Customs and traditions
Nicaragua is popularly called Nica and its
residents nicas. The Nicaraguans take pride in their
country and their traditions. The national anthem
celebrates peace and independence. The landscape is
dominated by volcanoes, lakes and green hills. The
volcanoes are often depicted on the country's crafts and
in the middle of the flag is a volcano.
The western part of the country is similar to other
Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America. The eastern
part of the country has been under British influence and
has a more Afro-Caribbean feel, similar to the British
colonies in the region. Traditionally, the residents
here have distanced themselves from the rest of the
country and the "Spaniards" whom they call the
Spanish-speaking compatriots. This chapter is mainly
about the customs, customs and customs of the majority
people, the masters.
Overview of the capital city of Nicaragua, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
When Nicaraguans meet for the first time, they smile
and shake hands or kiss their cheeks. Men who know each
other well greet with a hearty handshake. They like to
put their arms around their shoulders and thump one
another in the back. Women who know each other usually
greet with a cheek kiss and a slight hug.
Nicaraguans are often closer to the one you speak to
than Scandinavians. Physical contact is common during
calls. Individuals are valued higher than time schedules
and this means that meetings are often delayed.
Especially in social contexts, time is considered rather
unimportant. You come when it suits you.
"If God wills"
Talking about everything from weather to politics is
one of the favorite jobs. Generally, Nicaraguan people
express themselves more indirectly than Swedes. For
example, you prefer not to decline an invitation, even
if you can't come. Nicaraguan people like to make
unforced conversations that make everyone feel
comfortable. Personal criticism should be avoided. Be
careful not to let your thumb stick out between your
forefinger and middle finger if you tie your fist! It is
perceived as a vulgar gesture.
Many Nicaraguans are believing Catholics, although
they do not attend church very often. Concepts such as
"if God wills" often occur when talking about things
that lie ahead in time. Usually, the speech vos
instead of tú - you, when Nicaraguans talk with
those they know. To show reverence you say usted
- you, and it is also often used within the family.
"Shrimp that sleeps with the stream" is a popular
saying, which means that those who do not take
responsibility for their lives end up in the backwater.
Like other countries in Central America, the family
is at the center of social, economic and political life.
Social status, finances, and political affiliation
usually follow family lines. Families are often large,
it is common for six to eight family members to live
together. Especially in the countryside, many children
are seen as a blessing. They are also welcome labor and
pension insurance for parents. In many households, a
grandparent lives, an aunt or aunt and some nephew or
godchild. Most of the free time is devoted to
socializing with the family. Family members who live far
apart often meet during Christmas and Easter. The family
has great influence over the individual's life and
Most children have godparents who help arrange
baptism and act as extra parents during their
upbringing. The relationships between godparents and
children, compadrazgo, are often as strong as blood
ties. Poor families often choose godparents who have
higher financial, political or social status and who are
expected to be able to help the child in the future.
Most institutions, from government to political
parties, are weak and often linked to family loyalty and
personal ties rather than overall goals and values. Both
men and women value blood ties higher than marriages.
Domestic violence is a major problem in Nicaragua, as
are sexual abuse of girls and women.
Baseball is people's sport in Nicaragua. In most
municipalities, even far out in the countryside, there
is a baseball plan. The largest stadium is located in
Managua and can accommodate 40,000 people. Among girls
and women, basketball and volleyball are the most common
sports. Boxing has become increasingly popular, not
least thanks to the successful boxer Alexis Argüello
(1952–2009), who last May was a mayor of the capital
Managua. Other popular sports are football, swimming and
weightlifting. Chess and board are also common pastimes.
Nicaragua has two coasts. The beaches are mostly
visited by tourists. The Nicaraguan people who have the
opportunity go mainly to the beach on weekends and
during Easter week (semana santa), when it is
the warmest. Around Easter, many Nicaraguans have
holidays and besides the religious celebration it
belongs to the tradition of bathing then, in the sea or
In Nicaragua it is almost always warm. Men usually
dress in cotton clothes, women in thin tops and skirts,
trousers or tajts. Jeans are a common garment in
informal contexts, and sometimes even in working life.
At business meetings, men dress in suits or in white
shirts, guayabera. Great emphasis is placed on the
shoes, which should be neat and well-plastered. Women
often wear high-heeled shoes even in everyday life.
In Nicaragua, meals are an important part of social
life. Today's most important meal is eaten in the middle
of the day. The food tradition is a mixture of Native
American and Western traditions. Many flavors and
ingredients are the same as in the rest of Central
America and Mexico. Corn and beans are the most
important ingredients. For all meals, tortilla is
served, a thin bread that is usually baked on white corn
flour. Many Nicaraguans rarely afford meat, and the
protein needs are covered by beans.
The national dish is gallo pinto ("painted
rooster") - fried rice mixed with red beans. Gallo pinto
can be eaten at any time of day, even for breakfast. It
is often served with the fresh cheese cuajada
and deep-fried food court and sometimes even with meat
and cabbage salad. In street kitchens (fritangas)
all this is served in banana leaves.
Indio viejo is corn bread with meat, onions,
garlic, bell peppers and tomato, cooked in orange juice
and broth. Vigorón is another popular dish
consisting of boiled yuccarot (cassava), fried pork and
white cabbage salad served in banana leaves. Soups with
vegetables and in mixed meat, for example, soup de
mondongo (komage soup) are also common.
Rosquillas are cornbread baked with cheese and
butter. On festive occasions, you prefer to eat grilled
beef, preferably with quesitos, cream
cheese and deep-fried food. Caballo bayo
consists of various light dishes and is served at
festive occasions or in restaurants.
Nacatamal is traditionally eaten as a Sunday
breakfast, and consists of a meat and vegetable-filled
corn flour dough cooked in banana leaves.
Pinol is a non-alcoholic beverage made from
cornmeal and water, the drink tiste
is made from cornmeal and cocoa and can be served cold
or hot. But the most common non-alcoholic beverage is
coffee. You can also drink fruit juices, often with
sugar in them. Beer and rum are the most common
alcoholic beverages, which are also produced in the
On the Pacific coast there is a lot of seafood, and
fish also come from Lake Nicaragua. The Caribbean coast
has a different food tradition. There you eat a lot of
rindón - turtle meat, fish or pork cooked with
special spices. Gaubal is a typical drink in
eastern Nicaragua. It is made on green banana, milk,
coconut water and sugar.
New Year, Independence Day in July and National Day
in September are secular celebrations. Most other
festivals have a Catholic connection. The parties are
many and loud.
In February, El Güegüense is celebrated, a
satirical music and dance drama that shows the
resistance to colonial rule. El Güegüense was a powerful
Indian and the word means elder in the Nahuatl Aztec
language. El Güegüense is included in the UN body's
UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage.
During Easter week, Jesus' death and resurrection are
celebrated greatly. On December 8, La Purísima
is celebrated as a celebration of Virgin Mary's divine
conception. An altar is set up in the home and you go
around to neighbors and friends and sing and worship the
Virgin Mary. The host offers traditional sweets, fruits
and in among small gifts. La Gritería
(screaming) is directly linked to La Purísima. At 18
December, it is shouted from the churches of the
country: Who gives this joy? The crowd outside then
answers: Mary's conception. Then the firefighters knock.
At midnight, at 6 in the morning and 12 the day after,
the melting continues.
Christmas Eve is celebrated with a large dinner,
which often consists of ham or stuffed chicken, rice,
nacatamales, tortillas and ponche, which is a
rum drink. The Christmas presents are hidden in the
house and the children, who believe that it is the child
of Jesus who has left them, may begin to look for the
Every village celebrates its village saint once a
year. Then it will be a big party for several days.
Often it starts with a procession where a saint statue
is carried around the village, followed by food, drink,
music and dance. Most Latin American dances are popular,
such as salsa, merengue and reggaeton. Firecrackers are
a common feature of the parties. In the capital Managua,
Saint Santo Domingo is celebrated in August.
Folk dance is an important element of many parties.
Palo volador or "flying pile" is common. The
"dancers" are tied in a high pole with the help of rope.
The pile spins faster and faster and the "dancers" fly
around to suggestive drum music. Marimba, a kind of
xylophone, is also part of Nicaragua's music tradition.
In the popular religion, the saints are at the center
and they often ask for the saint's help in sickness or
other problems. In many homes there are saint images
that are surrounded by flowers, candles and other
decorations. You can give the saints small gifts in the
hope of a good harvest, or to find a partner.
When someone dies, it is traditionally the spouse or
spouse who arranges the body of the dead before the
funeral. The body is first in the home, and family and
friends can see the dead one last time.