17 July 2017

#1298 Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic (SpanishRepública Dominicana) is a sovereign state occupying the eastern five-eighths of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western three-eighths of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands, along with Saint Martin, that are shared by two countries. The Dominican Republic is the second-largest Caribbean nation by area (after Cuba) at 48,445 square kilometers (18,705 sq mi), and third by population with approximately 10 million people, of which approximately three million live in the metropolitan area of Santo Domingo, the capital city.

About some facts written on the postcard:

The Mirabal Sisters (Hermanas Mirabal) were four Dominican sisters who opposed the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo (El Chivo) and were involved in clandestine activities against his regime. Three of the sisters were assassinated on 25 November 1960. The assassinations turned the Mirabal sisters into "symbols of both popular and feminist resistance".

In 1999, in the sisters' honor, the United Nations General Assembly designated 25 November the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Félix Sánchez, (born August 30, 1977) is a retired Dominican-American track and field athlete. He is of Dominican descent, was born and raised in the United States, and competed for the Dominican Republic, specializing in the 400 meter hurdles. He is a two-time Olympic gold medallist, winning gold in 2004 and 2012, and was also World Champion in 2001 and 2003. Just before turning 36, he set the Masters M35 World Record with a time of 48.10. Sanchez acquired many nicknames: "Super Felix", "the Invincible", "Superman", and "the Dictator".

Juan Pablo Duarte (January 26, 1813 – July 15, 1876) is one of the founding fathers of the Dominican Republic. He was a visionary and liberal thinker, who along with Francisco del Rosario Sánchez and Matías Ramón Mella, is widely considered to be the architect of the Dominican Republic and its independence from Haitian rule in 1844. He would help create the political organization La Trinitaria to fight against the Haitian occupation, achieve independence, and create a self-sufficient nation.

Duarte helped inspire and finance the Dominican War of Independence, paying a heavy toll which would eventually ruin him financially. His liberal views made him a controversial figure among conservative and powerful Dominicans of the time, and he was exiled at numerous occasions after the founding of the new nation. His liberal views went against the conservative elites who sought for heavy-handed control of the nation, and wanted to maintain the traditional regionalisms of the past. Duarte had strong disagreements with the republic's first president, Pedro Santana, as Santana was a tyrannical figure. Ultimately, Duarte would spend many years away from the nation he helped shape and would die in exile, this made him a political martyr in the eyes of subsequent generations.

María África Gracia Vidal (6 June 1912 – 7 September 1951), known as The Queen of Technicolor, was a Dominican motion picture actress who gained fame and popularity in the 1940s as an exotic beauty starring in a series of filmed-in-Technicolor costume adventure films. Her screen image was that of a hot-blooded Latin seductress, dressed in fanciful costumes and sparkling jewels. She became so identified with these adventure epics that she became known as "The Queen of Technicolor". Over her career, Montez appeared in 26 films, 21 of which were made in North America and five in Europe.

Santo Domingo (meaning "Saint Dominic"), officially Santo Domingo de Guzmán, is the capital and largest city in the Dominican Republic and the largest metropolitan area in the Caribbean by population. In 2010, its population was counted as 965,040, rising to 2,908,607 when its surrounding metropolitan area was included. The city is coterminous with the boundaries of the Distrito Nacional ("D.N.", "National District"), itself bordered on three sides by Santo Domingo Province.

Founded by Bartholomew Columbus in 1496, on the east bank of the Ozama River and then moved by Nicolás de Ovando in 1502 to the west bank of the river, the city is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the Americas, and was the first seat of the Spanish colonial rule in the New World. Santo Domingo is the site of the first university, cathedral, castle, monastery, and fortress in the New World. The city's Colonial Zone was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Santo Domingo was called Ciudad Trujillo, from 1936 to 1961, after the Dominican Republic's dictator, Rafael Trujillo, named the capital after himself. Following his assassination, the city resumed its original designation.

Pico Duarte is the highest peak in the Dominican Republic, and all the Caribbean islands. It is located about 53 miles north-east of the region's lowest point, Lake Enriquillo. The mountain lies in the Cordillera Central range, the greatest of the Dominican Republic's mountain chains. The Cordillera Central extends from the plains between San Cristóbal and Baní to the northwestern peninsula of Haiti, where it is known as Massif du Nord. The highest elevations of the Cordillera Central are found in the Pico Duarte and Valle Nuevo massifs.

Merengue is a style of Dominican music and dance. Partners hold each other in a closed position. The leader holds the follower's waist with the leader's right hand, while holding the follower's right hand with the leader's left hand at the follower's eye level. Partners bend their knees slightly left and right, thus making the hips move left and right. The hips of the leader and follower move in the same direction throughout the song. Partners may walk sideways or circle each other, in small steps. They can switch to an open position and do separate turns without letting go each other's hands or releasing one hand. During these turns they may twist and tie their handhold into intricate pretzels. Other choreographies are possible.

Thank you, Valery !

Received on: May 23, 2017

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