Culture and Customs of Panama

Culture and Customs of Panama

Culture and Customs of Panama

Culture and Customs of Panama

Synopsis

The Shahnameh is a collection of stories and myths from ancient Iran, filled with kings, heroes, princesses, magical animals and demons. Written as an epic poem by the poet Ferdowsi in the 10th century, it is one of the great classics of Persian literature. The tales include the Simurgh, the giant bird who brings up an orphaned king in her nest on a craggy rock, wicked King Zahhak with his man-eating snakes, and above all the story of the great hero Rustam and his son Sohrab.

Excerpt

When most people think of Panama, they immediately think of the Canal. But this Republic is much more than that; it is filled with history, culture, and diversity. From the colonial period to today, this book will try to explain how Panama came to be known, and continues to be known, as the “Crossroads of the World.”

From colonial times, when it served as a base for Spanish conquistadors in the New World, to its present role as a strategic center of operations for the United States in Latin America, Panama’s history has been forged in the shadow of other countries such as Spain, Colombia, and, more recently, the United States. The unique role within Latin America that Panama has played throughout history has been both a blessing and a burden for the citizens of this republic. The Canal has brought technology, economic growth, and a greater importance for Panama within the world. But along with these positive developments there have also been dictators, corruption, and a lack of true soberanía (sovereignty) for the country. After almost one hundred years, the Canal still has the ability to shape and influence the political and cultural climate of Panama.

The influence of the canal can be seen even among the people of Panama. With the Canal has come an influx of people from all parts of the world. These people have reestablished themselves within Panama and become part of the dense fabric of Panamanian culture. Among these people are Asians, Europeans, Africans, West Indians, and many Americans. With this mixture of people from around the world, it is not surprising that most Panamanians . . .

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