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Luxury Townhouses in 2009

NEWS ALERT: Exclusive Luxury Townhouses are soon to be built with the most stunning ocean views in Sao Vicente. Spacious 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms with 2 En-suite and infinity pool. Be sure to complete the Property Form for more details and read more on Sao Vicente. These Townhouses are believed to double in value by 2011 when the International Airport will be open. Alternatively, you can request a property pack by calling our UK Office on 0208 517 8856.

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Cape Verde Culture

Classes and Castes. There is little class distinction in Cape Verde because the vast majority of the population is poor. There is a small but growing middle class of people in the towns and cities and virtually no upper class. Those of higher socio-economic backgrounds tend to identify culturally with Europe and to think of themselves as more "European," often because they have spent time abroad.

Symbols of Social Stratification. Cape Verdeans take pride in their dress and personal appearance. The most highly valued attire is American brand names popular among African Americans. These clothes are often an indicator of class; however, the poorest Cape Verdeans sometimes have relatives in the United States who send gifts of clothing.

Gender Roles and Statuses

Division of Labor by Gender. Women take care of all domestic tasks including cooking, cleaning, and child rearing. At the same time, they also make substantial contributions in other sectors of the work force, including farming, construction, and commerce. Women are often the sole economic supporters of their families. However, they are proportionally under-represented in the white-collar professions and in the political system.

The Relative Status of Women and Men. While the genders are legally recognized as equal, there are broad de facto disparities in rights and power. Women (mothers in particular) are respected for the immense workload they shoulder, yet they often are expected to defer to men.

Marriage, Family and Kinship

Marriage. Legal and church weddings are uncommon in Cape Verde. More often than not, a woman will simply sai di casa (leave her family's house) to move in with her boyfriend. This is often occasioned by the woman becoming pregnant. After four years of cohabitation, a relationship acquires the status of common-law marriage. While polygamy is not legal, it is customary for men (married or not) to be sleeping with several women at once.

Domestic Unit. Traditionally, several generations of a family live together in the same house. Childrearing is communal, and living situations are fluid; children often stay with aunts, uncles, or other relatives, especially during the school year. Due to emigration and de facto polygamy, there are a great many households headed by single mothers.

Socialization

Infant Care. Seven days after a baby is born, the parents throw a big party called a sete. Like any other party, it is an occasion for dancing and drinking. At midnight the guests file in to the baby's room and sing to it as a protection against evil spirits. Infants are coddled and held. Mothers often tie small babies to their backs and carry them along to work.

Child Rearing and Education. Children are treated with affection, but are reprimanded strictly for misbehavior. Corporal punishment is not uncommon. Children are expected to work at the family's trade, and even if the parents are professionals, children do a good deal of housework. Obedience and deference to elders is inculcated early. It is not uncommon for an adult to grab any child on the street and ask him or her to run an errand.

Education is mandatory and free between the ages of seven and fourteen. About 90 percent of children attend school. Each island has a high school that goes through at least eleventh grade. High school students pay an education tax on a sliding scale based on their parents' income.

Higher Education. Cape Verde is still in the process of establishing an institution of higher learning. There are teacher certification schools in Praia and one in Mindelo. To obtain any other degree past high school, it is necessary to go abroad. A higher degree is of little use in the Cape Verdean job market, and the vast majority of those who leave to study do not return.

Etiquette

Cape Verdeans are an extremely generous and hospitable people. Even the poorest take pride in presenting guests with a meal. It is considered rude to eat in front of others without sharing, and for this reason one does not eat in a public setting such as on the street or on a bus.

Cape Verdeans stand close together when talking and are physically demonstrative, often touching and holding hands (men as well as women). Greetings are somewhat lengthy, and include shaking hands (or kissing for women), and inquiring about each other's health and family. This is usually done each time two people meet, even if it is more than once in the same day.

The Arts and Humanities

Support for the Arts. There is a Cape Verdean Cultural Center in Praia, which stages performances and exhibitions and sells books, music, and artifacts.

Literature. There is a small but growing body of Cape Verdean literature. Most of it is written in Portuguese, but a movement to develop a standardized written form of Creole has caused several books to be published in this language as well. Written literature is strongly influenced by the tradition of oral story telling which finds its roots in both Africa and Europe. A predominant theme in both literature and music is saudade, a sense of longing or homesickness, usually the result of emigration and the ensuing separation of families.

Graphic Arts. Graphic art production is limited. Crocheting is popular among women. Textiles were traditionally produced on large looms in a time-consuming process but this is rare today. The island of Boavista is known for its clay pottery; Fogo is known for small carvings made from hardened lava. There is also some basket weaving, embroidery, woodworking, and other craft production, but the preponderance of artifacts sold at the markets is imported from Africa.

Performance Arts. Music and dance are a focal point of Cape Verdean culture. Traditional forms of music include funana, which is played on an accordion and an iron bar that serves as a rhythm instrument. Batuque is performed by a circle of women who beat out rhythms on plastic sacks held between their legs. Both types of music are very African-influenced and are particular to the island of Santiago. Another traditional form of music is the morna which is a slower, more Portuguese-influenced ballad. Each type of music has a specific dance that goes with it. Popular music has a largely synthesized feel.

The State of the Physical and Social and Sciences. There are no research facilities or laboratories for physical sciences in Cape Verde.