Ecuador Culture and Traditions
Customs and traditions
According to Abbreviationfinder, in Ecuador, traditions, customs and customs can differ significantly between different regions and different peoples. Below is a description that can be said to apply to a majority of the population. The central concept of etiquette in all social groups is respeto (respect). Being treated with respect gives a person dignidad (dignity). Most relationships are governed by whether respect – or desprecio (disrespect) – shows the individuals in between. To demand respect is to show that one is ecuatoriano (Ecuadorian), a nationalist term used across all social boundaries.
The most common way to both say goodbye is to take each other’s hand. After a dinner or a party, it is customary to say goodbye to everyone and walk around and take care. Women who know each other well can be kissed, while male friends usually give each other a hug. Whistling, pointing or screaming to catch someone’s attention can be perceived as unfair.
- Countryaah: Overview of the capital city of Ecuador, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
It happens that guests receive a small gift when they go home.
A bus driver who draws a circle in the air with his index finger tells the person who is passing by a bus stop that the bus is full. To show the way, Ecuadorians sometimes raise their chin to say “walk the street up” and lower the chin to tell you to “walk the street down”.
Ecuadorians usually eat their main meal in the middle of the day, usually between 2 pm and 4 pm. While people on the coast mainly eat fish, rice and beans, the meals among the mountain people consist more of meat, potatoes and corn. Different varieties of bread and soup are common. Ecuadorian dishes include seco de chivo (stew on goat), patacones (green bananas fried in oil, mashed and fried again) and ceviche (fish or seafood marinated in lime juice and seasoned with onions, tomatoes, coriander and chilli). Ecuadorian coffee drinks thick and strong. Api is a hot drink made from ground corn. There are many different kinds of fruits, such as a plethora of banana varieties and the South American Najan Jill whose juice is often drunk for breakfast.
In the cities, Western clothing has almost completely broken through. Young people often wear jeans. Costume is common among adult men at more formal events and in business. Westerners are not expected to wear anything other than Western clothing.
In the countryside, more traditional clothing, which varies from region to region and between different ethnic groups, is common. Men in the Otavalu area often dress in a blue poncho and white pants that reach the calves. A kind of felt hat is also common. The Otavalu women dress in white blouse with blue skirt and shawl. They often wear necklaces in several layers and red coral bracelets. Indigenous people in western Chimborazo wear red poncho. Sandals are generally common, as are various types of hats. Some urinals – both men and women – have long hair in the ponytail (men usually cut this off when / if they are doing military service).
Among miseries, it is common for women to wear a hand-woven skirt, a straw hat and long shawls (serapes). The men have loose sitting shirt and trousers.
Holidays and national symbols
As Ecuador is largely a Catholic country, holidays and traditions follow the Christian church year with Christmas and Easter as the most important holidays. Christmas, New Year, thirteenth weekend and Easter are celebrated with large family gatherings. Many saints have had their own days, sometimes marked by pilgrimage.
Indigenous people often mix the Catholic customs with traditional customs and customs that can vary considerably between the different ethnic groups. Sometimes, for example, Catholic saints merge with native gods. Elements of shamanism are common among Catholics in the Amazon. There are also a small number of Ecuadorians who still fully profess to animist religions (Andrew Faith).
There are special Ecuadorian elements in the celebration of the feasts even among more pure Catholics. During Easter week, for example, it is tradition to cook a special fish soup, fanesca, with twelve different ingredients that symbolize the twelve apostles. On All Saints Day, a drink made from flour and fruits is drank.
According to Countryaah, there are also many festivals and parades that are not celebrated for religious reasons. Among the ceremonies that follow the life cycle are the baptism, the Quinceañeran (girls’ 15th birthday, see Social Conditions), wedding and funeral. Many secular celebrations are local or regional. In December, a festival will be held in Quito, including bullfighting and sporting events on the program. Guayaquil celebrates its Independence Day from Spain on October 9. The same does the city of Cuenca on November 3. In Otavalo, the Yamor Festival is held in early September to mark the end of the harvest time for corn – a symbol of fertility and generosity. In the city of Ambato, November 2 is the Day of the Dead, in Guaranda a carnival is held before the fast. The festival in San Juan Bautista (John the Baptist) is celebrated in particular by the indigenous people in the mountain areas of the north with dance and music. At many of the festivals and holidays special food and drink as well as music are given elements.
On August 10 each year, Ecuador’s independence from the colonial power of Spain is celebrated and on May 24 the “Battle of Pichincha” (1822) is celebrated after which Ecuador broke away from Spain.
Columbus’s arrival in America is noticed on October 12, but, as elsewhere, it has become increasingly controversial because of the devastation in the wake of European colonization. Since 2011, it is therefore celebrated as the Day of Interculturalism and Multinationality (Día de la Interculturalidad y la Pluronacionalidad).
The state of emergency is canceled
The state of emergency that was introduced during the unrest in September is lifted. Military who have since guarded government buildings are now returning to their barracks.
Police revolt shakes the country
A riot breaks out among the country’s police officers after President Correa introduced a law that the police force believes would limit public servants – including the police – salary benefits. In protest of the law, a large number of police in barracks around the country barricade themselves and block off roads. The National Assembly’s building is occupied and tires are set on fire in the streets of major cities. Correa himself is attacked with tear gas when he comes to talk to the police. The president is forced to visit hospitals, where he gets trapped by angry police. Only after several hours can he leave the building with the help of army soldiers. By that time, violent clashes between police and soldiers are taking place outside the building. Two police officers are killed and over 70 people are shot dead. The Correa government describes the uprising as a coup attempt, driven by the political opposition. A state of emergency is announced. The day after, the country’s highest police chief resigns. A few days after the police revolt, more than 40 police officers are arrested, suspected of attempted murder, stamping of rebellion and misconduct. At the same time, the government raises the salaries of certain positions within the police and military, and promises an overview of the law that was the origin of the revolt.
UN Non-Exploitation Agreement
The government signs an agreement with the UN to refrain from exploiting oil resources in a particularly fragile area of the Amazon, the Yasuní Reserve, against payment. Under the agreement, which is the first of its kind, the payment is to equal half of what Ecuador had expected to get in the oil in Yasuní, which has one-fifth of the country’s oil assets. The money will come from a fund built up with funds from Western countries. The settlement is welcomed by the indigenous people living in the area.
Nationalization in the oil and gas industry
A law comes into force that gives the Ecuadorian state full ownership of all the oil and gas produced in the country. The state is thus increasing its control over the oil industry in Ecuador. Foreign oil companies are given 180 days to adapt to the decision or leave the country.
Renovation in the government
President Rafael Correa is undergoing a major transformation of government. He has previously complained to a number of ministers in whose fields not enough progress has been made.
Guayaquil protest against the government
In the largest city of Guayaquil there is a large demonstration against the Correa government. The protest campaign is led by the city’s conservative mayor Jaime Nebot.