There are many different countries and many different traditions found in South America. By learning more about South American culture and traditions, you will have a better appreciation of these wonderful people. Did you know that South America is part of Latin America? Latin America is a large cultural region that includes Central America, Mexico, and the West Indies.
There are many types of foods and cuisines found throughout South America. Various countries' populations eat different foods based on their cultures, traditions, and other countries' influences on their country. Except for Bolivia and Paraguay, all the other countries in South America border on an ocean, making seafood such as crab, lobster, tuna and tropical fish a very important part of their diet. Many crops are grown including potatoes and quinoa.
Guyana - The people of Guyana enjoy eating foods that are influenced by many different ethnicity. They eat foods with East Indian flavors, Chinese and Creole, while drinking juices and fruit punch are popular beverages. They enjoy spicy pepperpot stew, sometimes made with iguana or watrash, cook-up rice, curries, cow-heel soup and various seafood dishes.
Over 8.5 million people speak the native language Quechua throughout Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Colombia. Quechua is the most spoken language through South America. Brazil also has the least spoken indigenous language, Ticuna, only having approximately 25,000 people who actually speak this language. In South America, most of the population speaks more than one language; these people are called bilingual because they speak both their native and their national language. National or "official" languages include mainly Spanish and Portuguese.
The clothing styles of South American people vary greatly depending on their wealth, the region that they live in, and the amount of influence other countries have on their region.
South Americans often wear colorful hand-woven knitwear including jackets, wool hats, and jumpers.
These wonderful countries each have a unique identity which comes out in the crafts and clothing produced by the proud people of South America.
Dancing is a very popular activity for all ages of South American people. The South American people enjoy dancing the Puerto Rican and Cuban styles of salsa, along with cumbia, merengue, bolero, gaffiera, samba, cha cha cha, lambada and tango from the River Plate (also known as the "Argentine Tango") in original, authentic styles as they were first taught. Many dances like the Samba have a long history. The Samba started in the 1830's as a dance called the Zemba Queca, which was later called the Mesemba in the 1880's. Though no one is really clear as to where the name "Samba" comes from, many suggest that is comes from the name "Zambo" which the dance had also been called.
The South American people practice various religions. The majority of the population follows the teachings of either Catholic, Protestant, Pentecostal, Evangelical, indigenous, or Afro-Latin American religions. In countries such as Argentina, Brazil and Chile, over 70% of their populations practice the Catholic religion.