Jump to content
Roger B

Influence of other cultures in Panama

Recommended Posts

Recently some people in Panama has started doing comments that panamanians have become xenophobic.   That is not true.  Panama is a melting pot and we have embrace very well good things of the differente cultures and foreign living in our country.   I would like to share with you a video about a long time forgotten rythm in Panama.  Very popular in the 60's.  It was Calypso music.  It came from afro caribean people that came to Panama to help in building the canal and never returned back to their original countries and embrace this little piece of land called Panama as their new homes.   Most of those afro caribeans stayed in places like Colon City, Bocas del Toro and Rio Abajo area in Panama City.

I want to share with you some little aspects of our culture.  This way you could understand more what is Panama and what it is being panamanian.   I listened this music when I was a little kid.  Now thanks to You Tube and somebody who upload it I can listen it again.  I do enjoy this music.... it is part of our multicultural country.

I hope you enjoy this calypso song.  The lyrics is very funny.  It is sang in a heavy accented caribbean english.  I cant grab all the words but I do my best.

Oh God..... how much I love this little country.  With imperfections and virtues..... but I love it, unconditionally.

Give me your feedback.  What do you think?  Do you like me being sharing post about our culture?

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Roger B
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Roger, I enjoyed the Video.

I have to say, however, that while I find most Panamanians to be very accepting of people of other nationalities, probably more so than people in the U.S., there is a strain of nationalism that becomes very obvious on FB and other social media. Criticism of anything Panamanian, however well-intentioned, is quite often met with calls for you to leave the country. It also seems to me that there are some local attitudes toward Colombians, in particular, that smack of cultural bias. Your thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Roger, I really appreciate your comments regarding Panamanian culture.  The moe I know, the better I understand.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rogelio, it's a wonderful thing that you share your personal life, and insightful knowledge of your country and it's customs. Please don't stop.

We recently visited the Afro-Antillean Museum, housed in a small, former Chapel built by Barbadians and located in Calidonia.

Exhibits and relics there are focused on the history of West Indian Afro-Panamanians and their role in the building of the Panama Canal and the preceding Panama Railway.

focus41-2_Museos06.jpg

Image result for Afro-Antillean Museum

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/11/2016 at 0:47 PM, Gordon Bakke said:

Thanks Roger, I enjoyed the Video.

I have to say, however, that while I find most Panamanians to be very accepting of people of other nationalities, probably more so than people in the U.S., there is a strain of nationalism that becomes very obvious on FB and other social media. Criticism of anything Panamanian, however well-intentioned, is quite often met with calls for you to leave the country. It also seems to me that there are some local attitudes toward Colombians, in particular, that smack of cultural bias. Your thoughts?

Hello Gordon:

Panamanians criticize ourselves very hard.  It is our way to express that there are some changes we would like to see and we need to do.  We usually make jokes of ourselves and some traits of our culture.  

Regarding criticism panamanians, specially educated people, accept without any problem constructive criticism.  Said in a very good tone and way. Also generalizing is not good at all.   I know that some people become mad when critics come in a comparative way like: "mine is better than yours".  

Social Media.... well those are other things.  Remember that some people behave so mean in social media and do there what they wont be able to do in person or public.  For me good and well intentioned critics should be done with care.  It is like when you have to give some criticism comments to an employee:  attack the issue not the person. Panamanians asking foreign to leave the country.... well, it is very common, specially lately with all the problems with the venezuelans.  I guess people are tired of hearing to much complains from people who are living here, making money here, eating here but talking bad about eveything and everybody in a very constant way in a country that opened its arms to them.

Regarding colombians.  They were the first wave of immigrants in Panama.  They came here since 1985.  When the guerrilla was very hard in their country and the drug cartels from Medellin and Cali created terror in Colombia.  A lot of professionals came to live and work in Panama.  But panamanians never had bad attitudes to colombians.  We share almost 80 years of being part of that country after we got our independence from Spain.  Colombians, in general never complain, or at least do criticize in a very educated way.  In general colombians are people with good manners, hardworking and very smart.  But when the criminals and drug related people from Colombia started to come to Panama then later hitmans or sicarios came to commit murders and crimes never seen in Panama like kidnapping, killing mafia style, torture, etc and teaching our local maleantes those new ways of criminal activities.  Things changed but not in general to all colombians but only to those bad colombians and people started to complain that Panama should ask for visas to all Colombians coming to Panama.  To separate good people from bad people.  

I cant say the same about the venezuelans.  That is another story that has its genesis about 4 years ago with constant attacks to panamanians in the streets, in the business, in the public spaces, etc that burst in a general protest of panamanians against a group of inadapted venezuelan people that came here with bad attitudes that some people cant stand.

We have a large italian community, a large spaniard community and a large US community and there hasnt being any problem with all of them.   I think if we leave the water come to a rest and level this will pass quietly but if the attacks continue.... well things could go of control.

Now our main sport or activity in social media is to criticize the actual government.  Everyday there is a lot of jokes, memes, cartoons, comments and gossips about our president, the first lady and all the members of the cabinet.  

Roger.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Keith Woolford said:

Rogelio, it's a wonderful thing that you share your personal life, and insightful knowledge of your country and it's customs. Please don't stop.

We recently visited the Afro-Antillean Museum, housed in a small, former Chapel built by Barbadians and located in Calidonia.

Exhibits and relics there are focused on the history of West Indian Afro-Panamanians and their role in the building of the Panama Canal and the preceding Panama Railway.

focus41-2_Museos06.jpg

Image result for Afro-Antillean Museum

Keith

 

Good!!

It it interesting to know that you visited that forgotten place in Panama City.  I do criticize our governments... all in general.  That looks like sometimes is more important for them to do big infrastructure projects than protect our cultural heritage.  

Afro Antilleans have influenced our panamanian culture more of what some people here think.  Dance, songs, poetry, cuisine, even language...

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/12/2016 at 2:49 PM, Roger B said:

Hello Gordon:

Panamanians criticize ourselves very hard.  It is our way to express that there are some changes we would like to see and we need to do.  We usually make jokes of ourselves and some traits of our culture.  

Regarding criticism panamanians, specially educated people, accept without any problem constructive criticism.  Said in a very good tone and way. Also generalizing is not good at all.   I know that some people become mad when critics come in a comparative way like: "mine is better than yours".  

Social Media.... well those are other things.  Remember that some people behave so mean in social media and do there what they wont be able to do in person or public.  For me good and well intentioned critics should be done with care.  It is like when you have to give some criticism comments to an employee:  attack the issue not the person. Panamanians asking foreign to leave the country.... well, it is very common, specially lately with all the problems with the venezuelans.  I guess people are tired of hearing to much complains from people who are living here, making money here, eating here but talking bad about eveything and everybody in a very constant way in a country that opened its arms to them.

Regarding colombians.  They were the first wave of immigrants in Panama.  They came here since 1985.  When the guerrilla was very hard in their country and the drug cartels from Medellin and Cali created terror in Colombia.  A lot of professionals came to live and work in Panama.  But panamanians never had bad attitudes to colombians.  We share almost 80 years of being part of that country after we got our independence from Spain.  Colombians, in general never complain, or at least do criticize in a very educated way.  In general colombians are people with good manners, hardworking and very smart.  But when the criminals and drug related people from Colombia started to come to Panama then later hitmans or sicarios came to commit murders and crimes never seen in Panama like kidnapping, killing mafia style, torture, etc and teaching our local maleantes those new ways of criminal activities.  Things changed but not in general to all colombians but only to those bad colombians and people started to complain that Panama should ask for visas to all Colombians coming to Panama.  To separate good people from bad people.  

I cant say the same about the venezuelans.  That is another story that has its genesis about 4 years ago with constant attacks to panamanians in the streets, in the business, in the public spaces, etc that burst in a general protest of panamanians against a group of inadapted venezuelan people that came here with bad attitudes that some people cant stand.

We have a large italian community, a large spaniard community and a large US community and there hasnt being any problem with all of them.   I think if we leave the water come to a rest and level this will pass quietly but if the attacks continue.... well things could go of control.

Now our main sport or activity in social media is to criticize the actual government.  Everyday there is a lot of jokes, memes, cartoons, comments and gossips about our president, the first lady and all the members of the cabinet.  

Roger.

Apologies for reviving an old discussion. Searching for something else and it popped up.

Nena and I had our DNA researched by one of those ancestry tracing places. I had always wanted to see Nena's history; my ancestors were traced by my sister years ago so I knew my side was boring. 

The DNA report basically provided a street address in Ireland where apparently all my family was born!

Nena's results are probably very common for many long-time residents of Panama.  As a "melting pot", I think Panama is the place.

jim

 

jimandnenadna.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×