“Si Dios quiere.” I hear those words often. Whether it’s between two business men talking on the street hoping for some deal to go through, or someone’s hopes for the future, or many other causes. Many conversations find Dios present. It’s the Dominican response for everything. It’s God’s will after all. Everything in life can be left up to God’s will. What God wants you get. What God doesn’t want, you don’t get.
God and Jesus are everywhere here. The familiarness of hearing life in terms of it being in God’s hands is liberating. Whereby in Canada, those of us of Catholic faith seem to be raised in shame (my perception and I cannot refer to other faiths), in DR the simple freedom to be human is allowed. To an extent, people are not responsible for their own actions. They are, but God’s will supercedes all. Whereas as my upbringing, guilted me into behaving in the way of my superior’s desired behaviours. How many times was I threatened with hell? Tooooooo many!
I sometimes wonder if that is why Dominicans are so cavalier when it comes to driving and their obvious lack of respect for human life when driving. They take so many risks, especially the concho drivers with no protection. They realize the dangers, but have an air of invincibility. “Si Dios Quiere,” they’ll arrive at their destination safe and sound.
“Dios te bendiga,” finds it’s way into every corner of society. They bless everyone. The phrases and blessings are so common place that the people are desensitized. They really don’t think the blessings through when speaking them. Certainly not every time they are spoken. I do admit though, I like to be blessed even though it’s only a simple cultural courtesy. But, now and then, I get really good and blessed, and that’s one of the reasons I love this country. The one’s that live their faith, that share that with you in a legitimate blessing. The generosity of the people swells the soul. I met a woman and commented on how lovely her pendant was. A figure of Cristo hung on a pretty chain. She immediately removed it and gifted it to me through all my protests. “Dios te bendiga mi amor,” she said.
“Cristo te ama!” This always comes as a surprise to me. Jesus loves you. When times are tough, and I feel alone and vulnerable, out of the blue someone always tells me Jesus loves me. That doesn’t make everything better, but it doesn’t make anything worse. Whether the individual cares about you, or has the simple faith in Jesus to extend his love by proxy, it’s always welcome!
“Gracias Papa Dios.” It’s as though mini miracles happen on a daily basis. When something good happens; gracias Papa Dios! I find myself adopting this very mannerism. I feel drawn in rather than drawn and quartered. For years I refused to go to church, refused to accept religion. Not because of any particular reason, only that I felt unwelcome in the church and that at any moment lightning could strike me. Gracias Papa Dios makes God appear to be more of a loving God than a vengeful one … don’t you think?
“Dios te colme de benediciones.” May God fill you with blessings. This statement comes to me from a friend. I’ve never had this spoken to me, not that I recall, but it’s sure a nice sentiment. Thanx Marissa for sharing.
This country steeped in Roman Catholicism, is as religiously diverse as any other. It is a living contradiction between faith in God and human behaviour. While everyone is blessing each other, people behave as humanly as possible. Dominican Republic is a very sexual nation. From the time a child is born, I swear to God, 🙂 , that child comes out of the uterus with rhythm and dance and knows how to strike a provocative pose. I’m not sure if an evaluation of saying this country is more promiscuous than others would be a correct assessment. I think it is likely a reflection of the times. Sex on the Beach isn’t only the name of a fine drink. Cabana’s are found across the landscape. These cheap motel-type establishments offer much sought out privacy for the love lorn. Or perhaps privacy for the lust lorn. In a country where home is where the heart is, that can mean a whole lot of individuals living under one roof. Privacy can be non-existent. The “Dios mio’s,” I imagine those walls hear 🙂
It’s not only about freer sex. It’s also about the “wandering” men. I’m sure there are also wandering women, I’m not trying to slam a sex here. I recently had a married man approach me and say, “I’m a servant of God, I have one wife. But you, you are special. Let me comfort you through your pain.” I’m not special enough to go for that one! He’s not the only one, there have been many. Madre de Dios!
From scripture leaflets distributed on many corners, tiendas, or doctor’s offices, to latino lovers in cabanas, “Dios es todo poderoso.” God is everywhere, there’s no hiding. Good or bad, you cannot run from God.
I find the God aspect of Dominican culture fascinating. I hope to uncover more insights as time goes on. “Si Dios Quiere!”
Listen to the palms…
© Loca Gringa and https://locagringa.wordpress.com