As the largest country in Central America, the culture in Nicaragua resembles its size. The full scope of the country's culture is based on influences from its Amerindian native population, as well as the colonial influences of the Spanish and British.
Despite these various influences, all the locals call themselves "pinoleros" after "pinol," which refers to the corn-based drink they all drink. It's also a cultural reference to the deep connection all Nicaraguans have with the land, even those that live in cities. Most consider the national dish of Nicaragua to be "gallo pinto." Gallo pinto is a dish made of fried rice, red beans, peppers, and onion.
Culture in Nicaragua Values the Written Word
All Nicaraguans take great pride in their literary history. The Nicaraguan literature is widely known to be some of the finest in the Spanish language.
One of its greatest authors, Ruben Dario, founded the Modernismo literary movement of the late 19th century. Like the rest of the culture in Nicaragua, Modernismo was a unique Nicaraguan take on a mixture of outside literary influences popular in Europe at the time, specifically Symbolism, Romanticism, and the Parnassians.
The nation's most popular indigenous literary work is a satirical drama called "El GÃ¼egÃ¼ense." Believed to be written in the 16th century, it's a mixture of drama, dance, music based on local folklore. Written shortly after the first arrival of the Europeans, El GÃ¼egÃ¼ense is seen as a cultural expression against colonialism. It continues to resonate with Nicaraguans to this day. There is even a monument built to the piece in the capital city of Managua.
Other great Nicaraguan writers include SalomÃ³n Ibarra Mayorga, who wrote the words to the country's national anthem "Salve a ti, Nicaragua," and Gioconda Belli, who was named one of the 20th centuries greatest poets. Belli is credited with writing one of the first novels in the Nicaraguan revolutionary narrative tradition, La Mujer Habitada (The Inhabited Women), that discussed the role of gender in revolution.
Much of the visual art in Nicaragua has traditionally been folk arts and crafts, including ceramics, leather goods, and woven fabrics. The palette has tended to strong,Â vivid colors. As a painting tradition has developed, it draws on the same vibrant palette.
Armando Morales is Nicaragua's most important contemporary painter. One of his pieces, "Spook-Tree" is hanging in New York's Museum of Modern Art. Rodrigo PeÃ±alba is another major Nicaraguan painter who specialized in murals. As a result, many of his works are public pieces. He has murals at the Santo Domingo church in Managua and Diriamba church in Carazo.
In addition to being typified by its vivid colors, Nicaraguan art often deals with political themes or celebrations of rural life.
Sitting on the Central American isthmus, Nicaragua has some distinctive cultural influences on each coast. The Spaniards dominated the Pacific coast, while the British arrived on the Caribbean coast. Despite both these European influences, they had little influence on Nicaraguans choice of sport.
Baseball began on its Caribbean coast when an American, Albert Addlesberg, arrived in the late 19th century and taught it to the locals. It since moved to the Pacific coast and now the country boasts many professional players in Major League Baseball.
The culture in Nicaragua continues to develop as a particular mixture of its indigenous and colonial histories. The result has been a local culture that isn't dominated by its colonial influences, but is enhanced by it.