In the Dominican Republic, joy is cultural

“Half the joy lies in talking about it.” (Persian proverb)

In a promotional video on the presence of the Dominican Republic at the International Tourism Fair (Fitur 2022), held in Madrid, the number of Dominican socio-cultural elements is striking. As it should be, the beaches, monuments, flora and fauna are shown as they are: exuberant, wonderful, attractive. However, in this video, I do not see what is most representative of this country: its people and their happiness. I don’t think there is anything more transcendent than the Dominican people themselves and in them, their contagious joy.

Many friends who visit the country highlight the joy of the Dominican people as what impresses and captivates them the most. They comment on the affectionate way they speak, their expressions of affection, their willingness to help, among other characteristics that are only possible when there is true satisfaction in providing a service on behalf of the country, whether intentional or unforeseen.

Of course, this joy is contagious and serves as a pedestal for the good treatment and professionalism exhibited by tourism workers and others who work in areas where visitors receive some assistance on Dominican soil. So, in those spaces, quality could not be expected without the piece of joy that the true Quisqueyano always carries in his hand, as identity and strength, as a shield that distinguishes this people of the Caribbean. The human warmth that is breathed throughout the country, from the most exclusive social spheres to the most ordinary, is like a seal of quality that should be placed on every national product.

For those who experience it on a daily basis, it is perhaps unnoticed that touch of joy that, even in the worst of circumstances, marks the faces throughout the Dominican geography. In this so-called “Republic of the World”, joy is not circumstantial, much less forced, but a cultural component as palpable as it is strong and progressive.

In this country, joy is cultural, it is an intangible product that is part of the most diverse and authentic human achievements; a land where “The greatest joy is the unexpected” (Sophocles). And, as here “everything is solved”, there is no reason for sadness. By the way, the phrase “If not today it will be tomorrow” declares the value of hope as fuel for the referred joy. It is as if the French philosopher and writer Voltaire’s phrase “Everything goes well for people with a sweet and cheerful character” had been assumed with total conviction or, simply, as if the recurrent “in bad weather, good face”, a saying that comes to the surface not only in the most complex moments or challenging situations, were naturally brandished.

So, if you want to make a memorable promotion of this wonderful country, nothing will be of greater value than appealing to the contagious joy of the Dominican, to his charisma, to his peculiar ways of giving and giving. It is not only about the face of happiness in the dance of a good merengue, in front of an appetizing sancocho or during the good performance of the favorite baseball team; it is about that mark of fullness that leads the Dominican to bare (in exchange for nothing) a white laughter like his hope.

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