For many Venezuelans, no matter their occupation or lack thereof, the day begins
at about 8:00 or 9:00 am with school or work. Cars seem to be a luxury few people
can afford so most people walk, bike, or take public transportation. Many people
still take a long lunch in the early afternoon, but this varies significantly in
Venezuela. Schools let out early and nearly every child
goes to school as this is very important to the Venezuelans, although they lack
many higher education opportunities.
Evenings and weekends are often spent with family. Entertainment options outside
the home are essentially limited to those who can afford them, but the bars, dance
clubs, and arts scene in the large cities is very active with influences from all
over, but most commonly the Caribbean and Latin America. Going out with friends
instead of family is becoming more popular in Venezuela,
but family still dominates the culture and social life.
Nearly everyone in Venezuela first identifies as being
Venezuelan, but what exactly that means is a bit confusing and difficult to understand.
In the past the people of Venezuela generally identified in numerous ways, including
with socio-economic class, ethnicity, and politics. However over time the country
has become more homogenous economically due to political changes, which has in some
ways evened the playing field and in others created internal tensions between "groups."
For political reasons though, most people first identify as being Venezuelan today;
even those who didn't identify this way in the past struggle to return to any
other identity as those former identities associated with socio-economic class have
been discouraged and unifying as one nation are encouraged.