Venezuelan culture is a melting pot comprised mostly of three distinct families: indigenous, African, and Spanish. The first two civilizations were further subdivided based on tribes. Acculturation and assimilation, characteristic of cultural syncretism, resulted in the present Venezuelan culture, which is similar to the rest of Latin America in many ways, despite significant variations due to the natural environment.
The indigenous impact is confined to a few lexical and gastronomic terms, as well as numerous place names. African influence may also be seen in musical instruments such as the drum. The Spanish impact was strong (owing to the colonization process and the socioeconomic system it established) and came mostly from the areas of Andalusia and Extremadura, which were the origins of the majority of immigrants in the Caribbean during the colonial period. Buildings, music, the Catholic faith, and language are all examples of this.
Bullfighting and some aspects of cuisine are heavily influenced by Spanish culture. In the nineteenth century, Venezuela was further enhanced by various streams of Indian and European heritage, particularly from France. In the most recent stage, oil of American provenance and symptoms of new Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese immigration have added to the already diverse cultural mosaic in key cities and areas. For example, the impact of baseball taste, US-style fast food, and contemporary architectural projects can all be traced back to the United States.
Religious themes dominated Venezuelan art at first. Artists started stressing historical and heroic depictions of the country’s fight for freedom in the late nineteenth century, though. Martn Tovar y Tovar was the driving force behind this move. In the twentieth century, modernism took control. Arturo Michelena, Cristóbal Rojas, Armando Reverón, and Manuel Cabré are notable Venezuelan artists, as are kinetic artists Jess Soto, Gego, and Carlos Cruz-Dez, and modern artists Marisol and Yucef Merhi.
Venezuelan indigenous musical traditions are represented by the ensembles Un Sólo Pueblo and Serenata Guayanesa. The cuatro is the national musical instrument. Alma Llanera (by Pedro Elas Gutiérrez and Rafael Bolvar Coronado), Florentino y el diablo (by Alberto Arvelo Torrealba), Concierto en la llanura (by Juan Vicente Torrealba), and Caballo Viejo (by Simón Daz) are examples of typical musical styles and pieces that emerged in and around the llanos region.
The Zulian gaita is another famous style that is usually performed around Christmas. The joropo is the national dance. Venezuela has long been a cultural melting pot, as shown by the richness and diversity of its musical genres and dances, which include calipso, bambuco, fula, cantos de pilado de maz, cantos de lavanderas, sebucán, and maremare. Teresa Carreo was a world-renowned nineteenth-century piano virtuoso. Classical Music has seen several outstanding performances in recent years. The Simón Bolvar Youth Orchestra, led by Gustavo Dudamel and José Antonio Abreu, has given a number of outstanding performances in various European music venues, most notably at the 2007 London Proms, and has won many awards. The orchestra represents the apex of El Sistema, a publicly funded volunteer sector music education initiative that is now being replicated in other nations.
In the early twenty-first century, a movement known as “Movida Acstica Urbana” included artists attempting to preserve certain national traditions by writing their own songs but using old instruments. Tambor Urbano, Los Sinverguenzas, the C4Trio, and Orozco Jam are examples of groups in this tradition.
The festivals of the “black folk saints” San Juan and San Benito are most closely associated with Afro-Venezuelan musical traditions. Specific songs are associated with the various phases of the celebration and the procession, when the saints begin their annual paseo – walk – through the village to dance with their people.
Venezuelan cuisine, one of the most diverse in the area, reflecting the country’s climatic differences and coexisting ethnicities. Hallaca, pabellón criollo, arepas, pisca andina, tarkar de chivo, jalea de mango, and fried camiguanas are among them.
Venezuela is well-known for its illusive success in worldwide beauty pageantry, led by famous beauty queen creator Osmel Sousa, who has won 22 championships to date. Furthermore, Miss Venezuela is a highly anticipated event across the country, as well as in other competing countries where Venezuelan beauty pageants are often regarded as the mainstream standard of pageantry.
Venezuela has won the following titles in total:
- Seven — Miss Universe crowns.
- Six — Miss World crowns.
- Seven —Miss International crowns.
- Two —Miss Earth crowns.
Venezuela is the country with the most international pageant crowns, according to the Global Beauties website. It also has a Guinness World Record, as Dayana Mendoza, Miss Universe 2008 from Venezuela, crowned Stefania Fernandez, also from Venezuela, as Miss Universe 2009, marking the first time in the competition’s 50-year history that a nation has won the title in two consecutive years.
Carlos Ral Villanueva was Venezuela’s most significant modern architect; he built the Central University of Venezuela (a World Heritage Site) and its Aula Magna. The Capitolio, the Baralt Theatre, the Teresa Carreo Cultural Complex, and the General Rafael Urdaneta Bridge are other noteworthy architectural achievements.