To be honest, everything about the Dominican Republic is no less than a fact. With an accidental discovery by Christopher Columbus in 1492, to an interesting yet sad history, this country is loaded with information that will make you marvel. This Buzzle article contains some of the many interesting facts about the Dominican Republic.
Did You Know?
The Dominican Republic music is known as Merengue, which is a Spanish word for whipped egg whites in sugar, like the English word, ‘meringue’. Though it is unclear why this name was kept for their music, this lively, joyful, and uplifting music and dance forms an integral part of their culture and spirit.
The Dominican Republic, also known as Dominicana Republica, it is the second largest Caribbean nation after Cuba and is situated on the island of Hispaniola. It also shares the Caribbean island with Haiti, making the island of Hispaniola being the one island shared by two different countries! Christopher Columbus explored the Dominican Republic in 1492. The country was taken over by the French, and even the land of Haiti, but after the Dominican War of Independence in 1844, the country was victorious over the enemy.
Each and every facet of this land is an intriguing story. The island of La Hispaniola, as it was named in the colonial times, has seen a lot of changes, brutality, conspiracies, and downfalls to become ‘La República Dominicana’ after gaining independence. Even after that, the country had to endure a lot of chaos in terms of political instability, subduing government, and a poor and unstable economy. However, now, this nation is a democratic nation, with tourism and agriculture being the main sources of economic revenue.
Basic Facts about the Dominican Republic
|Area||48,442 Square Kilometers|
|Independence||February 27, 1844|
|National Bird||Cigua Palmera, the Palmchat, in English|
|National Flower||Bayahibe Rose|
|National Tree||West Indian Mahogany|
|Ethnic Groups||White 16%, Black 11%, Mixed 73%|
|Population||10,349,741 (July 2014 est.)|
|Religion||Roman Catholic (95%)|
|Motto||“Dios, Patria, Libertad”, which means “God, Fatherland, Liberty”.|
|Climate||Mostly tropical climate; a little variation in seasonal temperature; there is noticeable seasonal variation in the rainfall as well.|
Fun Facts about the Dominican Republic for Kids
While the aforementioned section has given you the basic information of this country, there are a lot of fun-tastic facts associated with the Dominican Republic. Below is a list of some of these amazingly interesting facts.
★ The national anthem of the Dominican Republic is Himno Nacional. Surprisingly, the term ‘Dominican’ doesn’t appear even once in their anthem.
★ The name of this country is often abbreviated, and the shortened version, ‘D.R.’ is used instead.
★ The climate of the Dominican Republic is often known as the “endless summer”. This is because of the constant sunny and tropical climate that it has.
★ Before Columbus discovered this island, the Taíno Indians resided there. They were extremely friendly people who welcomed Columbus and his crew members to the island, and bestowed their generous hospitality on them.
★ The word ‘Taíno’ meant ‘good’ or ‘noble’ in the local language of these natives, which they were; however, the Spaniards did not reciprocate their gesture.
★ Before Columbus discovered the island on December 5, 1492 and named it ‘Hispaniola’, the Taíno Indians called it Quisqueya, Haití, or Bohío. Quisqueya meant ‘Mother of all Lands’ in their native tongue. This word also appears in the national anthem of D.R. as another name of the country.
★ Remember the Pirates of the Caribbean? In the mid-17th century, the island of Tortuga, which is located in the west of Cap Haitien, became the main spot for the pirates of the Caribbean. Here, they recruited people for raiding Spanish treasure ships. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that this place was their headquarter.
★ The “Dominican flag” is what the traditional dish of the Dominican Republic is known as. It contains rice, beans, plantains, and meat.
★ Their food consists of seafood, plantains, rice, stews, casseroles, and meat dishes. Their cuisine is a blend of traditional Taíno, African, and Latin American recipes.
★ This country has given the world some of the renowned artists, be it in music, writing, sports, or painting. Some of them include: Julia Alvarez, Juan Marichal, Albert Pujols, Juan Luis Guerra, and many more.
★ The Dominican Republic only comes after the United States, when it comes to the number of Major League Baseball (MLB) players.
★ The first MLB player from this country was Ozzie Virgil, Sr. However, in spite of so many players in MLB, as of now, Juan Marichal is the only Dominican player who is a part of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Some Serious Dominican Republic Facts
Yes, we have more interesting information on this Caribbean country. It just doesn’t end here …
★ The flag of the Dominican Republic is the only flag in the world to bear the image of the Holy Bible. The Bible symbolizes truth and light, and the Golden Cross above it represents redemption from the bondage of slavery.
★ The flag consists of three colors: blue, red, and white. Blue symbolizes God’s protection, red represents the blood of the liberators shed for the country, and white represents the struggle of the liberators so that their descendants could live in a free nation.
★ Santo Domingo happens to be the oldest place where European settlement took place when it comes to the Western Hemisphere, in the year 1496.
★ There are four dates of independence in this country: (i) December 1, 1821, when it got independence from Spain; (ii) February 27, 1844, when it got independence from Haiti; (iii) August 16, 1863, when it again got independence from Spain, which was recognized on March 3, 1865; and (iv) On July 12, 1924 when it was freed from the political interference from the United States. Nonetheless, February 27, 1844 is their official Independence Day.
★ The Dominican Republic is also called La República Dominicana and is one of the only two countries that has a demonym-based adjectival name. The other country is the Central African Republic.
★ The main holidays in the Dominican Republic are February 27, Independence Day; January 26, Duarte’s Day as Juan Pablo Duarte was one of the founding fathers of the Dominican Republic; January 21, in honor of its patroness “Our Lady of Altagracia”; August 16, Restoration Day; and November 6, Constitution Day.
★ In 2006, Bajos De Haina, which is a town in the Dominican Republic, was included in the list of the top 10 most polluted places in the world by the Blacksmith Institute, an environmental institution, due to lead poisoning.
★ The longest river in the Dominican Republic is the Yaque del Norte, which is also considered to be the most important river in the nation.
★ The Dominican Republic is known for its sugar processing, which is one of the main industries in the country. Apart from that, other main industries are tourism, tobacco, ferronickel and gold mining, cement, textiles, etc.
The Dominicans usually stay in joint families, and family values and traditions are very important to them. Even when you visit the place, the hospitality and friendliness of the people around would touch your hearts for sure. Which is why, this place is a popular destination for weddings and honeymoons. You would not only fall in love with the climate and scenic beauty of this place, but also enjoy everything else in this country. If you want peace and serenity or if you want some lively zing through some amazing nightlife culture or carnival parades, you will get everything here. No wonder the tourism sector of this country is booming unceasingly!