails to some extent to this day.

Carnivals for example was an opportunity for all classes and colors to come together without prejudice. But Colombians are remarkable for their acceptance of other faiths. And sexual orientation is based on the simple principle of "no harm".Common Colombian wedding traditions are the candle ceremony and the Serenata, among others.

The candle tradition involves the bride and groom lighting separate candles and then using those candles to light another candle that symbolizes the bond they now share together. Another Colombian wedding tradition is the Serenata.

It is a pre-wedding tradition in which the groom surprises the bride and serenades her with a romantic song. The Serenata is usually performed with a band in front of family and friends and is followed by a party that can last several hours. One popular wedding tradition in Colombia involves the bride putting a coin in her shoe during the wedding.

This symbolizes her desire to never be in a situation where she and her husband will ever be without the basic necessities in life.

Colombia Culture

It is also common in some parts of Colombia for the bride and groom to be covered with a mantilla, or lace veil, which demonstrates they are now a family under one roof. Many Colombian brides wear long white dresses at their weddings, and during the reception, it is tradition for all single people to put one shoe under the bride's dress.

The groom picks one shoe and the owner of that shoe is going to be the next one to be married. Home World View. Who Gives the Wedding Toasts? Why Should We Study Literature?

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