The people and their customs have origins mixing of Spaniard, African and Taino roots. The Dominican Republic was the first Spanish colony in the New World. Diseases inadvertently brought by the Spanish previously unknown to the native inhabitants wiped out the vast majority of the Taino Indians on the island; the colonizers thus began importing massive numbers of African slaves to replace the natives. After the Haitian liberation of the entire island, slavery was abolished and free blacks (and those of mixed race) could be found all over the islands. The Dominican republic's meals consist of mostly beef, chicken, pork, or fish. The most important meal for them is lunch. What Dominicans tend to eat depends highly on where they live, so pigs are farmed heavily.
However, there are differences in class and education that separate different groups. The wealthy privileged status elite are mostly of Spaniard, (others include Italian and French) and to a lesser extent, African descent, while the majority of the lower class are Mulattoes of primarily African descent. The metropolitan culture available to the upper class and vanishing (due to economic turbulence as of late) middle class is often comparable to the life of city dwellers in the rich countries of Western Europe and the United States. But this metropolitan culture doesn't reach the poorest people, who may not have the most basic amenities, necessities, running water, electricity, sanitary facilities nor consumer electronics.
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