09 August 2013

10 Ways to Describe Colombians

Posted in Blog

Colombians, like their motherland, are a unique bunch of people. In this post, I am going to tell you 10 different ways I would describe Colombians.

1. Polite

Colombians are extremely polite by nature, some regions more than others. The words "please, " "thank you," and "you're welcome" are words you'll definitely want to use frequently here and are also words you'll hear quite frequently in many different ways. The variety of ways you can say and will hear "you're welcome," in particular only goes further to show how highly Colombians value politeness. A few of the ways you can say "you're welcome" are:

  • de nada (of nothing)
  • fue un placer (it was a pleasure)
  • para servirle (to serve you)
  • a la ordén (at your service)
  • con gusto (with pleasure)

2. Coffee Lovers

Being one of Colombia's most famous national products, coffee is everywhere in Colombia, and Colombians can't get enough of it. Most Colombians have a tinto, a small serving of black coffee (about the size of a shot), with or without sugar, about every hour or so. And, Colombians love coffee so much that there are even traveling coffee vendors who walk the streets selling tintos from around 5:30am until about 9-10pm.

Tours in Colombia
Tinto at the famous Colombian coffee chain, Juan Valdez Café

3. Soccer Fanatics

Not only do Colombians love their coffee; they also love their soccer—A LOT! Right now, most Colombians are rooting for the national soccer team who has done extremely well in the 2014 World Cup classification games. Even so, each Colombian has his/her own personal favorite team, which most likely corresponds to the Colombian department they were born in. The soccer rivalries in Colombia are fierce, and Colombians are very passionate about showing pride for their team(s).

Tours in Colombia
Celebration after Junior, Barranquilla's soccer team, won the national championship

4. Happy

Colombia was deemed the happiest country in the world in 2013, and Colombians demonstrate that happiness all the time1.

Tours in Colombia
Dancer in Barranquilla's Carnaval celebrations—can't you see the happiness on her face?

5. People Centered

Colombians as a whole put people before anything else. By that, I mean they will be late to an appointment if it means finishing an important conversation, because the person they are currently with is more important than an appointment regulated by time. In fact, Colombians are so people centered that time almost always takes the back seat.

6. Very Nationalistic & Patriotic

Colombians are VERY proud to be Colombian. You'll find many Colombians wearing bracelets, earrings, and other pieces of jewelry as well as carrying keychains, bags, and wallets with nationals emblems and colors on them daily. You'll also hear the national anthem played everyday at 6pm, no matter where you are in the country.

Tours and trips in Colombia
Breakfast plate at the national chain restaurant Crepes & Waffles

7. Regionalistic

Now, this may seem a bit ironic considering I just described Colombians as nationalistic, but Colombians are both—nationalistic and regionalistic. While Colombians love their homeland, they also love the specific regions of Colombia they hail from—the regional foods, traditions, dress, sayings, accents, and manners.

8. Family Centered and Oriented

Just like coffee and soccer, Colombians also love their families. Most Saturdays and Sundays are devoted to family time and most Colombian families are tight knit with as many as 3 or 4 generations living under the same roof.

9. Clean

Colombians are very clean. Colombians might be the most shower/bath oriented people I've ever come across. A daily bath is important here, as it is in most places, but many Colombians bathe multiple times in the day. And, in some regions if you don't bathe multiple times in the day you're considered dirty!

10. Creative

Colombians are a very creative group of people—creative and resourceful. Even when there are supposedly no jobs, for instance, Colombians create new jobs. You're sure to come across some of the most oddball, out of the norm jobs during your time in Colombia. And, the amazing thing is, most of these crazy jobs are created based on some sort of unique demand that's been seen, and they turn out to be at least somewhat successful.

Paige M. Poole

References:

  • 1http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/07/colombia-happiest-country-in-the-world-in-2012-survey-finds_n_2426667.html

About the author:

"Paige M. Poole is an Alabamian and traveler at heart who has settled, for now, in Barranquilla, Colombia, and earns her living as an English professor at the Instituto de Idiomas (Language Institute) at la Universidad del Norte (University of the North). When not teaching English, she enjoys blogging, traveling, relaxing on the beach, and spending time with her partner and two cats, Milo and Sophie. You can see more of Paige's traveling experiences in her personal blog www.trotamunda.wordpress.com

 

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