This cultural blend is seen in Paraguay's forms of arts, crafts, music, festivals, literature, cinema, fashion, languages.
The two official languages of Paraguay are Spanish as well as Guarani, the indigenous language of Paraguay that is spoken by about 90 percent of the population.
Of Paraguay's population of about 6.7 million people, about 95 percent are mestizo (mixed Spanish and indigenous), further reflecting the blended nature of the nation's culture.
The Guarani are the earliest inhabitants of the country, inhabiting the region east of the Rio Paraguay. The western region was inhabited by the more reclusive and warlike Chaco tribesmen.
The majority of the population in Paraguay follows a form of Christianity, with almost 90 percent Roman Catholic, followed by Protestant groups with a significant minority of Muslims and Mennonites.
The richness of the Paraguayan culture can be found also in the embracing of new technologies. Though, the latest techniques have been adopted, the roots have never been neglected by the Paraguay people. The mixture of the old and new have contributed profusely to the rich production of the arts and crafts of Paraguay.
Paraguayan embroidery, lace making, and local music are representations of the cultural fusion. Food is an important part of the cultural ethos of any country, and in Paraguay, cottage cheese, cornmeal, milk, butter, eggs and fresh corn kernels are some of the major dishes.
Sports are an important cultural aspect of Paraguay, which excels in football (soccer), as well as rugby, volleyball, and tennis.
The food of modern Paraguay is highly influenced by Spain, but because of the varieties of crops commonly found in the country, its traditional foods are rooted in the country's own ground. The two ingredients forming the basis of Paraguayan cuisine are cassava and corn.
Cassava is a root vegetable, also known as Yuca or manioc, and is used to make breads and cakes called chipa.
Corn is another important ingredient in the food of Paraguay, used to make dishes like Paraguayan soup. Bori bori is one of the signature soups of Paraguay, usually made with chicken and cornmeal dumplings. The meat dishes are mainly prepared from chicken, pork as well as lamb.
Some of the other renowned Paraguay foods include:
Famous People from Paraguay
Paraguay, despite being a small and isolated Latin American country, has produced many famous personalities over the years who have contributed in various spheres of human activities in highly meaningful and significant ways. The famous people from Paraguay are recognized, not only within Paraguay, but all around the world. They vary from politicians to writers of literature, from human rights activists to musicians and from sports players to social reformers.
Paraguay stands witness to a long and eventful history, therefore it comes as no surprise that a number of great politicians and social reformers have graced its history at various points of time, who have influenced the country and the world through their thoughts and actions.
Pedro Juan Caballero was the main figure in Paraguay's War for Independence, which eventually was declared on May 15, 1811. Jose Gasper Rodriguez de Francia was the first president of Paraguay, and is one of the most famous people from Paraguay.
Francisco Solano Lopez, Carlos Antonio Lopez, Raul Cunas Grau and Luis Gonzalez Macchi were all presidents of Paraguay in history, famous for their political contribution to the country. Other major politicians of the country include:
Luis Maria Argana
Mario Paz Castaing
Paraguay has traditionally produced renowned writers, musicians, composers, and performers. Many political figures of Paraguay are great writers as well. Some of the greatest Paraguayan cultural icons include:
Augusta Roa Bastos
Jose Ricardo Mazo
The greatest athletes to emerge from Paraguay include footballer Jose Luis Chilavert and tennis star Rossana De Los Rios.
Festivals in Paraguay
A large number of tourists visit Paraguay to witness the colorful festivals.
Some of the most important festivals in Paraguay include:
San Blas Fiestas: This Paraguay festival is held in February, which is time for Carnival. It is celebrated nationally in almost all major towns and cities of Paraguay with great pomp and enthusiasm. However, the Nirgen de la Candelaria in Puno is the biggest celebration for carnival.
Semana Santa: Held in March, this popular festival is religious in nature. This Holy Week is celebrated with great solemnity.