Customs & Traditions in Bolivia
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Traditions and customs vary by region in Bolivia. Here is the basic Etiquette in Bolivia.
Bolivians tend to stand close to one another while talking. One to two feet is normal. It can be considered rude to back away from someone while they are speaking.
You have to maintain direct eye contact, otherwise, you will be viewed as untrustworthy.
When speaking with family, it is common to share hugs, touch shoulders, and in general express affection through contact. Otherwise, it depends on if the other person is a friend, a boyfriend or girlfriend, an acquaintance, or someone you don’t know.
It is best to always cover your mouth when you yawn.
Avoid using a finger to point, it is best to use the whole hand or just nod your head in the direction you are referring to.
The family is the main core of social life and structure.
Families are very close and in rural areas, many generations still often live together in one house.
The extended family or "familia" serves as strong support and network system.
Roles within the family are very traditional.
The wife is generally responsible for domestic duties whereas the husband will be the breadwinner.
Unlike Europeans, Bolivians use both their maternal and paternal surnames. The father's surname is listed first and is the one used in conversation.
When a woman gets married she usually adds her husband's first surname to her first surname with the connector "de".