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Bolivian Customs

Bolivian Customs

Discover the Bolivian and Andean customs. Bolivian culture encompasses a broad range of fascinating customs and traditions.

Bolivian culture is full of interesting and unusual traditions and customs. This is because Bolivian customs come from a wide range of origins, including the ancient indigenous groups, the Catholic Spaniards and traditional Andean culture.

Generally Bolivians are family oriented people and often very close-knit, with all generations living together under one roof. Marriage is an important part of society, especially in rural communities and is expected of everyone. Some communities believe in co-habitation and starting a family before the marriage ceremony, whereas others follow the more Catholic tradition of marriage being the first step.

At such events as marriages, baptisms or funerals, offering a lot of food is very important. On All Souls’ Day, or Day of the Dead, it is even Bolivian tradition to offer food to the dead, as they are believed to return to their homes on this day. Bolivian people are generally quite suspicious, so there are other ‘supernatural’ ideas that exist too. Some Andean customs, originating from the Incas are still in practice as well.

Obviously, customs vary depending on the region, social class and whether you are in a rural or urban area. Take a look at the following section in order to not be too surprised by what you may see or hear.

Image by Florencia Guedes

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