South America - Culture

Culture

South Americans are culturally influenced by its indigenous peoples, the historic connection with Iberian Peninsula and Africa, and the impact of mass culture from the United States of America, alongside waves of immigrants from around the globe.

South American nations have a rich variety of music. Some of the most famous genres include vallenato and cumbia from Colombia, samba and bossa nova from Brazil, and tango from Argentina and Uruguay. Also well known is the non-commercial folk genre Nueva Canción movement which was founded in Argentina and Chile and quickly spread to the rest of the Latin America. People on the Peruvian coast created the fine guitar and cajon duos or trios in the most mestizo (mixed) of South American rhythms such as the Marinera (from Lima), the Tondero (from Piura), the 19th century popular Creole Valse or Peruvian Valse, the soulful Arequipan Yaravi, and the early 20th century Paraguayan Guarania. In the late 20th century, Spanish rock emerged by young hipsters influenced by British pop and American rock. Brazil has a Portuguese-language pop rock industry as well a great variety of other music genres.

The literature of South America has attracted considerable critical and popular acclaim, especially with the Latin American Boom of the 1960s and 1970s, and the rise of authors such as Mario Vargas Llosa, Gabriel García Márquez in novels, and Pablo Neruda and Jorge Luis Borges in other genres. The Brazilian Machado de Assis, a 19th century realist writer, is widely regarded as the greatest Brazilian writer. His admirers include José Saramago, Carlos Fuentes, Susan Sontag and Harold Bloom.

Nowadays Paulo Coelho is one of the most read and translated authors. His bestseller The Alchemist has been translated into 73 languages and is one of the most read books in the world.

Because of South America's broad ethnic mix, South American cuisine has African, American Indian, Asian, and European influences. Bahia, Brazil, is especially well known for its West African–influenced cuisine. Argentines, Chileans, Uruguayans, Brazilians and Venezuelans regularly consume wine. Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and people in southern Chile and Brazil drink mate, a herb which is brewed. The Paraguayan version, terere, differs from other forms of mate in that it is served cold. Pisco is a liquor distilled from grapes in Peru and Chile. Peruvian cuisine mixes elements from Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, African, Andean, and Amazonic food.

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Famous quotes containing the word culture:

    Here in the U.S., culture is not that delicious panacea which we Europeans consume in a sacramental mental space and which has its own special columns in the newspapers—and in people’s minds. Culture is space, speed, cinema, technology. This culture is authentic, if anything can be said to be authentic.
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    Anthropologists have found that around the world whatever is considered “men’s work” is almost universally given higher status than “women’s work.” If in one culture it is men who build houses and women who make baskets, then that culture will see house-building as more important. In another culture, perhaps right next door, the reverse may be true, and basket- weaving will have higher social status than house-building.
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    ... there are some who, believing that all is for the best in the best of possible worlds, and that to-morrow is necessarily better than to-day, may think that if culture is a good thing we shall infallibly be found to have more of it that we had a generation since; and that if we can be shown not to have more of it, it can be shown not to be worth seeking.
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