Latin American Culture

Getting Close To The Rich And Fascinating Latin American Culture

The concept, Latin American culture is applicable to all the Portuguese speaking and the Spanish speaking countries in the American continents. At the southern part of this culture, you will find a major part of South America, which will be including the ancient civilizations of Moche, Inca, Tiwanaku and Nasca. The northern part of the aforementioned culture includes the ancient Aztec, Olmec, Toltec and Maya civilizations of the Central American continent.

The influences in the Latin American culture

The Latin American culture can be defined as the formal or informal expression of the Latin Americans; this will be including the popular culture (music, folk art and dance) of the people here as well as the high culture (literature, high art). Religion and other customary practices of the Latin Americans are also an integral part of their culture.

Well, music, art and literature are a vital part of any country’s culture, but you cannot rule out religion when speaking about a culture. By religion, it will not imply an issue of God or Christianity, but an intricate synchronization of the faiths of the different cultures and races.

If you study the Latin American culture, you will find that the civilization has been influenced by many factors. History speaks about the culmination of the European tradition and the native Indian influences, of the Aztecs, Mayans and Incas, from Central and South America and the Arawak and Tainos of the Antilles with their polytheistic views. You also cannot rule out the African influences of the Yoruba and Congo Tribes, which were introduced to Latin America from Africa centuries ago.

Latin American culture – the turning into Christians

Being under the control of the European conquistadors, both the African and Indian slaves were compelled to embrace a new religion, which was Christianity. The Spaniards tried to convert the heathens into Christians, and this was the most effective on the Indians than on the African slaves. Unlike the Indians, the Africans tried their best to preserve their religious culture by merging it with Christianity.

The Latin American culture has a past where the Spaniards went on to wipe out the Aztecs way of life through the destruction of the temples, palaces, pyramids and the spirit of the Aztecs. Human practices were not tolerated, so the Indians were forced to continue their religious practices in secrecy, while the others proceeded to adopt the new teachings of the friars. Though the Indians and Africans were kind of forced into Christianity, they continued to practice their religion in a hush-hush manner.