Sunday, December 30, 2012

The culture of Dominican men



I receive several searches on this blog and several emails from ladies looking for information about Dominican men, what it is like to have a relationship with them, are they really macho and jealous, how do you know if they are genuine or a sanky panky, and other such questions, so I thought I would write a little bit about them.  I must however stress that this is my experience and observations and obviously does not apply to all Dominicans.

There are several good points about living with a Dominican man. They are fun to be with, usually very optimistic, laugh a lot and are very caring. Most will have your happiness at heart, and will do anything they can to make you happy.  Whilst it is said that they tend to be macho, this does not usually reflect in an expectation that the woman of the household should do all the chores. My husband cooks, cleans and does the shopping. He will not usually do the clothes washing, ironing nor go to the colmado as those are apparently women’s work. I have no idea why those particular chores, unless it is as he was used to the women going down to the river to do the washing.  In most Dominican households the children will be given chores to do from an early age, and whilst they do tend to be different chores for boys and girls, all of the Dominican men I have met have no issue at all with helping around the house.

A key cultural issue is the importance of the family. In a country where there are very few people who have a pension, the children are expected to support their parents when they get old, both financially and physically when needed. Very few elderly people go into an old people’s home, but live with one of their children. In the UK, most wives expect to be number one in their husband’s lives. In the DR the parent will always come first.  In addition if a family member needs help, especially if they are sick, the other members rally round and help. This does not mean that you are constantly handing over cash, but the culture of sharing and helping each other is ingrained and an important part of daily life.

One of the most charming things about Dominicans is their childlike innocence and behaviour, due in the main I think to a lack of education and exposure to the wider world. Whilst this childlike behaviour has its charms, it can become frustrating. The men hate conflict, hate getting into trouble, and so will avoid telling you the truth if they think it will upset you. It is not lying per se, it is just truth avoidance! Learning to understand this and spotting when it happens is a challenge. I always look them in the eyes now, as I read in some FBI interrogation thingy that if the eyes dart to the left they are lying!

In order for the relationship to work, both have to learn to understand, appreciate and adapt to each other’s culture and learn that neither are right or wrong, just different. Those of us who live in the developed world refer often to the past – I remember when you did that or said that. Dominican men live in the present, and don’t like always having the past brought up. So don’t do it – it achieves nothing.

It takes time, perseverance and understanding to adapt to a different culture and to live together in a different way than you would with a man of your own country, culture and background. But then if you wanted to do that, you would not have had a relationship with a Dominican, would you?


If you want to know more about relationships with Dominican men and read real life stories then check out www.drsisterhood.com. It is a site for anyone who wants to know about the country and the people and if you join, as a member you get access to women who really understand the culture, free translations, free Spanish lessons, access to the members' chat room and discounts on  investigation services.


10 comments:

  1. There are always differences in the way men and women are brought up even in the same country. Although adaptation might be easier than if the relationship is with a person from a different background, country, language, etc.
    With any relationship you need to have tolerance and respect for each other.
    Funny that about the FBI lying thing, I too remember having read something similar somewhere...
    Wishes of a great New Year to you and your family.

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    1. Yes Sami you are right - but the differences in culture between a Dominican and a Brit for example are enormous but mostly fun. For example my husband cannot understand why I prefer to shower in hot water, why I don't mind walking in the rain (Dominicans die if they get wet), why I like rare steak (you die if you eat meat with blood in it), and how on earth I can eat eggs which have runny yolks (they must be raw, and Dominicans fry their eggs till then are totally hard and rubbery.And that is just to start with!

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    2. Hello! I guess it would be different depending on the area in the same country too! I'm often surprised by my cousins from el sibao, by things they say or do, and they see them as dominican things, yet for me they are totally foreign (I'm from Barahona in my heart, but I was born and grew up mostly in La Capital). Ohh and in my house we love runny egg yolks, and playing in the rain, although my grandma in Barahona always said we were gonna get gripe because of the rain hahaha

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  2. I'm still laughing at your FBI interrogation tactic! Great work Sherlock. thanks for the post, but more importantly, the way that you respect the Dominican culture. Happy New Year!

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  3. Very interesting,
    As an American living with my American husband in southern Italy, I'm grateful he likes cooking and shopping as lots of the women here do it ALL while the men stand around the piazza all day until its time to eat. They are on the whole very communicative, which would be nice...family is supreme here too and the downside of that is hard to see...if Dominicans are childlike, Italian men are eternal teenagers. P.S. my husband also hates all discussions of the past...it's over after all.

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    1. Interesting about Italian men. Food is very important to the men here too - if they don't eat at noon, and a lot then the world comes to an end. Haha re Italian men being eternal teenagers, no doubt with the moods that go with that age. Also interesting your husband hates discussions about the past - I thought it was just a Dominican man thing - maybe it is an all men thing!

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  4. Hello Lindsey, I am German, lived in USA,Spain, now Canada and would like to move to dom.Rep. I love tropical air because I was used to for 20 years in S.Florida.
    My question is, how is the smoking habit there? I guess many people smoke and that everywhere?
    Thanks in advance for your answer
    Elvira

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    1. They do not smoke and frown on it tremendously.

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  5. Not many Dominicans smoke Elvira, but several expats do. There is no limit on smoking in many bars, restaurants etc. Some taxis will not let you smoke in them, the airports are smoke free too inside, and some air conditioned restaurants. Several have smoking and non smoking areas.

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  6. Very interesting,blog to getting knowledge about the Dominican republic

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