Social Life in Bolivia
The Bolivians are conservative in most aspects of their
lives and this is best seen in their behaviors, dress, and dining etiquette. They
tend to dress and act conservatively, much of which is based on the tenants of the
Catholic Church. However, there is also great variety in the way the Bolivians behave
as the country is very diverse ethnically and geographically. Despite the conservative
lifestyle of the Bolivians, politically the country is very liberal and their elected
officials reflect this.
As a visitor to Bolivia try to follow the lead of the locals
by dressing conservatively (see below for details), dining in the local etiquette
(see our Bolivia Dining & Food Page),
and avoid sensitive conversation topics, such as politics, finances, and business
unless initiated by your local counterpart. Also try to avoid being loud, rude,
showing off wealth, or getting noticeably drunk in public.
The traditional dress of the Bolivians is quite different
from region to region depending on numerous factors, including ethnicity, culture,
weather, income, lifestyle, and more. Additionally, the traditional dress and style
has been forgotten in some regions due to Spanish presence and in other areas the
Spanish altered it to a vast degree. Today there is a mix of indigenous dress which
has been changed by the Spanish and the more European-styled dress found throughout
the country, most commonly in the country's cities.