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Society and Culture of Panama




It is very interesting to learn about the various facets of Panama culture and society, as they help people to learn about the country in a better way. There are many subdivisions of Panama society and culture, each which contribute to the rich heritage of the nation. Panama culture is a blend of the cultures of several indigenous ethnic groups. The notable races in Panama are Indians, Antillean Blacks, Guaymí and Cuna and all of them are steeped in their own cultures and folklores. The arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century has a massive impact on the Panama culture and society.

The noteworthy aspects of the society and culture of Panama are reflected in the food, music, dances, languages and religions of the country. Cuna, a famous tribe in Panama, is known for its matriarchal societies and closely-packed communities. The different provinces in Panama believe in their own unique folklores. Roman Catholicism is the religion followed by the masses in Panama. Black Christ Festival is a big day of celebration for Panamanians. Spanish in the national language of Panama, but English and various local dialects are quite popular. Panama is the place, which has popularized certain forms of music such as salsa, jazz, calypso, Vallento and Mento. Folk dances in Panama, such as Tamborito, Pasillo and Contradanza are very famous throughout the nation. The cuisine of Panama shares many characteristics with the food of Latin American countries and involves lots of corn, seafood, shellfish and fish.

Languages spoken in Panama
Spanish is the official language of Panama and is widely spoken by most of the people in the country.

Ethnic Groups in Panama
The constitution of the ethnic groups of Panama is Amerindian and mestizo: 70%, Indian: 14%, White: 10%, Amerindian: 6%.

Famous Cuisine of Panama
Food of Panama mainly comprises American and Spanish cuisine. The exquisite dishes come from the traditional recipes. As Panama is a coastal region, food of Panama includes a lot of sea food. Food in Panama consists of fresh and healthy vegetables as well as fruits also. Even a lot of herbs and varieties of spices are used in Panama Cuisine.

Types of Cuisine of Panama are:
  • Carimanola: Carimañola is basically a roll, which is made from ground and boiled yucca and stuffed with minced meat and boiled eggs and then fried. Tortillas are made with ground maize and then fried like pancakes. Empanadas are like Cornish pastries prepared from flour or other forms of corn pastries. They are generally filled with cheese, chicken or even meat.
  • Tortillas
  • Empanadas
  • Patacones: Patacones are green fried plantains that are cut cross-ways into pieces and served after frying. Tamales is a popular local delicacy of Panama. It is made from boiled and ground corn with spices, chicken or pork being stuffed inside and boiled after wrapping it in a banana leaf. Tajadas is basically a ripe plantain cut in slices length-ways and baked with cinnamon.
  • Tamales
  • Tajadas
Panama Food with all its variations is indeed exotic.

Popular recipes of Panama are:
  • Ceviche de pollo
  • Escabeche of corvina
  • Ceviche de corvina al curry
  • Ceviche de corvina
  • Ceviche de garbanzos
  • Arroz con pollo
  • Carimañolas
  • Tamales panameños
  • Tres leches
  • Flan de caramelo
  • Delicia de coco
  • Pie de limon


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