Reality here via a Dominican

This was posted yesterday to a thread in Spanish. I simply translated it and post it here for review.  This is his view of his country, which he loves.

I'm dominican. I've been living in Italy for a year, but I travel frequently to my country. I address many truths trying to be as impartial as possible.

First, it is a country where if you receive money from abroad or you set up a business you can live as a rich being poor. With 3000 dollars or euros a couple can live comfortably in rd and ride a business or something. More profitable businesses: food, small hotels, etc.

Second. There are two classes of Dominicans, the "tigueres" and the decent ones. The decent Dominicans are workers, hospitable, respectful, friendly and of good habits. The tigueres are the opposite. Unfortunately, a large part of the population are tigueres. My personal calculation is that 70% of the population are tigueres and 30% of the population are decent.

Third. To live in rd you have to be very careful with tigueres. They can even kill you. If you are dressed well or you like to have your house clean and beautiful, they think you are rich because of that and that can be dangerous.

Fourth. Racism and prejudice are a reality in rd. There are deep prejudices against people of color, but there are prejudices against people with fair skin. There are also very marked prejudices against the rich ... And the poor. Many will say that is seen everywhere, but I lived 38 years of my life in rd, I know what I speak, and those sincere Dominicans who read this know very well that I am talking.

Fifth. Corruption is total. Present in all areas of daily life. I think it is because of the strongly rooted culture of tigueraje in many. You have to be careful because the indices of scams are very high in all levels and businesses. Rd is the third most corrupt country in the world, it will be something.

Sixth. There is a lot of disorder in the streets, in traffic, and a lot of sullen, rude, badly educated people in the streets. This you will notice much to your person if you walk the streets well dressed and you are white skin, but in general is something that everyone complains about in rd.

Seventh. Culture dembowsera, dembow. The dembow is much more than a musical genre, it is a cultural delinquency movement where delinquency is presented to young people as an attractive fashion. Due to the great boom of this dembowsera culture many have considered if rd is a good place to raise children. Personally, I think not.

Eighth. Ignorance. There is much brutality and Ignorance in the population because of popular culture the average Dominican (tiguere) does not usually cultivate his mind since this is considered proper of "rich people" or people "who give it".

Nineth. Much citizen insecurity. In any corner you are assaulted and the police are very corrupt. Many times the assailants are police or military.

Tenth: intolerance. There is a lot of intolerancua in rd, probably because the average Dominican has prefixed closed ideas about "how a person should be".

If you like another musical genre that is not dembow, merengue, bachata, salsa or regueton, if you like another sport that is not baseball or basketball, if you have your own tastes when dressing, or decorate your house, IF YOU HAVE YOUR OWN PERSONALITY, Different to the personality that the Dominican environment imposes. If you belong to the gay community, les, lgbt, or you are simply different, prepare yourself for signs of intolerance that will come to you.

Eleventh: high taxes. If the properties of you and your partner together exceed 7 million pesos, (like 200,000 dollars) they charge you "sumptuary" taxes on your properties. Etc.

Twelve: the prevailing disorder is good and bad. Bad because you can be a victim of all that chaos, and good because you can do many things with more freedom than in other countries.

Thirteenth. It is a country of rich lands. For someone with ideas and intelligence can be land of opportunities. You just have to see the successful businesses that many foreigners have put in rd.

Fourteenth and final: what is said that the beaches are beautiful is true. I would travel millions of kilometers from a remote corner of the cosmos in order to spend a day on one of those luminous beaches. It is that they are made of film. And now with so much mixture of Venezuelans, Dominicans, etc., you meet girls of extraordinary beauty.

Well, that might give one pause.

The paragraph seemed incomplete, as if a thought was interrupted.  Or am I just clueless to the hidden meaning?

Mi gusta la Republica Dominica y los gentes que viven in La Romana. The Dominican Republic is a developing nation that has no national education policy and plenty of poverty to go around. Of course there were be corruption and desperation under these circumstances.

I suggest the Dominican writer who lives in Italy should google the song "Soy Domincana". There is national pride here and a burgeoning middle class. Things are changing in the D.R. and I am inspired by this nation. I advise all Canadians to be generous with their Dominican brothers and sisters....

I think all of this should cause us to think.  Everything is relative to our wants and needs and viewed through our own filters and experiences.

As is always the case:

- I love my country like no other.

- It is a disaster of a country with so many problems and my countrymen are horrible people.

- I've left to find a better life living overseas.

True DR has it's problems and many of them and there is merit in the points posted. Regretably the important aspects of development (education being a major one) which will over time improve the outlooks of people in this country have been strangled through cronyism, corruption and now a drug epidemic and associated delinquency being on a major drug route to USA.

So it is easy to lament every aspect of life in DR.

Personally I think it would be nice to hear another perspective from someone committed to living here and with ideals of a better future. At least I've got my wife, family and friends who have their ambitions here and so I understand another more balanced narrative.

Oh, and as expats we should ask ourselves why are we living in such a lousy place where 2 out of 3 people are tigueres!

Everyone is welcome to voice their opinions. I am sure more will.

Depressing and pessimistic.

What is interesting to me is the amount of progress I have witnessed here in over 15 years.  It appears the original poster is unable to see that.  Is that common in those who feel or did feel trapped in this country and culture.

Those who choose to live here - we have a totally different filter. 

Of course here, like everywhere, media is full of the bad and the good or progress, is often buried deep.

"Soy Dominicana" on Youtube - Beautiful Music and Message

I have lived in the DR since 2003 full time.  I understand each an every point made in the original post.  None of them are incorrect from what I have learned and experienced here.  Spot on, I would say.

i notice that there is this propensity among Dominicans who have migrated abroad to write these caustic screeds, denigrating their country and their compatriots in no uncertain terms.. the author in this posting has enumerated all the evils of the Dominican Republic and its people, and only grudgingly conceded that with 3000 dollars, a couple can live comfortbaly. every other observation is negative.

trust me, people, the place is not that bad. i know of a guy who posted on another site that he had lived in 18 countries, and he still appears to be unsatisfied. well, when you get to that point in your life, stop buying airline tickets, and buy a mirror. maybe you are your worst enemy, not the countries.

i remember 20 years ago, you would be lucky if you lived in a neighborhood where the electricity was on for more than 12 hours per day. give thanks for where we are today. i went to the supermarket early this morning, and the cordial greetings of the people started my day off on the right foot. no angry, scowling, entitled people...just some poor folks, going to do a little shopping with the few dollars they had, and for which they are thankful. maybe some of us need to learn a little appreciation for the blessings which have fallen upon us.

While the comments are not incorrect, they are also not totally correct.   Each as their own reality of this country and each of us has our own filters.

I love my life here but also see the  things needing to be changed.  Like anywhere nothing is perfect, its all about what works for you.

I also remember living in my first apt here with  electricity only 12 hours a day, no running water in the kitchen, only the bathroom, ridiculous noise from the streets.... etc etc.  Things have improved a lot but there is a long way to go still!

cruffman :

i notice that there is this propensity among Dominicans who have migrated abroad to write these caustic screeds, denigrating their country and their compatriots in no uncertain terms..

I would qualify by saying your statement, imo,  generally applies to Dominicans that have migrated to North America or Europe.

I have travelled throughout the Caribbean and met many Dominicans in the islands and they always preach the good things of their island homeland. You got to be with them when they are flying back home on leave and you'll understand!

It is those that want away from DR for good and the benefits of a supported life in developed countries that seem always to cry foul. We should also not forget that two million Domincans live in North America and Europe and the dialogue gets clouded as a result.

It is interesting now to see reports that some Dominicans are beginning to return home, now the supported so referred better life is becoming harder.

As expats, we always try to compare our own upbringing in developed society as a benchmark.

I support the well articulated alternative view cruffman posted.

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