Cultural Heritage Brief History Research Paper

Pages: 8 (2409 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Literature - Latin-American

It is important to point out that "Dominicanese" (the local way of speaking Spanish, interspersed with Dominican elements) is the everyday life experience of the peasant's soul and wisdom, expressed with a rustic accent and with inland flavor (Kwintessential 2008).

I. Religion and Attitudes towards It

Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion in the Dominican Republic with over 90% of the population belonging thereto. From early on, Dominicans are taught the lessons in Christianity by parents and grandparents and continued in school. Although Catholicism figures in the Dominican society, secularization has taken toll due to the influences of other cultures and beliefs. Thus, "the dominance of the Catholic Church was diminishing at the end of the twentieth century, due to a decrease in funding, a shortage of priests, and a lack of social programs for the people (Van Eps Garlo 2006)." Indeed, attitudes and behaviors of modern day Dominicans regarding religion have changed whereby they are still believers in the Catholic faith but do not adhere to the more conventional dictates thereof such as marrying first before having children or not using contraception. Accordingly, "people respect the advice of their local priest, or their bishop, with regard to religious matters but they often reject the advice of clergy on other matters on the assumption that priests had little understanding of secular affairs (Kwintessential 2008).

J. Marriage and CourtshipGet full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Research Paper on Cultural Heritage Brief History of Assignment

Although the conventional marital union -- getting married in church or civilly, still exists in the Dominican Republic, common-law arrangements are becoming popular especially those belonging to the lower social classes. There are even situations whereby Dominican men have two families and the man is married to two women. This may constitute bigamy but often is tolerated because of the macho culture in society. Courtship takes on various forms depending on the social status of those dating. Those in the middle and upper classes may have a courtship lasting for several months to a year or two, then proceeding to marriage. Others may opt for a shorter one or even elope before tying the knot. But still, "church and civil marriages are most prevalent among the upper classes and the ceremonies can be costly, whereas consensual unions predominate among the poor (Van Eps Garlo 2006).

K. Drugs and/or Alcohol Use

Unfortunately, the Dominican Republic figures a great deal in the international drug trade. The country has become a "transshipment point for South American drugs destined for the U.S. And Europe. It has also become a transshipment point for ecstasy from the Netherlands and Belgium destined for U.S. And Canada; substantial money laundering activity in particular by Colombian narcotics traffickers; significant amphetamine consumption. (CIA 2011)" The country has its problems with drug and alcohol abuse and there have been several programs and initiatives to curtail these problems. Often, the country has been cited of having a greater alcohol abuse rate compared to the United States.

L. Health Practices including Folk Medicine and Attitudes

The government of the Dominican Republic provides free medical care in various public health and medical institutions. The more affluent Dominicans tend to go to private hospitals and doctors since they can get better treatment and services from these. Many people still consult native healers, including witch doctors, voodoo practitioners, and herbalists (Van Eps Garlo 2006). These traditional medical practices are known as vodun, ensalmadorismo, and herbalismo. In spite of the disparate standards for public and private health care, Dominicans still have a long life expectancy; "sixty-eight for men and seventy-two for women (Van Eps Garlo 2006).

M. Education and Employment

Public education is provided through the high-school level at no cost except for the school uniform and books. Attendance is mandatory to sixth grade, although many children, particularly girls, drop out before then. (Van Eps Garlo 2006) Those who can afford send their children to private schools that provide bilingual education in Spanish and English. The adult literacy rate of 83% is quite high; nearly double that of neighboring Haiti (Van Eps Garlo 2006). Some Dominicans have even gone abroad to study in the United States, Canada, and Europe and went back to apply their knowledge in the country. Unemployment and underemployment remain major challenges for the Dominican Republic. As per 2010 estimates, the unemployment rate stands at 14.2% (CIA 2011) and the lack of opportunity and employment infrastructures are some of the reasons.

Politics and Attitudes towards Participation

The Dominican Republic is divided into twenty-nine provinces under governors that were by the president. The president and vice president and a bicameral Congress of thirty senators and 120 deputies are elected by popular vote every four years. The voting age is eighteen. A nine-member Supreme Court is formally appointed every four years by the Senate, but is greatly influenced by the president. (Van Eps Garlo 2006) As a result of the sordid political past of the Dominican Republic, most Dominicans have a "wait-and-see" attitude in politics whereby for every newly elected official is treated with caution. However, the changes in the Constitution allowed for a second term for the president thus the incumbent is enjoying his second one. A lot is expected but the country is still mired in problems especially in unemployment and poverty.



Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The World Factbook: Dominican Republic. Apr. 2011. 03 May. 2011. .

Kwintessential. Dominican Republic -- Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette. 2008.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Cultural Heritage Brief History" Research Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Cultural Heritage Brief History.  (2011, May 5).  Retrieved February 25, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Cultural Heritage Brief History."  5 May 2011.  Web.  25 February 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Cultural Heritage Brief History."  May 5, 2011.  Accessed February 25, 2021.