Customs and traditions
Venezuelans are often proud of their history and
nation. The nation's hero, General Simón Bolívar, stands
statue in almost every city and is a unifying symbol.
Since oil was found in the 1920s, a gigantic population
migration to the cities has taken place, and most urban
dwellers could long benefit from the nation's wealth and
the consequent modernization.
Visitors and guests are usually greeted by kindness
and hospitality, which means that the residents do
their best to make a new acquaintance. It is an
advantage if the visitor shows interest in the country's
history and has some knowledge of Bolívar. On the other
hand, the crisis situation that the country is in now
makes politics a sensitive issue.
Overview of the capital city of Venezuela, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
It is no coincidence that women from Venezuela have
been the most successful in international beauty
pageants. The residents are unusually fixed in terms
of beauty ideal, clothing taste and how they appear -
and this is something they are proud of. In recent
years, national beauty pageants for men have also been
Greetings, punctuality and visits
On formal occasions you are greeted with a powerful
handshake, and then direct eye contact and a smile are
important elements. The first words spoken are buenos
días, buenas tardes or buenas noches, depending on the
time of day, and then you introduce yourself. If several
persons are present, you should first visit the elders
Before anyone proposes to "remove the titles", people
should be addressed with the title and surname. When you
are separated, you say goodbye to everyone in the
In less formal contexts, two cheek kisses are usually
exchanged, even at a first meeting. However, between two
men this does not happen, they shake hands.
As in other Latin countries, the speakers are close
to each other and often touch the opposite party with
their hand to emphasize something. However, it is
considered insulting and vulgar to point with your
A visiting European should take note of the typical
Latin American concept of time. Punctuality is not a
virtue and mañana does not have to mean "tomorrow" but
can just as well stand for sometime in the future.
Arriving 15-30 minutes late for an agreed visit, even
at home with private individuals. Anyone who arrives on
time, or even earlier, is considered exceedingly eager
and, in the case of a meal, even greedy. The attitude
towards time is also such that it is often considered
more important to end an ongoing discussion than to
arrive on time to someone who is waiting somewhere.
Gifts, clothing and dinners
Anyone invited to dinner usually sends flowers in
advance, usually orchids. If you have a present with you
for dinner or other occasions, it is most correct to
first take it out of the package. It also belongs to
"good education" to send a written thank you card after
dinner or the like.
Do not give handkerchiefs as gifts as they are
considered to cause an accident. Never refuse a cup of
coffee at an event, which means you reject the host's
Those who have been invited home to Venezuelans may
have casual clothing, but preferably with some style or
Avoid acting as if you strongly identify with the US
or North American values and preferably say nothing
negative about Venezuela's economy or politics unless
asked, especially nothing negative about the national
Wait until the host assigns a seat at the table and
do not start eating until everyone else has sat down and
the host or hostess says buen provecho (tasty meal). For
example, you do not hide any hand under the table during
the meal, but do not place elbows on the table. Fruit is
also eaten with a knife and fork. Do not taste the drink
until the host has poured a first bowl. During breaks in
eating, only the outermost parts of the cutlery should
rest against the plate edge, and the person who has
finished eating places both cutlery obliquely over the
plate with the handles to the right. Anyone who wants to
be polite has left some food on the plate.
Meeting culture and the business world
Anyone who is offered a meeting confirms in good
time, via email or fax and preferably in Spanish, that
he can attend. Avoid trying to arrange meetings for
Friday afternoon or during the carnival and Easter
People at companies and organizations with
international contacts usually hold agreed meeting
times. The first meeting is formal and consists of
discussions and exchanges of thought - but no decisions.
Business cards, preferably with a page text in Spanish,
were initially distributed to all. It is considered
unfair to supplement someone's card with notes on the
card itself. Send a greeting after the meeting with a
thank you to the meeting's chairman or chief executive.
The business world is hierarchical, and decisions are
made by the person with the highest authority.
Holidays and Holidays
In addition to the major Christian holidays as well
as New Year and the first of May, the Virgin Mary or
various saints are celebrated with parties and parades,
often locally in a single city. An example is John the
Baptist's party (San Juan Bautista) as the participants
dance to the rhythms of the drums in both Caracas and
other parts of the country. When the new year begins,
many people burn dolls of a natural size in the hope
that the problems of the past year will disappear and
that the new year will be better.
This year's most appreciated holiday is the carnival
which is held for three days before Easter week Ash
Wednesday. Everyone who has the opportunity travels to
the coastal cities or to the famous carnival in
Several of the foremost non-religious celebrations
are celebrated on the occasion of the liberation from
the colonial empire. On April 19, Venezuelans celebrate
the start of the freedom struggle in 1810 and on July 5,
called Independence Day, is commemorated by the fact
that the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1811.
On June 24, an important battle was celebrated in 1821.
On July 24, the hero of the freedom hero Simón Bolívar
On October 12, Colombia's arrival across America is
being noticed in various ways. In Venezuela, since 2002,
the indigenous peoples' celebrations have been
celebrated on the Día de la resistencia indígena.
Previously, the day was called Día de la raza. 2013
introduced a new holiday: Hugo Chávez Day on December 8.
Chávez is allowed to govern by decree
The outgoing National Assembly gives Chávez the right to govern by decree for
18 months, to more easily help victims of the fall floods which claimed 40 lives
and made 140,000 people homeless (see also January 2007).
Government victory in parliamentary elections
In the election to the National Assembly, the ruling party receives PSUV and
allies 46 percent of the vote, giving 98 seats, while the newly formed
opposition alliance Collection for Democratic Unity (MUD) receives 48 percent of
the vote and 65 seats.
Diplomatic relations with Colombia are broken
President Hugo Chávez announces that relations with Colombia have been broken
since the neighboring country claimed that the left-wing guerrilla Farc has
bases in Venezuela.
Violent protests against Chávez
The student movement is leading demonstrations against President Hugo Chávez,
which was partially triggered by the closure of the RCTV Internacional TV
channel. The protesters protest against lack of freedom of speech, widespread
violence and the economic effects of a devaluation.