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Dominicanese
15-03-17, 21:46
Belize.

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Culture:
The Belizean culture is a mix of influences and people from Kriol, Maya, Garinagu (also known as Garifuna), Mestizo (a mixture of Spanish and Native Americans), Mennonites who are of German descent, with a blend of many other cultures from Chinese to Lebanese. It is a unique blend that emerged through the country's long and occasionally violent history.
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Courtesy is important to most Belizeans. It is not uncommon for Belizeans to greet each other on the street even if they have never seen each other before, or for acquaintances to spend minutes at a time chatting, oblivious to what is happening around them. Another aspect of the culture is the idea of the mystical healing and Obeah. However, there is still talk of evil shaman practices like putting "Obeah" on certain houses. This is known to be done by burying a bottle with the 'evil' under a tree close by the house.

Cuisine:
Belizean cuisine is an amalgamation of all ethnicities in the nation of Belize and their respectively wide variety of foods. Breakfast consists of bread, flour tortillas, or fry jacks that are often homemade. Fry jacks are eaten with various cheeses, refried beans, various forms of eggs or cereal, along with milk, coffee, or tea. Midday meals vary, from lighter foods such as rice and beans, tamales, panades (fried meat pies), escabeche (onion soup), chirmole (soup), stew chicken and garnaches (fried tortillas with beans, cheese, and sauce) to various constituted dinners featuring some type of rice and beans, meat and salad or coleslaw. In the rural areas meals may be more simplified than in the cities. The Maya use recado, corn or maize for most of their meals, and the Garifuna are fond of seafood, cassava (particularly made into cassava bread or Ereba) and vegetables. Belize abounds with restaurants and fast food establishments selling fairly cheaply. Local fruits are quite common, but raw vegetables from the markets less so. Mealtime is a communion for families and schools and some businesses close at midday for lunch, reopening later in the afternoon.
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Regular deli items originally from the Mestizo culture that are now considered pan-Belizean include garnaches, fried corn tortilla smeared with beans and shredded cheese, tamales made from corn and chicken or its sister and panades which can be thought of as a fried corn patty with beans or seasoned shredded fish inside and topped by a tangy onion sauce.
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The most famous Maya dish is called Caldo. Tortillas, cooked on a comal and used to wrap other foods (meat, beans, etc.), were common and are perhaps the most well-known pre-Columbian Mesoamerican food. Tamales consist of corn dough, often containing a filling, that are wrapped in a corn husk and steam-cooked. Both atole and pozole were liquid based gruel-like dishes that were made by mixing ground maize (hominy) with water, but being the first much more dense used as a drinking source and the second one with complete big grains of maize incorporated into a chicken broth. Though these dishes could be consumed plain, other ingredients were added to diversify flavor, including, for example, honey, chiles, meat, seafood, cacao, wild onions, and salt.
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Several different varieties of beans were grown, including pinto, red, and black beans. Other cultivated crops, including fruits, contributed to the overall diet of the ancient Maya, including tomato, chile peppers, avocado, breadnut, guava, guanabana, papaya, pineapple, pumpkin, and sweet potato. Various herbs were grown and used, including vanilla, epazote, achiote (and the annatto seed), white cinnamon, hoja santa, avocado leaf, and garlic vine.
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Kriols in general eat a relatively balanced diet. The bile up (or boil up) is considered the cultural dish of the Belizean Kriols. It is combination boiled eggs, fish or pig tail, with a number of ground foods such as Cassava, Green Plantains, Yams, Sweet Potatoes, cocoa, and Tomato Sauce. In Belize, cassava is traditionally made into "bammy," a small fried cassava cake inherited from the Garifuna.
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There is a wide variety of Garifuna dishes, including the more commonly known ereba (cassava bread) made from grated cassava or manioc. This is done in an ancient and time-consuming process involving a long, snake-like woven basket (ruguma) which strains the cassava of its juice. It is then dried overnight and later sieved through flat rounded baskets (hibise) to form flour that is baked into pancakes on a large iron griddle. Ereba is fondly eaten with fish, hudutu (pounded plantains) or alone with gravy (lasusu). Others include: Bundiga (a plantain lasusu), Mazapan, and Bimacacule (sticky sweet rice).
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There is a difference in the flavors of meats, such as turkey and chicken, from other countries because of differences in the diet of the animals being fed on local foodstuffs as opposed to imported grains. Belizean chickens in particular some allege compared to other chickens have an unusually rich flavor. Belizeans eat much more chicken and fish, than beef or pork.

Music:
Punta is a popular genre of Garifuna music and has become one of the most popular music in Belize. It is distinctly Afro-Caribbean, and is sometimes said to be ready for international popularization like similarly-descended styles (reggae, calypso, merengue).
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Brukdown is a modern style of Belizean music related to calypso. It evolved out of the music and dance of loggers, especially a form called buru. Reggae, dancehall, and soca imported from Jamaica and the rest of the West Indies, rap, hip-hop, heavy metal and rock music from the United States, are also popular among the youth of Belize.

Ethnic Racial Composition:
* 48.7% Mestizo
* 31.0% Black & Mulatto
* 10.6% Amerindian (Mayan)
* 9.7% White, East Indian, Chinese, Tri-Racials, and Others

People:
Belizeans are people originating in Belize whether they live there or in the Belizean diaspora. Belize is a multiethnic country with residents of African, Amerindian, European and Asian descent or any combination of those groups.
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Colonisation, slavery, and immigration have played major roles in affecting the ethnic composition of the population and as a result, Belize is a country with numerous cultures, languages, and ethnic groups.

Languages:
English is the official language of Belize. They however, speak a local dialect in informal situations and it is simply referred to as Belizean English or Kriol. Belizean English is much like any other Western Caribbean English it has it's roots in the English spoken in Southern Ireland and British English with some influences from West African languages, with the case of Belizean English having a little more Amerindian and Spanish influences to varying degrees. More than half of the Belizean population speak Belizean English/Kriol. About 30% or more of the Belizean population speaks Spanish. Belizean Spanish is part of Central American Spanish and therefor has many similarities with many Central American Spanish dialects. However, Belizean Spanish seems to have many similarities with Caribbean Spanish. Belizean Spanish has it's roots in Andaluzian, Castillian, Canarian, and Extremaduran Spanish with some influences from Amerindian languages. They also have some influences from Caribbean English. They also speak an intermediate between Belizean Spanish & English is spoken and it is known as Kitchen Spanish. Approximately around 16,000 people speak Garifuna. There is also a number of Native Central American languages still spoken by the Natives.

Religion:
Religious freedom is guaranteed in Belize. According to the 2010 census, 40.1% of Belizeans are Roman Catholics, 31.8% are Protestants (8.4% Pentecostal; 5.4% Adventist; 4.7% Anglican; 3.7% Mennonite; 3.6% Baptist; 2.9% Methodist; 2.8% Nazarene), 1.7% are Jehovah's Witnesses, 10.3% adhere to other religions (Maya religion, Garifuna religion, Obeah and Myalism, and minorities of Mormons, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Bahá'ís, Rastafarians and other) and 15.5% profess to be irreligious.

Once a Catholic-majority country (Catholics formed 57% of the population in 1991, and 49% in 2000), the percentage of Roman Catholics in the population has been decreasing in the past few decades due to the growth of Protestant churches, other religions and non-religious people. The Greek Orthodox Church has a presence in Santa Elena.

Sports:
The major sports in Belize are football, basketball, volleyball and cycling, with smaller followings of boat racing, athletics, softball, cricket, rugby and netball. Fishing is also popular in coastal areas of Belize.

The Cross Country Cycling Classic, also known as the "cross country" race or the Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic, is considered one of the most important Belize sports events. This one-day sports event is meant for amateur cyclists but has also gained worldwide popularity. The history of Cross Country Cycling Classic in Belize dates back to the period when Monrad Metzgen picked up the idea from a small village on the Northern Highway (now Phillip Goldson Highway). The people from this village used to cover long distances on their bicycles to attend the weekly game of cricket. He improvised on this observation by creating a sporting event on the difficult terrain of the Western Highway, which was then poorly built.

Belizean videos
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MrYk3kCUGk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjsUvDGE4TM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORAlWvVNvFY
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4h1d0Pt_KCg

Cindy90
17-03-17, 10:07
Nice. Very informative. And some great pictures.