Sunday, 21 January 2018

Colombian Culture, Right or Wrong?

Hola negra! (Hello Black)...Hola mi negita! (Hello my blackie)...Hola mi gordo! (Hello Fattie)...Hola Gringo! (Hello Foreigner), and many more, all terms regularly used here in Colombia, accepted, and not considered insulting, and yet in the UK and Europe they are not only considered politically incorrect, it is an offence to use them, punishable in the extreme by prison. So who is correct?

Here in Colombia some of these terms are used to greet people you don't know by name, but describes the person, by colour, or size, or nationality, it is not meant as an insult, just a greeting,  my mother-in-law regularly calls my wife, 'Negra' or 'Hija' (Daughter), rather than by her name, I found this very odd when I first came here, but it is Colombia.

You only have to go back a few years, and this was accepted in the UK, I can remember in my early years in the Police, there was a black Officer, I called him 'Sooty', and he called me 'Snowflake', it was a term of friendship, no insults were being made or even intended, we didn't think twice about it. The world has gone mad, Political correctness has taken over, if only we could turn back the years, unfortunately that isn't going to happen, the same will come to Colombia, but through no fault of Colombians, but because of the influx of Foreigners, especially North Americans, who come here, and when anyone refers to them as Gringo, they immediately show their anger, and believe they have been insulted, when in fact in many cases, it is far from the case.

What people the world over need to realise is that, it is not what you are called that is important, it is the tone in which it is said, in most cases it is obvious, whether someone is using the greeting, as a term or friendship or endearment, or using it as an insult, there should be no need for laws to govern such things, but due to immigration, and the cultural mix, people believe that laws are needed to protect them from the stupidist of things, mainly because those with a chip on their shoulder demand it.

Maybe it is time to tell those people with a chip on their shoulder to grow up, accept what is said to them in  the manner it was said, and learn something from Colombians, who although have a lot to learn, also have a lot to offer.

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