276 responses to How To Piss Off a Colombian

  1. Gracias x compartir el artículo, casi hace un mes lo compartiste conmigo, cuando vi de qué se trataba realmente me quería tomar mi tiempo para leerlo y además dejar un comentario, que así como tu post, es el reflejo de mi opinión personal y no es la verdad absoluta, ni pretendo hacer generalizaciones… Me llama la atención que pese a que dejaste muy claro que tu post no era una investigación y se trata de tu punto de vista, se generaron muchos comentarios que disfruté tanto como tu artículo, me pareció súper interesante el debate que surgió, eso vale demasiado, ver cómo generaste un movimiento de ideas, lograste que tomarán su tiempo para expresar su punto de vista, tan válido como el tuyo.

    Mientras leía lo de “ColUmbia” y no “ColOmbia” (de hecho en las redes sociales hay varios grupos que resaltan este error, así como el de América) recordé que más me ofendía que me preguntaran si en Bogotá habían edificios altos o también me llegaron a preguntar si en Colombia hablamos “colombian”. Lo contradictorio es que este tipo de preguntas vienen de personas de países “primer mundistas”… por ejemplo, en Francia le preguntaron a una amiga colombiana que si en Colombia vestíamos con ropa o solo atuendos indigenas. Oye! De hecho hace poco una señora de Filipinas me pregunto que yo de dónde era, tras mi respuesta ella replicó “then, you are from here (District of Columbia)” y yo: No, I am not. I said “Colombia”, the South America country”.

    En cuanto a la droga también he tenido que soportar algunos comentarios poco brillantes. En un viaje de intercambio que realicé cuando aún estaba en la universidad, a un tipo le pareció fácil decirme que yo debía ser sobrina de Escobar porque “cómo más uno puede salir de Colombia y además tener para los gastos en el extranjero”. Mi respuesta: becada. Otro, se burló en mi cara cuando le dije que en mi vida había probado la cocaína y terminó a carcajadas cuando me escuchó decirle que ni la había tenido en mis manos. En fin. Ahora sólo respondo que sí, que dicen que la cocaína colombiana es de las de mejor calidad del mundo, que seguramente algún amigo suyo se lo puede confirmar, pero que también tenemos café de muy buena calidad, flores de exportación, etc.

    El narcotráfico, la droga, el conflicto armado, además de ser un cáncer, sin duda han sido problemáticas que han definido lo que hoy en día somos como sociedad y que como extranjero no te libras (algunos comentarios decían que el colombiano en el extranjero huye a la realidad del país del que tanto están orgullosos), enfrentas con dignidad una batalla desde que sacas el pasaporte y tienes un trato “particular”, explicar al círculo social al que poco a poco vas ingresando que las películas (muchas de producción colombiana) sí muestran una imagen de Colombia de un par de décadas atrás, pero que las cosas han cambiado, de hecho, invitarlos a ver estas películas o series para que entiendan lo que nos ha definido como sociedad pero que no lo hagan con la finalidad de ponernos etiquetas por nuestro pasado.

    País del tercer mundo? Dejas claro qué tipo de clasificación usas para afirmar porqué consideras que no lo somos y entiendo muy bien tu enfoque. Igual, el debate da para mucho… Si pensamos en el crecimiento económico (olvidando la distribución de la riqueza), en la inversión extranjera que ha crecido gracias a un marco jurídico bien definido y además a que la seguridad ha mejorado, en el acceso a servicios públicos por la mayoría de la población, etc, etc, sin duda, somos un país en vía de desarrollo. Pero cuando pienso en el número de desplazados por la violencia, en la corrupción de nuestros gobernantes, en el camino que aún falta para una rendición de cuentas con absoluta transparencia, en el desempleo juvenil que se traduce en delincuencia, en el empleo infantil y tantos niños privados de una infancia, en el sistema de salud y de pensiones tan débil y confuso, en un sistema educativo público de alta calidad pero corto en capacidad de cobertura, en el poder de la Iglesia católica como un actor en un Estado laico, en altos impuestos y una ciudad de cabeza y cada vez más costosa, cuando pienso en las familias que sobreviven con menos de un dólar al día… No sé de un país de qué mundo hablamos…. Pero a ese mundo espero volver, sueño con estar lo suficiente preparada para ser un agente de cambio de ese mi mundo.

    Bueno, dejando de lado los temas controversiales… sí, sí, aunque no todos, sí en el exteranjero tenemos fama de rumberos… Para mi es chistoso encontrarme con un colombiano y que me diga “eres rola (gentilicio para los bogotanos, también se usa “cachaco”) y bailas tan bien?” Y que luego la razón para tal anomalía sea que “ahhh claro, aunque en Barranquilla viviste sólo tus primeros tres meses de vida, tienes el Caribe en la sangre”. Como dices, los colombianos y nuestros regionalismos! Jajaja. Pero nada, no todos los colombianos bailan, así como no a todos los costeños les gusta el vallenato o no todos los rolos tienen dos pies izquierdos. En lo personal, me encanta bailar, no tengo paciencia para enseñar a bailar pero tengo la mejor voluntad como profesora.
    En lo de siempre impuntuales no me gusta que nos excuses. Eso es otro mal nacional. Pero igual, es lindo que le quieras ver el lado amable. Al menos ya sabes cómo manejar el tiempo con colombianos: “la hora colombiana” siempre requiere mínimo 30 minutos más que la hora real. Personalmente, lo considero una falta de respeto.
    Somos amables pero también sabemos decir “no”. Creo que en otras generaciones sí se podía decir que era algo más cultural, desde el consejo de las abuelas que si uno va a una casa y le ofrecen algo que no le gusta debía comérselo para no “hacerle el desplante” al anfitrión. Sabemos decir “no” si nos piden un favor que no estamos en condiciones de ofrecer, buscamos alternativas para colaborar. Sabemos decir “no, prefiero bailar sola”.

    Te agradezco por tomarte tu tiempo para plasmar en líneas lo que fue tu experiencia en mi país, por hacerlo con humor y por atreverte a traer a la mesa temas tan controversiales. También te agradezco por tomar el riesgo de ir a un país que durante algún tiempo estaba en la lista en la que algunos gobiernos le aconsejaban a sus ciudadanos no visitar, gracias por ir y por dejarte encantar y embrujar -especialmente por Bogotá . Me agrada compartir las impresiones de los extranjeros que estuvieron en Colombia, desde luego, no todas le sacan el lado amable a ciertas situaciones y eso es también súper válido. Como dicen por ahí: cada quién cuenta cómo le fue en la fiesta. Estoy segura que también te has encontrado con colombianos que no quieren regresar a Colombia, que por su historia o mil motivos personales tienen claro que harán lo que sea por no regresar, a pesar de la nostalgia de la familia y costumbres. También estoy segura que te has encontrado con extranjeros que te dicen cosas de tu país que no habías percibido. Creo que todo se trata de ser abiertos y tolerantes con lo que escuchamos, y de ser honestos y delicados con lo que decimos. Desde hace un tiempo también he sido extranjera en varios lugares y, además de no sólo tratar de dejar claro lo orgullosamente colombiana que me siento, me agrada aprender del lugar, de su gente, de romper con clichés o quizá de confirmarlos, pero siempre terminar con la alegría de saber que los buenos son/somos mayoría.

    Muchos éxitos en tus planes!

  2. I LOVED your article! I’m also Colombian and lived in the US for a couple of years! I you are very right in all of it!! I enjoyed reading your article! :)

  3. I am Colombian, yes, I’ve lived my entire life here, and as you said all what you stated above is not for all colombians, so in my case I have to say that I feel like a stranger, and sometimes go thriugh really frustrating situations:

    I do not dance. In fact I do not like any tropical music. I simply like other type of music. Hence people say, you are just boring. Pity, there is no much available in the sense of variety.

    I say NO even in harmless situation, which leads to awkward situations. In fact, in many cases I’ve been set aside by people by such procedure. Pity, I think my fellows do not know how to live.

    I do not like to arrive late. In fact I detest lateness. And yes, strangely I do not care much about appearance but just the hour. I do not like saying hello for about 15 mins talking non-sense while someone is waiting for me. Pity, Colombians do not respect other people’s time.

    Finally, I am exclusive with friends. I do not see why we must feed someone we do not know or even a person who behaves reoughly. Friends are friends they should understand it. Pity, Colombians do not how to respect certain limits or interpersonal relationships.

    Finally, I live here, it is not that bad, but I think Colombians should learn more about limits.

  4. This was hilarious!! Thank you for this awesome “Free Writing” I felt COLOMBIAN again. I was a wonderful colombian description. Thanks a lot

  5. Great article. I can definitely relate the part about the names, dancing and helping out your neighbors/strangers. I was raised in Colombia and moved to NYC as a teenager.

  6. Great little article. Nice insight into Colombian Culture. Tahnkyou to my Colombian friend for sending me the link.

    - Leon

  7. great article, I do really appreciate your effort and giving this blog so I can share with some friends that should understand something about Colombia..

    I think many forget to read the initial note and came to make comments complaining your points.

    Very important to take this as defined in the notes… “no es una tabla raza” (no meant to define all), I do understand this as your on way to see things and how other Colombians had taught you… for instances none of the cases here piss me off… some make me sad (2. ask about cocaine, 6 about Pablo Escobar… you can also add the killing of the fultbol player Escobar that it is a special note from those who love futbol)

    All the other make me laugh since I do try to correct the people and make them aware about spelling of Colombia is no the same as Columbia, and that we are no Mexico. About the name, I would like to say that you are wrong… but thinking twice I do like to know how they will pronounce my name in other languages…. but at the end, I want them to call me as I pronounce my name when doing an intro.

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  11. I loved this article Laura (or Lowra ;) ), I lived in Bogota for 18 months a few years back and reading this really made me smile and brought back many wonderful (and, I’ll be honest, some a little traumatic!) memories :) . Gracias, un abrazo

  12. Hi! i’m a Colombian. I found your article amazing! I was adopted when i was small and my new family brought me in an other country, so i never had the true possibility to interact with people of my own culture.
    I found your article really helpful and funny (especially the part about dancing), and that’s so true!

    Thanks and cheers from Switzerland!

    -Claudia Janeth O.

  13. Hi, I really liked this article. I laughed out loud when I read your experience about names. I am colombian and I actually don’t know why I always like to know how my name “Carlos” would sound in another language, for example in english Charles or german Karl. it is very funny indeed but most Colombians do the same. I really enjoyed reading your experience and it is nice to know that there are some visitors who actually could get to know our culture. Hope you come back soon.

  14. Very Observant Jessica! It takes a special kind of mind to notice all those things, because some may be subtlelties. I find it funny because it is so acccurate. I live in the US and I’m always thinking about the differences that I notice between the two cultures. Maybe I should write a similar post but focusing in the US. Great job.

  15. Great article, sums up life here.

    To all Colombians who claim that they are offended when they are not considered American. We are taught North and South America, just as we are taught that Australia is also a continent (and it is a continental land mass). WE AUSTRALIANS GET VERY OFFENDED WHEN YOU SAY THAT AUSTRALIA IS AN ISLAND IN THE CONTINENT OF OCEANIA AND IS NOT A CONTINENT!! It’s a cultural thing. You are taught Raton Perez, we’re taught the Tooth Fairy. The Baby Jesus brings gifts to a Colombian, for us it’s Santa Claus. So when an American says they’re American and no-one else is, to them that is correct. When a Colombian says they’re from America, to them that is also correct.

  16. Jessica, congratulations! I enjoyed reading your comments about Colombia and I agree with you. I am french and visited Colombia several times and I have the same feelings about Colombians, they are warm, frendly, happy people and fun to be with. I don´t agree with all the bad publisity about this beautiful country I love to visit.
    Hope to go back soon
    Helen

  17. On a related note, here’s how to piss of a Mexican in Australia: Mention how much you like Old El Paso. The most chilled out Mexican will fly into a fit of rage, haha. First of all, it’s dumbed down Aussie Taco Bill-esque packaged meals. So have your own Mexican “fiesta” at home. Secondly, the ads: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqgSO8_cRio Apparently the actors aren’t even Mexican. Haha.

  18. Ah y se me olvidó, vivir en Colombia es cualquier cosa menos barato, se nota la ignorancia a leguas!!! Qué vergüenza!! El costo de vida en Bogotá es equivalente al de París, y no hay necesidad ni siquiera de sugerir una comparación entre las dos ciudades. Que tristeza que sea esta la gente que nos “representa” en el exterior.

  19. Me impresiona la hipocresía que exhiben muchos de los “migrantes económicos” en los comentarios, es muy curiosa la transformación que parece ocurrir en el minuto que están en un avión dejando atrás el “paraíso” (Colombia), ese “vividero” de primera clase del que llevan probablemente años tratando de escapar, y cuando les toca volver, cosa que no quieren hacer, se inventan una fantasía sobre ese país maravilloso que extrañan infinitamente, las fiestas, la familia siempre la familia y demás ficciones, cuando la verdad, que todos los que insisten en su extensa cultura y conocimiento de otros países (porque todos han vivido en otro sitio tratando de sacar provecho de alguna manera), la verdad que quieren ignorar o disfrazar de algo más, es que vuelven porque les toca, porque es muy difícil, a menos que se trate de alguien realmente calificado, hacer una vida en cualquiera de esos otros países, porque les toca hacer lo que sea, en fin me interesan muy poco los trucos a los que tienen que recurrir.
    El punto es que sobran las falsas nociones sobre un país que es un problema no porque siempre haya un factor externo sino por la cultura, el problema de Colombia somos los colombianos, es nuestra actitud, el hecho que nos apuñalamos por la espalda siempre que podemos, todo el mundo busca su cuarto de hora para aprovecharse de algo que nos debería beneficiar a todos, sea en el gobierno, en un bus o en cualquier ámbito en realidad, no hay sentido de comunidad pero todos pretenden ser patrióticos, me fastidia tanta hipocresía.
    PD. Paloma, no sé si ha tenido la oportunidad de caer en cuenta que esas universidades chimbas en países desarrollados son malas porque son precisamente las que sólo quieren quedarse con la plata a cambio de ofrecer un patrocinio para una visa para cualquier inmigrante como usted, despierte a la realidad, pero la otra verdad es que con estos “migrantes económicos” como usted, nunca se puede esperar que tengan ninguna comprensión real del sitio del que se aprovechan en un punto determinado, así que supongo que por eso usted no está consciente que los Canadienses realmente calificados, esos mismo que pueden ingresar legítimamente al mercado laboral, no estudiaron donde usted estudió, por más plata que le hayan cobrado allí, ese diploma le servirá para impresionar gente en Colombia y bien por usted, es mejor que no se arme ilusiones de entrar al mercado laboral allá y siga muy contenta de tener la aprobación de un extranjero sobre su propio país aún cuando es completamente condescendiente, me imagino que si somos tan ignorantes como para no detectar el tono minúsculo y condescendiente, debemos merecer que se nos siga diciendo que somos lo máximo porque somos como una novedad en un circo.

  20. Soy colombiana, cuando empecé a leer este articulo me pareció interesante, pero después de leer comentarios de gente con tan baja capacidad intelectual me decidí a escribir este comentario.

    1 -hay gente de Canadá y estados unidos que no saben como escribir Colombia y mucho menos se ha tomado la molestia de mirar en Google maps donde esta ubicada Colombia. A pesar de la mala reputación que tiene la educación colombiana tenemos un nivel académico mas alto, un semestre de negocios en una universidad colombiana no es ni la tercera parte de lo que se paga en una universidad en Canadá o estados unidos, lo digo por que yo estudie negocios en Colombia y en Canadá y la matemática que tome en tercer semestre en negocios fue la misma que vi en grado 10 y 11 en el colegio en Colombia, a veces sentía que perdía mi dinero con una educación tan mediocre en otro país.

    2- La cocaína es mas común de lo que parece en otros países, siempre culpan a los colombianos de drogadictos, cuando en otros países como Netherlands le ofrecen a los turistas cocaína en cada esquina por que aya es legal y en un país como zuiza se encuentra te de marihuana en una maquina dispensadora de gaseosas y agua. Además nos critican la prostitucion y en una ciudad como Amsterdam donde la prostitucion es legal y se ven las filas de turistas en su mayoría norte americanos buscando servicios sexuales.

    3- Vivimos a las carreras? Si puede ser cierto, pero disfrutamos cada momento de nuestras vidas, pues es mejor “arrepentirse de lo que se hace, que de lo que no se hace” y “mas vale tarde, que nunca”

    4- No somos mexicanos, nos encanta México, los tacos, el sombrero y las rancheras, pero por que hablamos español no quiere decir que somos mexicanos o españoles pues hay una gran diferencia de culturas y costumbres.

    5- Los colombianos si podemos decir NO, si no lo hacemos es por que somos educados y colaboradores.

    6- Pablo escobar murió en el ano de 1993, hace mas de 20 años. Que tristeza que ese sea el primer tema de conversación entre un colombiano y una persona de otro país, les recomiendo que lean, vean o escuchen las noticias recientes. La situación en Colombia esta mejor que hace 20 años, la historia no cambia de la noche a la mañana y Colombia va a paso lento pero medio. Solo un 10% de los sistemas políticos y financiero del mundo son estables.

    7- Colombia puede que este catalogado como un país tercermundista, pero después de haber viajado por mas de 15 pises en el mundo y haber vivido en Canadá y estados unidos por mas de 3 años, reconozco que Colombia es mejor vividero del mundo, el transporte publico es barato, la vivienda es barata, los arriendos son baratos, la comida es barata y lo mejor de todo deliciosa, se puede ser pobre pero se vive feliz, para aquellos que hablan de la pobreza extrema del choco o Cartagena, los invito a visitar estas casitas de madera en las que no hay comida, se duerme en el piso , pero hay un buen equipo de sonido y música a todo volumen, en estas casa se vive el día a día y el decir “ dios proveerá mañana”

    8- En este punto si podré ser un poco sarcástica, me gusta invitar a un norte americano a bailar, simplemente por el hecho de que voy a reir por horas, por que el ritmo solo lo tenemos los latinos en la sangre jejejejejeje

    9- Y bueno también he sido victima de la mala pronunciación de mi nombre, pero es algo que me tiene sin cuidado.

    10- Odio los colombianos que viven en el exterior y no hacen si no criticar a Colombia, yo soy colombiana y soy inmigrante en otro país. Pero amo Colombia y si con orgullo me voy a regresar a Colombia en un corto tiempo.

    Todos mis comentarios los escribí basados en vivencias propias, gracias a bendiciones que Dios ha puesto en mi camino he podido conocer muchos lugares del mundo, les recomiendo que lean, viajen y exploren, pues no solo en Colombia hay violencia, fuera de Colombia también hay muertes diarias, hay vandalismo y corrupción. Lo que sucede es que son más discretos los medios de comunicación extranjeros.

  21. Greetings from a happy Colombian in Australia. Great Job Jessica! Laughed out loud with every point. It is so true! This should be a scientific publication explaining Colombian human behaviour. I will post it on my facebook page. Thanks! :)

  22. Juan said on May 19, 2013

    Great article, but don’t understand why Colombian feel angry about their situation and misunderstood the whole story about to be a third world country by definition, when that lists were created from politically wrong views of our (the entire globe) reality, is just a thing called power, political or economical, but just power that does’n fit yet the real world in what we live.

    Also have to say that is so difficult express some point of view in English, cuando leés comentarios de colombianos negativos que se quejan de aquellos que valoran osobrevaloran lo poco o nada (aunque realmente hay mucho) en nuestras alforjas como una Nación de contrastres culturales, lingüísticos y conceptuales sobre las diversas realidades que asoman en cada esquina de pueblo o de ciudad de este hermoso país, que una vez más lo repito, NO es Tercermundista, es algo que nos hicieron creer, y que realmente nos comimos el cuento, pero que viene de tanto tiempo atrás como lo podrá dejar ver el arribo de Colón a estas tierras, y una larga historia que aún muchos desconocen pero que llevamos a cuestas, y sobre la cual nos dejamos gobernar, sabiendo que TENEMOS los RECURSOS que los “grandes” países del primer mundo NO TIENEN y que nosostros nos dejamos “robar” o dejamos que se los “roben” a muy buenos precios para ellos, EMPOBRECIENDO aún más nuestro pueblo.

    Gracias por hacer un repaso por algunos momentos que muchos habremos vivido, y por poner una vez más el nombre de nuestra querida y mal valorada COLOMBIA en la vitrina sobre la cual muchos podrán ver que realmente somos un país diferente, con gente dispuesta a valorar a sus visitantes y a enseñarles a TODOS a pasar el MEJOR de los momentos muy a pesar de nuestras propias viscicitudes. Buen viento y buena mar, pofa seguí produciendo esta clase de escritos, desde cualquier rincón del planeta que estés pisando!

  23. Although I am not Colombian I have friends who are from Colombia.
    My comment is: there is such a country Columbia. It is located between Canada and Mexico. And the capital of this country is Washington D.C (D.C. = District of Columbia) It is sad that people from USA don’t recognize their own country name and misspell or confuse it with South American Colombia.
    It is even worse when such comments come from teachers who are responsible for education of future generations!

  24. amazing and very true , that is why jhon is juan sinisterra es mas second name and i mix them for jhonsi

    hahahah

  25. I’ve gotten so used to foreigners bringing up the subject of the drug-trade in Colombia, I don’t even care anymore. And I guess it makes sense why they would do so- the media seems to love overemphasizing it when making news coverage on Colombia. Any Colombian can see how off-base the international media is while covering the national issues of the country. I was born and lived in Colombia until I was 12, and it wasn’t until I came to the US that I learned that we even had a drug trade problem to begin with!!

    The international community doesn’t realize that the drug trade problem isn’t one that even lingers in the minds of most Colombians- it is “La Violencia,” that is, the guerrilla warfare that plagued the country in the 1990′s where a lot of people got hijacked and killed. Now THAT is something that every Colombian can tell you about, and something that the international community, apparently, knows nothing about.

    And I think that almost every country has stereotypes like these. I know of a German youtuber who had to ask in his videos for people to stop making references about Hitler and the Nazis to him. I also know that some prejudists also like to associate people from the Middle East and Southern Asia to Osama Bin Laden the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11th.

    And I know for a fact that inaccurate, loose nationality designations are far too common. Canadians get confused for Americans, Colombians get confused for Mexicans, Koreans and Japanese get confused for Chinese, and Ukrainians and Kazakhs get confused for Russians. I would strongly recommend everyone reading this to be specially careful with the very latter- If you take a Ukrainian for a Russian, you can expect that not to go well, one way or the other. Just because many of them can SPEAK Russian doesn’t mean that they ARE Russian.

    And don’t get me started on the foreigners who not only call Colombians “Mexicans,” but also assume that we speak “Mexican.”

    I liked reading #3, #5, and #8, because they help (at least a little) to explain why I, as a Colombian, hate Americans. Many of them almost always make me feel awkward, stupid, inferior, and like my needs, thoughts, and feelings don’t matter, and are nor important. That’s why being around them makes me want to vomit. The only good thing I can think of that characterizes Americans, from a Colombian standpoint, is that communities in America are more willing to help the poor than are some of the more classist Colombian communities. But that’s just what I think. I could be wrong.

    And lastly, #1 is one I can’t get over. An ENL teacher told me that she actually had a debate with her students about whether the country name should be spelled with an “O” or with a “U” in a poster of Col[o]mbia (emphazis on the “o”) that they were making for that class. How does that happen?

    And a Computer Applications teacher I had in middle school who went on a missions trip to Mexico told me that the spelling of our country’s name in English is with a “u” and not an “o.” Are you fucking kidding me???!!!

    I guess its good that someone would write a blogg/handbook of how to (or not to) piss off a Colombian, but I think the sad, cold truth is that foreigners will always piss us off without even trying :P

    Esos extranjerso si son muchos guevones, y los gringos en particular son unas ratas. (that’s Mexican for “have a nice day, and stay cool this coming summer!”)

  26. Sorry guys. We’ve got to admit that Colombia is a third world country or a banana republic. Then how would you explain the extreme poverty in Choco, the 50-year war against the guerrilla (the oldest one around the world), a crappy law system that defends the bad guys, extreme social inequality, everyday unethical social behavior of the average colombian, the fact that most colombians read just about a book and a half per year. What about the early 20th century type of education system all students in high-school and university have to go through, also the fact that most politicians and wealthy businessmen still have a feudalist-like way of thinking and they just protect their own interest no matter how, the public healthcare system is obsolete and corrupt, most people still resist the fact that speaking English is a must in a globalized era and still they don’t want to learn the language, people jaywalk all the time, cars tailgate all the time and drivers constantly break traffic laws, drunk driving is not completely illegal, freedom of speech is a not at all true, 35% of the population is armed especially with unlicensed guns, people want to become politicians in order to rip off the nation somehow, most poor people have Pablo Escobar as a role model to follow, some beautiful girls from “decent” families become hookers so they can have some “extra” income and so forth.

    The other side of this sad truth is that the local media and the middle class want to believe in the perception that this country is totally civilized and that we have a false sense of high living standards. Lots of wannabes in this country who might have an iphone 5 but don’t have a notion of being honest and who don’t know how to pull together as a team. As a conclusion, we are a third world country even if we don’t want to admit it. So who are we trying to fool?

  27. This is a wonderful piece, and I don’t think you said anything to say “sorry” for. I came here for one year…10 years ago. What made me stay? Colombians. They are an amazing people. With all the problems this country has had, I am always amazed at how friendly, happy, helpful, open etc etc these people are. Well done.

  28. Lynn said on May 8, 2013

    Lovely, nice to know that yet again another visitor was charmed with Colombia and it`s culture. As I kept reading your article I noticed the sensivity you gained towards Colombian`s behaviour.
    Forgot to mention the amazing cousine developed in every single region of the country and the beautiful festivals held during the entire year… specially the warmness of the Carnaval de Barranquilla.

  29. hey:

    I had so much fun reading this and realize that some called of “defects” have also their good side.

    Of course all generalizations may offend the ones that are not like that, but how else can you try to describe cultures, people, places?

    I’m living in UK now and work with people for a lot of places. Sending them this right away is a must.

    Thanks,

    Iván Ricardo

  30. Can I ask a question about the late thing please?

    We invited some Colombian friends over for lunch. They were almost two hours late. That’s ok, we don’t mind. However, we had another appointment that afternoon that we couldn’t really get out of, and it mean we had to usher our friends out after they’d only been here for about an hour. They looked shocked and upset.

    What would a Colombian do in this circumstance??

  31. I would say part of her blog is true again it is all relative and a bit of generalization of a country with millions of people. You can find amongs us Colombians paisas who woudn’t lift a hand to help, those who came here and became better and yet are more arrogant than before, and want success only for themselves. But what she wrote it is true for countries like Costa Rica, Belize, Panama, Venezuela, you will always find good hearted people really anywhere in the world. Some people love dancing some Latins cant dance, this is somewhat of a stereotype. So, really i guess depends what type of people one sorrounds oneself with, if you are good person thats what you will attract. Although her blog is great and uplifting!!! it should be say nice , kind people can be found in any country.

  32. Would be really good to keep more often in touch with your great articles. Do you have a twitter account Jessica?

  33. Me gustó. Obviamente no me sentí identificada con todo, un poco exagerado eso de que llevamos a todo el mundo a las fiestas y etc., pero bueno, es una opinión.
    En realidad me parece mucho que que se haya tomado el tiempo para escribir sobre nosotros, creo que por algo debe ser, no? ;) , claro! como dice, orgullosamente colombiana…
    A pesar de que no estoy de acuerdo con eso de que nos llevamos la ‘patota’ para todas partes, me gustó mucho esta frase: Inclusiveness is a trademark of Colombians. Bellaaaaa…
    Y, haciendo caso al tema de que es Colombia, no Columbia; agradecería también hacer el uso del acento (tilde) en el nombre de nuestra capital, mi ciudad, que se llama Bogotá y no Bogota… así como no nos gusta que nos cambien los nombres…
    Gracias por resaltar algunos bellos aspectos de mi país… no somos perfectos, pero como dices, lo importante es divertirse :) .

  34. Como emberracar a un colombiano. Ser gringo y Escribir un blog personal hablando de como emberracar a un colombiano jjaja @tatiana Estuvo bueno tu blog me rei mucho.

  35. ¿Cómo “emberracar” a un Colombiano?: Actuando como un “gringo” desorientado, haciendo preguntas estúpidas y pretendiendo que tiene la más mínima idea de cómo es el país en realidad, pensando de manera condescendiente “esto es un pequeño paraíso” sin caer en cuenta que hay una buena razón por la cual la mayoría de la gente haría lo que fuera por salir de allí y lo han hecho, prueba es que sea uno de los países con el más alto índice de emigración.

    Colombia ES el Tercer Mundo, con una mentalidad retrógrada tercermundista, aunque supongo que hay grandes partes de Estados Unidos que son igual o más retrógradas.

    Creo que lo que en realidad “emberraca” a los Colombianos, y me refiero a los pocos de nosotros que elegimos vivir en la realidad, quienes estamos conscientes del sitio del que venimos y todos sus problemas, es la gente como usted que subestima estos problemas, pretendiendo que tiene idea alguna de cómo es el país y su gente, describiendo características negativas como si fueran positivas perpetuando así la mediocridad y la ineptitud.

    ¿Cómo es algo cómico o bueno que los Colombianos lleguemos tarde o que nunca digamos no pero probablemente no hagamos lo que dijimos que haríamos? Estas son características vergonzantes y negativas y son unas de las muchas cosas que necesitamos mejorar. Excusar estos comportamientos es ignorante y condescendiente a la vez, además que innecesario, ya que nosotros ya somos bastante buenos al inventar excusas.

    ¿Por qué disfrazar como positivas estas actitudes y no señalar más bien cosas verdaderamente positivas sobre el país y su gente? Tal vez usted simplemente no se molestó en descubrir cuáles podrían ser esas cosas.

    Me parece increíblemente hipócrita y condescendiente su opinión, es como decir que “qué maravilla y qué interesante ver como estos Colombianitos son perezosos e irresponsables, porque en realidad qué se puede esperar de ellos”. Seguramente esto le da a usted un falso sentido de superioridad.

    Yo soy la primera en admitir que es muy bueno que los extranjeros vengan a Colombia y descubran que no todos los estereotipos son ciertos pero creo que vender esta imagen falsa y arreglada es peor que empezar por admitir nuestros problemas y tratar de encontrar soluciones. Esta complacencia Colombiana es gran parte de la razón por la que no vamos a ninguna parte, es como el chiste, Adán y Eva deben ser Colombianos porque no tienen zapatos, ropa ni nada para comer pero todavía creen que están en el Paraíso. Es hora de despertarnos y dejar de estar tan felices de vivir en un país con tantos problemas, la mayoría causados por nuestras propias actitudes y cultura. Es vergonzoso que seamos de los países más felices cuando debemos tener de las peores condiciones de vida en el mundo.

  36. How to piss off a Colombian: Act like some clueless american, asking dumb questions and pretending to have any understanding at all of what the country is really like, thinking in a patronizing way “this is such a little paradise” without realizing that there´s a reason why everyone will do anything to get out of there and have done it, as is proven by the fact that it has one of the highest indexes of emigration.

    Colombia IS a Third World Country, with a backward third world mentality, although I suppose massive areas of America are as or even more backward.

    I think what really pisses off Colombians, and I mean the few of us who are actually living in reality, who are aware of the place we come from and all it´s problems, is people like you playing down these problems, pretending to have an understanding of what the country and it´s people are like, actually describing negative features as positives thus perpetuating mediocrity and laziness.

    How is it a good thing that us Colombians are always late? Or the fact that nobody will ever say no to anything you ask but probably will never get around to actually doing it? It´s something embarrassing and bad about our way of doing things, something that needs improving. Excusing these behaviours is both ignorant and patronizing, and we already do a great job at making excuses for ourselves.

    Why point out these things and not point out truly positive things about the place and the people? Maybe you simply didn’t bother to find out what these things are.

    It strikes me as really hypocritical and patronizing the position you have adopted, it´s like saying that us Colombians are so lazy and irresponsible but that it is such a great thing that we are, because you can´t really expect anything better from poor Colombians and it might give you a false sense of superiority.

    Maybe try and inform yourself a bit better and stop believing what advertising tells you.

  37. Qué bueno leer lo que escribiste Jeszi… creo que son muchas las historias que puedes compartir luego de tu estadía en nuestro país. En esos puntos que mencionaste resumes muy bien algunas de las cosas que “nos sacan la piedra”….
    Un abrazo y te recuerdo con mucho cariño.

  38. Jessica:
    Gracias por su escrito; me encanto. Soy boyacense y vivo en Estados Unidos hace 30 anos; llegue con mi esposo y con 4 hijos que actualmente son profesionales, casados y quienes orgullosamente han llevado a sus parejas a Colombia para conocer la familia, nuestras costumbres y los bellos lugares turisticos; todos ellos han regresado felices de la oportunidad de haber visitado un pais tan rico en calidad humana. productos y el amplio rango de platos tipicos. Y que decir de la musica y el ambiente fiestero. Nuevamente muchas gracias.

  39. laura said on May 4, 2013

    I am colombian, my name is LAURA and I hate to hear it with english accent!!! specially cause it sounds like LORA which means female parrot in spanish!

    your article describes well colombian people, I live abroad and it was hard for me to get used to selfish people, when u require help no body cares but in colombia if they see u in trouble u will have at least 10 people tryign to help…
    regarding pablo escobar, it never bothered me if people ask me about him, but it is insulting if they compare all colombians with drug lords…

    ur article was nice, I really enjoyed it!

  40. Colombia IS a third world country by definition. First world is North America / Western Europe; second world is Russia / China / Eastern Europe; third world is the “developing” world including South America.

    http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/third_world_countries.htm

  41. Maria said on May 3, 2013

    you missed on one: confuse Colombia with Bolivia…

  42. Genial! Yo lamentablemente dejé Colombia hace más de 30 años, pero mantengo esa cultura viva, aunque por mucho tiempo no lo sabía. Viví en Venezuela unos 20 años, después me he mudado para Portugal hace 13 y ahora UK hace casi 2. Así que, como ciudadano del mundo, a quién también le ha correspondido entender otras culturas, me ha encantado esta descripción tan amena, tan sincera y, a la vez, graciosa. Yo no creo mucho eso de llevar más gente cuando eres invitado, pero no dudo que te haya pasado en tus vivencias. Me agrada enormemente saber que hay personas con mente suficientemente amplia para defender otra cultura de la cual, sin duda, se han enamorado. Felicitaciones y gracias!

  43. I’m a first generation American, both my parents and EVERYONE in my family was born and most of them still live in Colombia. Pereira, Santa Rosa, Armenia, Bogota & Medellin. I LOVE your atricle! I may be first gen Amer. but I AM A COLOMBIAN through and through. I keep my culture alive through my food, music, dance and pass all that I know and love to my children and even some of my friends. I live smack dab in the middle of the US and there are a bunch of us here in Arkansas, we stick together as much as we can, we celebrate (all though it’s super hard because Aguaardiente isn’t easly found here….can someone help us with that problem please?), we cook, we introduce our friends to sancocho, platano and yucca and especially dance! My best friend here is a red head…we call her the Red Headed Mexican (no offense) because here they are adbundant here and she out of all people can dance ANY latin dance out there!!!! I agree with everything you said especially about the spelling of Colombia….it’s an insult one other thing you might add is don’t ask if I’m Mexican as me where I’m from dangit!!!!!! Looking forward to more from you!
    Monica Grisales H.

  44. Congratulations, finally something that doesn’t talk about narcs, prostitutes or assassins, thank you for taking your time to understand my people and clarify that most of the people are good, and congratulations, now you have a little of malicia indigena and Colombian humor negro.

  45. Congratulations, finally something that doesn’t talk about narcs, prostitutes or assassins, thank you for taking your time to understand my people and clarify that most of the people are good, and congratulations, now you have a little of malicia indigena and Colombian humor negro

  46. Great Article! I have read it twice already. You certainly got the idea of us Colombians, THANK YOU so much for sharing these thoughts to the world and instructing people how to get to know us better and understand our behaviour. I agree with some commenters on that there is no need for you to clarify or apologise for this, and for the ones against your writing, is just simply hard for them to accept the absolutely true (another typical Colombian feature, u know). Thanks again :)

    Carolina,
    not Caroline or Carolaina… hahaha (just kidding).

  47. Very interesting, witty and nicely written article. As a Venezuelan I recognized many things that we have in common with Colombians, as well as certain things that I have seen among my Colombian friends and business associates –especially the fact that they never say No to anything you ask, though sometimes that does not mean that they will do it. The comments to your article are also interesting. It would seem that some people have had problems understanding that you are writing about how Colombians look to a foreigner, not necessarily about how they actually are. Carajo, not even El Gabo has been able to satisfactorily describe every one of the 46 million people in Colombia.

  48. An excellent compilation of thoughts by an observant, respectful and open minded world traveller. Colombian culture * just like any other * is complex and have beautiful traditions together with some downright embarrassing habits and attitudes! — Despite the negatives, I am very optimistic about the future. Colombia is a very rich country in constant evolution. The majority of Colombians are willing to listen and learn. We should criticize for improvement instead of turning our backs to the motherland and insult it.

  49. Toño said on May 2, 2013

    I loved this article, I agree in most of the things, it just depend on the province you are talking… Rolos are different from caleños and paisas… but overall it´s great. This is comming from a proud bogotan

  50. Yes, Andrés no Andrew nor Andy. It´s always nice to see yourself through other eyes, your coments are funny respectful and fresh it was great to find your blog. You also did a great job by pointing out than a psychopath like Pablo Escobar was not some kind of Robin Hood so thank you very much for that.

    Waiting for more:

    Andres H.

  51. As an expat and resident of Colombia for more than 30 years, let us agree to disagree on many things that you have defended. There are many aspects of Colombia that were extremely attractive maybe 20 years ago, but have lost their luster today. First of all Colombians do arrive late to invitations, but not because they have met a friend on the street, but because the traffic in Bogota is more congested and slower than a snail crawling over ice and much worse than it was 25 years ago. Why because the government continues to authorize the importation of more vehicles. Why? What happened to the industry Colombiano? Since the IVA and new tax laws have ravaged the little profits that one can extract from many hours of work, one wonders where and what are these revenues doing for the country as a whole. Of course at least 90% of Colombians avoid paying taxes any way so one has to wonder where all that money is going. The judicial system is in a shambles and a joke for a country that wants to be considered more advanced than its neighbors in S.A. The police? give me a break! They are just as corrupt as the criminals they are supposed to be catching. Where are the zonas verdes in Bogota? People are living on top of each other leaving hardly any room to breath. Kidnapping is on the rise again. There is a no more horrendous crime than this and yet it is coming back. Insecurity in Bogota is once again on the rise. Bandillas of apartamenteros are invading innocent people’s homes and stealing their belonging. Do the police catch them?… I don’t think so because they are most probably involved. Colombians say “folkloric” I say bull S**t. There is nothing folkloric about many things that Colombian brush off as chistoso. But then again what else can they say when they are part of the problem. Attitude is the problem. Yes they are very nationalistic, but what else can they be with so many problems? One can take it or leave it, that’s they way they want it to be. I left and have absolutely no regrets, but many good memories from many years ago, but wouldn’t want to live there today.

  52. Well…i must say that for a foreign person you got quite the picture about us, colombian people.
    It was a refreshing reading, obviously there are some issues i don’t agree completely, but i’m not gonna argue about it.

    Thanks for taking your time and write all those nice things down, i’m sure a lot of people will find this blog entry really useful.

    Hope you have a nice day ;)

  53. This was a well written piece. As a born and raised Colombian woman (who has lived in the US 10 years) I feel you have tapped insightfully into some of the behaviors we adopt in our adult life and somewhat contrast with Americans but we never quite understand why…. this shed some light for me in that regard…. plus, I also laughed like a maniac as I read it! Great job!

  54. America es un continente no un país!!!

    I really really hate when people say “America” talking about just U.S …
    What are we then?

  55. Gracias !! ..y como decimos en Colombia “la berraquera de articulo”

  56. tato said on May 2, 2013

    A) To many Paisas, Pablo Escobar was nothing short of a Saint. There is an altar in his home neighborhood.
    B) Bogota is not Developed. Yet. Maybe in a few decades is corruption allows it.
    C) We have to say “NO” to many things, mostly bad things.
    Colombia is a country with 3 main communist Narco Terrorsit groups: FARC, ELN, ELN. ANd then there are the rest, equally psychotic, and people see death on the news and the next our go out and party, because “what’s the point in worrying about that stuff”. I wonder what kind of nice place do you think we live in?

  57. I thought the word “third world” went out long ago (along with blocs: First world = US bloc, Second world = Russian bloc, Third world = the leftovers). Now we just have developed and developing.

  58. Comparto un 90% :) se lo mandare a algunos amigos que obligue a bailar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :S

  59. jorge said on May 2, 2013

    Sorry but you got it wrong on a few things: First, after living in NYC for most of my life, and after having seen many other rushy cities in the planet, i don’t agree with your idea that Colombians do not care much about time. Have you seen a more frantic/rushy city than Bogota? what about the fast moving of traffic/people in Medellin or Cali? the moving of these cities wil tell you that, by many standards, Colombians live “azarados.”
    Second, it is also a mistake to believe that Colombians are not exclusive. You should have stayed longer here for you to see how “arribismo” divides this society. how Colombians love their well-off relatives/friends and hide from their poor ones.
    lat but not least, what pisses the most of a Colombian is some foreign pretending to know everything about the country after six months of teaching English to some dorky Colombians in Bogotá.

  60. Que pena, corazon pero estas muy equivocada, Colombia es tercermundista y no dejara de serlo por muchas decadas, asi nos duela pero es la verdad. Yo quiero a mi pais de origen, pero no me salgo de la realidad.

  61. Muy buen articulo Jessica. No estoy muy de acuerdo con el punto 8. Yo como colombiana nunca llevo “adiciones” a fiestas o cenas, me parece terrible. Jessica, por favor no te molestes en disculparte por mencionar que eres americana. Yo no sé cual es es problema de la gente con el termino america, americano, americana. Yo no quiero ser catalogada como Americana! Si, puedo ser de Colombia país en LAS AMERICAS, pero yo soy de SUR AMERICA o Latina. Los únicos ofendidos por el termino America , americano (a) son los latinos! y no entiendo el por que. Por favor investigar y leer mas antes de criticar a los americanos por simplemente expresar su nacionalidad.

  62. I think I love you!!! hahahah u dont realize how easy is gonna be my life in the states now!Ill forward this article to all my foreigner friends! thanks

  63. Colombi tambien te ama

  64. Colombia tambien te ama

  65. That explains a LOT about my ex-boyfriend — including WHY he is my EX-boyfriend. Even to a brazilian is challenging!

  66. Mauro said on May 1, 2013

    Please add another one. We central and south american countries hate when U.S call themselves americans. We are americans too. America is a continent not a country. You are the only ones in this world that are taught at school that there are 7 continents.

  67. Lala said on May 1, 2013

    Well, I really liked your vision of Colombia, I was wondering how somebody from other countries could see us. I just want you to know that Colombians are really nice to their friends, their family and outsiders, but we have a not so nice way to treat people that are not in those categories. As you stated we have a huge gap between social levels wich leads to having a lot of our population living without any comforts while we decided to argue whether we are or not americans. So you know, not all colombians are so shallow. Thanks again for being here and we hope you can come back soon.

  68. Pablo said on May 1, 2013

    One explanation to the last issue is that in Colombia there is a trend to name the children with english names (or even with names that sound as english even if they are not). They don’t use it as a translation of a spanish name, it is a proper name. So Henry is not Enrique, they are different names. If you translate the name (english or spanish) you are just naming a different person.

  69. Nice post, although one thing kept me wondering…

    Arent’t colombian people american people?

    I find it funny how the US has made everyone refer to them as America. That distinction is part of why people don’t think of South American countries are not “first world” countries: They are not “America”. But they are! :)

  70. Caro said on May 1, 2013

    Hey!!! Did you read my mind? Thank you for posting this, it shows how connected you were with our culture. More travelers should do the same so we don’t offend people when visiting their countries. Thank you, thank you, thank you… I shared it with my english speaking friends so they get to understand me a bit more! It was hilarious and very accurate.

  71. Jessica
    Interesante visión de los colombianos, puedo tener diferencias respecto a algunos puntos, sería interesante tomarnos un café para discutirlas; el narcotráfico, Escobar, la figura de las guerrillas, etc. son parte de nuestra cultura y en muchos parte presente de nuestras penas y dolores, todos los días tratamos de enmendar su mal y cimentar otras imágenes menos dolorosas para nosotros mismos y para los demás…
    Por eso y pese al “No” siempre invitamos a bailar a las “gringas”

  72. Great article……i get it now!!….i was wondering why my German and Aussie friends were getting piss off when i insisted for them to dance……!! amazing what different viewpoints can do in any relation!!!….to me dancing was simple! for them was nightmare and confrontation!!!…..he,he,he,!!!…..sorry friends…I’ll b more gentle next time…..he,he,he!!!…..

  73. Estoy muy deacuerdo con el articulo, y tiene la chispa de nuestro humor Colombiano… Si … COLOMBIA… Es el mas hermoso pais del mundo. Tenemos una gran diversidad de culturas, religiones, etc.. Es es realidad un pais LIBRE. libre para expresar tus emociones, libre para ir a cualquier lado sentarse al lado de un rio y disfrutar del paisaje sin violar ninguna ley. La ley de la libertad… respetamos al otro … vivimos con intensidad… reinventamos cada cosa… Es nuestra gente y nuestro pais mas rico que cualquiera. Somos tan ricos en recursos naturales que ni los politicos corruptos, el narcotrafico, la guerrilla no han podido quebrar al pais…Las mas bellas esmeraldas del mundo, la mayor diversidad en Orquideas, el mejor cafe del mundo.. y muchas cosas mas.. Eso es lo importante de mi pais nuestra riqueza. Playas, montañas, rios, mares, paisajes monumentales y de magestuosa belleza.
    Nuestra gente… Si nuestra gente que aprendio con tantos golpes atravez de la historia a ser solidarios, entregados el uno por el otro, trabajadores incanzables y muy creativos. Colombia un pais donde la familia sigue siendo el nucleo de nuestra sociedad, valores infundados para ser mejores personas cada dia y mantener vivo nuestro pais.
    Nuestros campesinos que desde muy temprano se levantan a cosechar el fruto de su esfuerzo para que dia a dia en nuestra mesa y las mesas del mundo reciban lo mejor de nuestra tierra…
    ESA ES MI COLOMBIA… ESA ES MI GENTE … ESE ES MI PAIS…
    Si, el artidulo es una de esas formas que usamos los colombianos para expresarnos con humor y con verdad..
    Somos unos berracos !!! unos Duros !!! adentro y fuera de nuestro pais. y si estamos fuera de el, en cualquier pais que nos encontremos, nuestra cultura es es muy bien representada porque llevamos a cada rincon del mundo una parte de nuestro pais y podemos compartir con otras culturas lo HERMOSA QUE ES COLOMBIA.
    COLOMBIA es el nombre de un pais pero encierra en sus letras la mas grande riqueza del mundo.

  74. Si, yo tampoco entiendo porque algunos se ofenden, cuando Ella fue bien Clara diciendo, que no era una investigacion a profundida patrocinada por ninguna universidad… Ella esta haciendo una observacion sobre lo que ha experimentado con sus amigos colombianos, y la verdad me parecio muy acertada

  75. Estupendo! A copy of this blog should be handed out on entry at El Dorado airport to non-Colombians. Very astute observations.
    With inherent levels of (british) self-awareness, shyness and a belief that I would only utter the words “Let’s Dance” sung in unison with David Bowie (“To the song they’re playing on the radio”), i have been liberated by my visits to Colombia and Colombians.
    Following a rapid realisation that I would not be able to decline invitations to “move during music”, I found with great surprise that all my legs, body and arms can indeed synchronously move. Whether it constituted being called “Dancing” (let alone Salsa), or justified the complements, I am unclear. Credit is due to an Angelic teacher but nevertheless, dancing is made accessible and very enjoyable in Colombia.

    Two features I would add to your list.
    1. The Colombian work ethic is second to none.
    2. Colombians are very appreciative of anyone who actually visits Colombia and forms their own opinion based on personal experience.

  76. I had never heard of Pablo Escobar until I went to Colombia and and Colombians brought it up all the time. The guy is sensationalised in general as exemplified in a recent soap opera, ‘El Capo’. So, I think you might have missed the mark with that one but as you said, the article is meant to be exaggerated. I am sure you are aware that the term ‘third world’ is unacceptable and developed and developing countries are more suitable terms, of which Colombia is developing. Yes, I agree with you, it’s not on the bottom least developed countries, as you say. These are reserved for countries at war and suffering from extreme conditions such as drought and famine. However, they are in the same category as countries such as Ecuador, Venezuela and Syria and receive OECD funding. There is still a long way to go and as some other posts mention, extreme poverty exists, along with poor infrastructure, corruption and environmental degradation. Don’t forget all of the people who have been displaced from their homes within this country. These things need to be mentioned because you stress the fact that there is no ‘third world’ conditions in Colombia. Everyone here in Australia knows tacos come from Mexico. It doesn’t matter that it’s spelt Australie in most languages. But regardless of all the negatives, my inlaws are Colombian, my son is Colombian, the culture is warm. I don’t dance, it’s not in my culture, I don’t feel comfortable, no one forced me. Yes Colombians are late, I like it, although in my culture it’s not accepted. That’s the beauty of different cultures, we need to learn what it right in different contexts and try to keep to it. Anyway, I am glad you loved Colombia.

  77. Fun little essay by Jessica. I am “Columbian”, my husband “Gringo”. He gets so upset by the misspelling! I agreed with the humorous opinions. I must add that it was uncomfortable for me, when I visited my (now dead ) parents years ago, to have to take that after-lunch break. I’m not used to the siesta anymore!
    I want my “North-American” friends to read the whole thing. It’s fun.

  78. Thanks Jessica; must of your comments to me looking genuine ones. As you mention on it is not media production. It is good to know that you have been leaving in my natal country and you cut feel and see, what happening there.
    Well I’ll not go again on you original version of this comment, just about pride yes we are. Third world country??? maybe because the invaders came to us without invitation into our country and stole all the richness to support there own wars amount them, so we remain powerless. About Colombia and not Columbia that’s right, since we got this name base in our explorer man CRISTOFORO COloMBO or Cristobal Colon. The American continent it is universal as is Asia, Oceania,Africa, Europe. But we referred to north America its correct since this name was giving to them on the name of AMERIGO VERPUCCI. This explorer and cartographer, he establish the first Afro-Eurasian colloquial name for new-world. Mean us. About the dance well say yes we love our folk, those who do not dance for any circumstance bad luck, since the music is the first nourishment for our soul and the vibrant Colombian people.
    But souvenirs of the past, yes every country has and will remain as an ICON and we should not let happen again. Escobar was bad but so are the corrupted politicians, yes I can say Colombians we are like the bees good workers take it easy, noise, sticki-bee, creative, innovators and sweet like honey. We know that the honey but natural rules never expired. We can ask the Egyptians, when the time of excavation after 3000ts year they found honey. What piss-me off is that people in general must travel around the world and Lear the trout about every where as you did it, and do as you said it not media information. One again thanks for your efforts and knowledge about my Colombia. C’ yaaa.

  79. Lucia said on May 1, 2013

    Hola!

    Me encantó tu artículo, es muy divertido y creo que refleja muchas de nuestras características culturales y actitudes frente a ciertos hechos. Creo que la “imprecisiones” han sido resaltadas de manera amplia y suficiente, así que sólo quiero darte las gracias por molestarte en entendernos y hablar tan bien de nosotros. Confieso que me gustó tanto que no apenas iba por el segundo punto cuando en un “ataque” de emoción lo compartí en mi wall! jajaj
    un abrazo enorme!

  80. I really loved your post! I would say that all of these things can describe us as Colombians hahaha!

    ¡Saludos! Y que vuelvas pronto ^_^

  81. Todd said on May 1, 2013

    I noticed a lot of comments stating that everyone in North America is an American. I am trying to think of a single Canadian who would refer to themselves as an American. We are from Canada. We call ourselves Canadian. While we are usually laid back and relaxed, call us Americans, and we might just get in your face a little. Americans is what we call our friends south of the border. And we are VERY different from our friends to the south. If you want to see a lively debate, find an American and Canadian and bring up universal health care, or gun control. Just make sure you are not standing in the middle first.

  82. DIMA said on May 1, 2013

    EXCELENTE!! MIL GRACIAS POR ESCRIBIR ESTE ARTICULO, SE LO MOSTRARE A MI ITALIAN HUBBY :)

  83. Excelente artículo!

  84. I loved your writing. You are absolutely right. I think some points really apply for Mexico too: Numbers 1 (but with the “j”), 2 (for any drug!), 3, 4 (Colombia is a super-diverse country, we are also super-diverse, so we both eat hundreds of different meals), 5, 8, 9, and 11 (highlight on this one!).

  85. I liked it very much except for the term ‘Americans’ only being used for estadounidenses knowing that Colombians are Americans too. But I guess it is not your mistake. There should be a better term in English to describe people from the United states.
    As you can see my name is in your examples of the name changing story and being at this moment in Australia I can tell you that the trying to change my name here is worse! I have been giving a name like they did, I don’t know why would someone just by comfort for himself just decide to change it?? What a lack of respect is that!?!

  86. Hahaha… pretty accurate, except in the expression: “qué rabón”. It’s just a statement of “rolos” or “bogotanos”. I can’t imagine a “costeño”, a “caleño” or even worst, a “paisa” saying that.

  87. Jeff said on May 1, 2013

    So Colombians don’t say NO, does that mean that girls there are very easy???

  88. Dan said on May 1, 2013

    Sorry, even though it is kind of stupid to call U.S. citizens Americans it is even stupider to get offended by that convention. After all, U.S.A. is named United States of America. This is unfortunate when two places are named the same thing much like Columbia University kind of shares the name with Colombia. If it offends you when somebody says ‘Americans’ you should tell them to be more specific.

  89. bill said on May 1, 2013

    Yo creo que en todos los aeropuertos de Centro América y Sur América debería existir un anuncio que expresara ” Bienvenidos a América” eso podría hacer la diferencia. Hemos perdido hasta el nombre de nuestro contiente!

  90. bill said on May 1, 2013

    It is a spectacular and real description about that beautiful country that is located in America. congratulations.

  91. Laura said on May 1, 2013

    Me reí mucho, se ve que has compartido mucho con Colombia y su cultura, gracias por hablar bien de nuestro país. Un abrazo.

  92. well…. I’m colombian and I disagree on some of your points…

    9. Aren’t we a third world country? WE ARE!!! we have the worst roads in South America, even Ecuador and Peru that technically are worse countries than Colombia have better roads, Bogota is full of beggars all around the city and your mirrors can be taken by a thieve in any place… in the case you are fortunate to have a car, because our public transportation is awful, is shit! and expensive compared to better systems in neighbouring countries, very few colombians get good hospital services, our health system is SHIT! after 4 years we have not been able to finish the 26th street and the airport, the only country with guerrilla in the whole continent… of course Colombia is a Third World Country, we cannot deny that fact or otherwise we[ll be always a Third World country, if we accept reality and don’t lie to ourselves and then work hard probably we’ll improve…. but as we feel “rich”, “important”, we’ll be always underdeveloped.

  93. Me tocó el escrito. Quiere decir que es un buen retrato de nosotros. Como siempre, no todo el mundo queda contento con la foto que le tomen.
    ¡Felicitaciones!

  94. Interesting article Jessica, especially the “Columbia part” That’s what we are, what we do and how we feel, that’s the beautiful people and country I come from!

    Regards!

  95. Hi, I liked your article, but one of the things that piss me off, is when people refers as “Americans” the ones who born in the US. America is very big, so I would suggest to find another definition for this. In spanish we use “estadounidenses”, and I understand we don’t want to use “gringo”, because we are talking about being nice to each other, so I heard that we can say “United-Statesian” or at least “U.S Americans”. Also I want to add that the main problem with the drug war we are having in Colombia is cause by the politics against drugs, and this is very painful for us as Colombians, we do not like to hear jokes about this.

  96. Great article indeed! I’ve been and lived in many countries around the world and I’ve seen how people behave in different social contexts, but there’s something that is very distinctive in many colombians and it is spontaneity. Especially if the people are from anywhere around the country and some people from Bogota (who are considered to be a little bit colder and somewhat hypocritical). People in Colombia consider that “right here, right now” is more important than anything else. I also agree with a comment that someone else posted that stated that colombian don’t like to follow rules and if a new one is created, it will not be followed up and it will be eventually forgotten (this is a great cultural problem that has affected every colombian somehow). This is a very lenient, forgetful (historically speaking) and forgiving society (especially with corrupt politicians and warlords from any side). Another great issue is the social segregation that colombians face just because a social status number (this means that if you are from a social status level 1 you live in great misery and if you are in the sixth one you are rich). People will judge you depending on your social status, therefore, creating social segregation, social inequality, resentment, intolerance and discrimination. In spite of our problems (anyway, what country doesn’t have them?), we face them with a smile in our faces and we are always positive that things are going to be better some day. For those foreigners who stereotype us as drug lords, peasants or indians who are swinging from trees; just get informed a little better: read from books, magazines and Internet articles that come from reliable sources (such as Jessica’s article) and stop believing in the stereotypes that Hollywood has assigned us. If you are able to travel here, I’m sure you won’t regret it since you’ll have a blast!

  97. I wrote back in spanish and looks like no one caught on what was said…the name of the country is United States of….AMERICA!!! in other words, America is the name of the country, that being also the name of the continent doesn’t mean that the name of the country implies the continent…I mentioned that Colombia at one point was Estados Unidos de Colombia, and nobody made a fuss about the name of the country being Colombia, and we should call ourselves estadounidenses at that time, I believe everyone then called themselves just Colombians…

  98. when does the “things colombians do that piss me off” article come out?

  99. America is not a country, it is a Continent gringa!!!!!

  100. Muy buen artículo. Tienes una excelente y acertada percepción de los colombianos, a mi modo de ver.

    Solo hay un punto que es parcialmente verdad. Es el punto No 6 sobre Pablo Escobar. Lo que mencionas sucede con la mayoría de la población colombiana, en la que me incluyo. Sin embargo, hay un porcentaje significativo de la población (mayoritariamente en los estratos socio-económicos mas bajos) que ve a Pablo Escobar como un ídolo, que les dio lo que nunca el Gobierno les había dado, y lo consideran como un personaje del cual sentirse muy orgullosos. De hecho, hablan con orgullo acerca de él…. Cuestión de puntos de vista y de desinformación quizá.

  101. Me encantó el articulo aunque difiero en el punto sobre los nombres. Personalmente, no me importa como lo pronuncien y en realidad no he conocido a alguien que sí, pero aparte de eso el resto es verdad y me encanta que la gente hable bien de Colombia. Pienso que no deberíamos generalizar a la gente de ningún país o pensar que todos son como el prototipo que tenemos en mente, en cada país hay gente de todos los estilos, pensamientos, religiones, etc.

    Fue divertido leer el articulo. Gracias por hablar bien de mi país.

  102. I first went to Bogota’ in 1973 – for 8 1/2 months. My first wife was Colombian, and we honeymooned in Cartagena, ironically at El Caribe, the same hotel now made (in)famous by President’s Obama’s security detail. My two adult children, born in the U.S, but thankfully educated in Colombia, are, of course, half Colombian. I have been back many many times, the last of which was 2002 for my daughter’s graduation from La Universidad de Los Andes.

    I have tried for 40 years to get people in the U.S. “educated” about your beautiful country – las costas, la selva, Zipaquira’, las Cascadas de Tequendama, El Museo de Oro, Los Llanos, El Lago de Guatavita, San Andres, y las ciudades y pueblos de Honda, Dorada y Puerto Boyaca’. But, alas, even large U.S. city newspapers, and national TV networks still spell it with only one “O”, (even though I have written in to many to advise them), and people still think all Central and South American countries are all the same , or “like” Mexico, even after I tell them that words, like “piscina” mean different things in different countries, and after they balk, I show them that we have the same. Yes, I have had acquaintanceds actually say “What do they do there, just stand on the corner and chew coca leaves all day?”, and “Do they have actual cities in South America?”, etc. My daughter when she visited here before moving always felt bad when the only thing her North American acquaintences could talk to her about was “drugs”. And we both often talked about the same D.A.R.E. programs they had in Colombia, just like they do in the states. “Amazing”!

    Well, one explanation, (but not justification) is that in the U.S. we only have one year of World Geography, that in 6th grade for many, and never again, unless we decide to take it in college for some obscure reason. That might have been fine for 1960, but not in the much “smaller” world of 2013. Of course, the other reason, is that many “estadounidenses” do not think they have a “need to know”, and cannot “understand” why it might be important for them to know a liitle more about the world. Sad. I want to say this is a great article and a great effort.

    (But I was confused by what the author was trying to say in the last part of the last point, beginning with “When I taught in a Colombian school”).

  103. Querida jessica:
    No necesito conocerte para darme cuenta que sientes afecto y cariño por nuestro Colombia. Creo que tu opinión expresada en este escrito tiene muchas cosas ciertas, pero no por esto son sentencias !” esta claro !!que no hay ni la intención ni la profundidad para esto. Ni que que se trate de establecer si estás o generando una evaluación de Colombia, yo lo tomo como creo que es una opinión persdonal de temas de la cotidianidad de un país.
    Lo mejor de esto es que es curioso reconocer como muchas d estas características “peculiares” de nuestra forma de ser, son valga l aredundacia ” el deber ser” que en muchas culturas han perdido, no se porque, eso de hacer un favor que un “americano no le haría ni a su mejo r amigo denota que hace falta algo que se perdió, “la solidaridad” la colaboración no por ser raro hoy dia deja de ser virtud para convertirse en defecto , no todo lo contrario es de exaltar y emular.

  104. Can I move to Colombia?

  105. only like remind, i don’t know why people from US think that they are the only ”americans”, is a mistake to call Americans only to peolple from United states an Canada, America is all the american continent, from north to south

  106. Excellent! You shouldn’t clarify or apologize, you’re post is very nice and uncomfortably accurate!. I think only an “outsider” (although you belong here…) can see realize and write things like that. We Colombians care too much of what other people think. I think that’s why we’re so nice. If someone says something about the country we are in a hurry to correct, clarify and make sure the other person understands the “reality”.
    Criticism is also hard for us, both giving it or receiving it. I agree with some comment below, we’re so complicated, but still there are many things that make us very attractive :P

  107. An american friend of mine sent me this article some hours ago; its just fantastic! The author got a real dimension of colombians and I think this is a great contribuition for all people that will travel to my country. Of course, there are some little things that maybe I disgree since I ive in the Caribbean region and we take some things in a different way that the people in Bogota, for istance, but in general terms, she is very close to our identity. Again, Fantastic!

  108. AMEN

  109. Thank you for your well written piece. You have a great sense of humor ! Thank you for making me laugh.
    I appreciate the positive context of your write up. What you describe should have been said about 15 years ago !
    And yes… I appreciate the clarification that we are no Mexicans. I love Mexico and its great people. It is just appropriate to recognize that neither “Latino” nor “Hispanic” is a category, unless of course, we are trying to create a semi-accurate linguistic category.

  110. Gracias por tu excelente retrato de la cultura colombiana. Vivo hace rato afuera, le pasé este articulo a 2 ex-novias para que entendieran mejor mi punto de vista :)

  111. I loved this article about MI PATRIA! It also made me SAD, because after 30-some years of living in the US, I realized I have lost a lot of my “COLOMBIANESS” .

  112. Great piece. I just shared with my wife and she agrees with almost everything (I´m always on time and I don´t dance). I think you may want to check out this book: http://goo.gl/Lnjnv It´s very good.

  113. Simplemente “Fajado” el retrato, en varias de estas situaciones me he visto cuando me preguntan de donde eres, y digo Colombiano, dos palabras salen en ese momento, Escobar y Cocaina. Hay que aceptar que SI TENEMOS problemas y grandes, narcotrafico, corrupcion, desigualdad, inseguridad y lidiamos con ellas todoslos dias para poder frenarlas, pero tambien tenemos virtudes que poco las he visto en otros lugares y tenemos SIEMPRE la sonrisa en la cara para enfrentar lo que nos pongas..

  114. I’ve been living in Europe for 4 years and I completly agree with the article and found it somehow funny and very enjoyable, Congratulations to the writer.

    I just disagree with the comment posted by Mario Bohorquez as a Venezuelan who lived in Bogota for 14 years and then moved to the caribbean cost for work … People in the capital are always in a rush and hardly ever on time because of the big distances and the terrible traffic jumps, it is true that costeños take their time, but when you live at >30 ºC you don’t want to rush and swet bockets, distances are shorter and you can easily go around the city without dealing with major traffic jumps.

    I have also learnt that North Americans and Europeans think that cities in Colombia and other latin countries are all little towns in the middle of the jungle .. most people get surprised by the fact that after the capital with over 10 million people, other major cities are > 2 million.

  115. This was a great piece! I really really enjoyed it and I posted it on my FB wall so all my non-Colombian friends can learn a little bit about it. Even though I´m Colombian, I don´t have huge sense of belonging and most of the time I act quite different from the stereotypical culture, but I must say I felt really identified with this article.

    I also read some of your other articles and I really like the way you express your thoughts. I´d love to keep reading more articles in the future. Keep it up!

  116. I enjoyed reading your piece Jessica. It was well intentioned and funny, reminding me and other readers of our culture; what we miss and don’t miss. We have to learn to laugh at ourselves, and I did so many times while reading this.

  117. Ey que buen articulo… mi esposo deberia memorizarselo enterito!!!!

  118. Carlos,

    I completely agree, and I hate when people say “America” when talking only about the United States of America. However, as Suzette also commented, there is no other English word for my nationality! I would never say “americana” in Spanish unless talking about the Americas, nor do I say “America” in English, but as far as my nationality, what can I say! I am also half Mexican, and Mexico is “Estados Unidos Mexicanos.” Sometimes I say I’m from “the States.” Since BOTH my passports say “Estados Unidos,” I have limited options on clarification. People then comment that I should say “North American”….but I could be North American and be Canadian or Mexican. I want there to be a word that means from the United States of America that is more clear and specific, but I don’t know a universally recognized word for it- yet. When it arrives, I will be the first to use it! Thanks for your input!

  119. Este articulo quizas aplique a los Colombianos que viven en U.S. of A. (a quienes se les olvida hablar el Español despues de vivir por un par de años en America del Norte ☺). En Europa cuando se equivocan por Columbia, federal district, yo les hablo de Pablo Escobar y de la cocaina, (por cierto nadie me ha preguntado si vendo cocaina), entonces no es necesario ser mas puntual. Colombia es un pais tercermundista, (sorry), mas eso no es para llenarse de ironia o desden ni mucho menos de rabia, mas bien de tristeza ya que aun seguimos con los mismos ladrones politicos, la misma guerra y los mismos asesinatos, mas al que le caiga el guante… no todos vemos la realidad con el mismo cristal, yo prefiero la realidad bruta y sin ad’s. Lo que si me da rabia es que me detengan en Aeropuertos internacionales, que me hagan esperar por mi pasaporte y se queden mirandolo y metiendolo por la maquina varias veces como si fuese un extraterrestre, que me metan por maquinas de rayos X y que me hagan habrir la maleta en cada escala solo porque soy Colombiano, eso si que me emp*ta… ☺ eso y que a Shakira, siendo tan Colombiana se le haya olvidado la letra de su himno nacional (no se lo perdono)☺, y ni hablar de los Colombianos que viven en el extranjero y se les olvido quienes son y sus raices…Ufffffffff…..!

  120. I was born in Colombia. I have been in the United States for 52 years.

    One thing that I don’t understand, is if the continent of America, is made out of North, Central, and South America. The only people claim as being Americans, are only those born in the United States. We are all AMERICANS.

  121. At least in Bogota we are always in a rush and stressed!! Maybe costeños take their time, we don’t.

  122. To say Columbia is like say “PHONE T BONE” (Fontibon).

  123. The comments re: replacing negative sterotypes with ones you think are positive, and thus ok, are right on point. Do you think Asians like hearing that they’re good at math? No. That singles them out and makes them feel uncomfortably different, and makes you look pretentious (look how well I know other races!) and small minded (everyone can be lumped into a category! yay homogeneity!). Please don’t comment on someone else’s culture as though you’re an expert after spending spring break there.

  124. Excelent article, we love our country, and we love our customs, we have nothing to show to the world, but everything to offer to it, as we wellcome all nationalities to come to visit us, and see the true country that we are, not what they see on the news. like someone said a few lines ago. ” THE RISK IS THAT YOU WANT TO STAY”.

  125. Nice article…. And you’re right… I spent some months in the Chicago area, and when I told Americans I was from Colombia, many of them used to ask me “Where in Mexico is Colombia situated’” My goodness!!! Horrorrr!!! We want to be Colombians, just Colombians. Most of us love Mexicans and Venezuelans, but don’t like to be considered such as. And you know what? We do like the physical contact… and a negative remarks: we are so good at home, but very mean on the streets…

  126. This is not completely accurate. First, Colombia is a Third World country. One of the characteristics of the Third World is that it has both very modern and very backward regions. Second, not everybody gets mad at talking about Pablo Escobar. I actually like it when a foreigner asks me about Escobar. The problem is when they come with stupid and unsensitive jokes. But Escobar is an important person in Colombian history and, therefore, I welcome those who want to learn about him, because this means they want to learn about Colombian history.

  127. how do you explain the pablo escobar tv series, the novelas like ‘el capo’ and all the other sensationalizing of the whole underworld? plenty of colombians love talking about it – but then again all your generalizations are pretty much seen from a gringo perspective.

    and as for the third world – maybe white colombia is not third world, but take a trip to buenaventura, istmina or tado and tell me how ‘modern’ it is. And no, noone there chooses to live in these ‘basic conditions’ – it is poverty and it is widespread off the tourist trail.

  128. Columbia is the correct spelling of Colombia in certain languages such as Romanian and Indonesian.

    In German, Polish, Czech, Finnish, Hungarian for instance, the spelling is Kolumbien, Kolumbia, Kolumbie, Kolumbia, Kolumbia respectively.

    However, ‘Columbia’ it isn’t an acceptable spelling in English, French, Italian or Portuguese, for example. Columbia, at least in English only refers to the various places, towns, districts etc. in North America

    Here are some more examples of how Colombia is spelt in other languages.

    English: Colombia
    French: Colombie
    Italian: Colombia
    Portuguese: Colômbia
    Dutch: Colombia
    Swedish: Colombia

    Obviously Colombia is spelt completely differently in other alphabets, ie Arabic, Greek, Cyrillic, Logographic, Hindic etc.

  129. Hey,

    I’m an English teacher here in Colombia, and I loved this piece. In one of my classes, my students have to read an article entitled, “The Values Americans Live by” by Robert Kohls and write an essay about how they see those values reflected in mass media. As a way to understand the values, i have them think of the those values that Colombians (like them) live by. It is usually really difficult to get them to think of those values, but when they can, they usually come up with several of the things that you mention here. J3ssica, I would love to include this in my class…Would you mind my doing this?Something tells me you would love it, but I’d just to get the green light from you.

    Again, I loved this. Of course, many of these things can’t be said of ALL Colombians, but it would be such a drag to have to clarify this in every line you wrote. I don’t understand why this has to be explained.

  130. Muy buen artículo ;)

    And as a “Gary” yes… is true… I hate when I hear the “Gary” version of my name heheheh.

    Bienvenidos a Colombia siempre :)

  131. Yo creo que la mitad (sino todos) los que hemos comentado hablamos español como lengua vernácula. Aunque los comentarios y el articulo este en Ingles. Esta buena la descripción que haces, hay unas cuantas que son casi que mi pan de cada día; especialmente Columbia y Pablo escobar (que es la que mas me enfada). Ahora bien, No se si enfadarme cuando hablan de Colombia como un Pais tercermundista, cuando tristemente en muchos aspectos si lo es. Odio tener que decir que cada vez que voy me es difícil no comparar las condiciones de vida tan paupérrimas en las que sobreviven muchas personas a causa de tanta pobreza y desempleo. De todos modos aunque muchas situaciones difíciles opacan el brillo de la belleza del país, son muchas mas las razones para sentirse orgulloso. Ojalá todos los Colombianos en el exterior nos preocupáramos por dejar el nombre de Colombia en alto. que cuando hablen, o vean a un Colombiano se antojen de ir a nuestro país, y se enamoren de todo aquello que desde tan lejos extrañamos todos.
    Feliz dia Para todos.

  132. Is not Colombia from the third world? pfff who are you trying to cheat? those are the kind of lies that make everything confused, the things should be called as they are

  133. Amazing! I loved it! Thank you so much for helping me tell my American husband a little more about us Colombians. We giggled and laughed together. We connected even more. Thanks so much for writing with thoughtfulness and kindness :)

  134. Thank you so much for this. As an American born Colombian, with a Colombian husband and a small child these issues although trivial to some people have been over the year’s seriouse conversations in our home. I think you did a great job pointing out the “little” things that are trully insulting. Also on the name thing… it is fun to hear your name with a different accent sometimes, but to a Colombian sometimes your name is all you got and that name holds not just what people call you but your reputation as well, and our reputations are very important to us.

    Thanks again this was a great article.

  135. I agree with most of them… I love when you say you donʼt dance and the Colombiano replies, “No importa, aprendemos los dos”… Thanks for such a nice post!

  136. I agree with most of them! I love when you say you donʼt dance and the Colombiano replies “No importa, aprendemos los dos” thanks for such a nice post!

  137. Point number 14….. don’t talk bad about Colombian food, it could tun to heated conversations and even a further never get an invite to go anywhere.

  138. Jessica, quite funny and true. This should be included in the tour guides.

  139. DV said on April 30, 2013

    I can identify with most except 3 and 5: I’m very impatient and want to kill people who”take their time” and I never play along no is no… I do think is colombian though… the name thing I didn’t know people cared that much to be honest I’m fine with any version of my name Diana, which is pronounced in EN different than in SP.

    Cheers,
    Diana

  140. I’m thanking every body who has made a comment about Colombia.But I have to stress out, that many of you do not read history of the world. I been traveling for about 40 years around the world. I did noticed that every country has and Icon as such Argentina, the CHE Guevara, Samsuchi,of Ramgun, The pyramids of Egypt etc, I believe we can have Pablo Escobar, I believe that he has done more for his people than many presidents, let us do not look what bad thing Escobar has done to others, but who doesn’t. Well.. dance we must appreciate it since the music is the nourishment of the soul, bat luck for those who does not dance, they need to travel more.
    About the name America, this name came a live thanks to Americo Vespucci, like Colombia thanks to Cristobal Colon or Christopher Columbus?? For the spelling of his name Critofono Colombo, originally We have our Colombia Name. I don’t like the fact that Colombians can compete with other nationalities in knowledge. We mus not for get that me are the people with 1.000.000 of knowledge of 1cm and we can move the world if we have the chance. Any way it is good to have a honest opinion about any country in the world but you must leave there as the local do, feel them,love them, where is a peasant, a fellow from any city, any color of skin. Not to have and opinion because the media says so this what piss me off. We must remember what french people say equelite equality y Punto…I never forgot my nationally no where, my self-stem Arriba Colombianos.

  141. Pretty component of content. I simply stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I get actually loved account your blog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing in your feeds and even I fulfillment you get admission to consistently quickly.

  142. You forgot a very important one, Colombians hate rules!! is something in every single one of them. you make a rule and they for any means will try to break it. Colombians have the need to show they are free to do as they pleased.

  143. Este articulo quizas aplique a los Colombianos que viven en U.S. of A. (a quienes se les olvida hablar el Español despues de vivir por un par de años en America del Norte ☺). En Europa cuando se equivocan por Columbia, federal district, yo les hablo de Pablo Escobar y de la cocaina, (por cierto nadie me ha preguntado si vendo cocaina), entonces no es necesario ser mas puntual. Colombia es un pais tercermundista, (sorry), mas eso no es para llenarse de ironia o desden ni mucho menos de rabia, mas bien de tristeza ya que aun seguimos con los mismos ladrones politicos, la misma guerra y los mismos asesinatos, mas al que le caiga el guante… no todos vemos la realidad con el mismo cristal, yo prefiero la realidad bruta y sin ad’s. Lo que si me da rabia es que me detengan en Aeropuertos internacionales, que me hagan esperar por mi pasaporte y se queden mirandolo y metiendolo por la maquina varias veces como si fuese un extraterrestre, que me metan por maquinas de rayos X y que me hagan habrir la maleta en cada escala solo porque soy Colombiano, eso si que me emp*ta… ☺ eso y que a Shakira, siendo tan Colombiana se le haya olvidado la letra de su himno nacional (no se lo perdono)☺, y ni hablar de los Colombianos que viven en el extranjero y se les olvido quienes son y sus raices…Ufffffffff…..!!!

  144. you forgot talk about women, we are beautiful but no prostitutes…we are friendly and lovely but no easy women

  145. I can’t say I agree with everything you said. But definitely not bringing up the whole drug related subjects is a smart move. If you do, you’ll be seen as ignorant and even as a “yonki”.

    Arriving late or not wanting to dance will be fine depending on the group of people you are with. If you don’t want to dance there should be no drama. And also many Colombians are on time to their appointments and meetings.

    About Names and translations… that’s fine, it is not insulting at all. Since Colombians are so creative and spontaneous, it doesn’t really matter how you call them as long as is not offensive.

    Anyway great article. Cheers!

  146. Isabel- thank you so much for your comment! I meant to reply to every comment, but because of the format all the comments are put up by time, not by response, so it just looks random unless I respond right as a comment as sent- so I am glad I can respond to you! I would say that this is not a research paper, nor did I plan to write it. I grew up with Colombian friends and then lived there as an adult, and have always loved Colombian culture. When I went to Colombia to live, there was a team of internationals I worked with from many countries. I thought it was interesting to write down all the differences we had, so I just started noticing common things. I don’t think ANYTHING is ever true for EVERYONE all the time. OF COURSE not all Colombians are late, not all Colombians dance, not all Colombians hate Pablo Escobar. This article was meant just as a story for the friends I have, because we can all laugh about our differences in perspective. For example, sometimes some Colombian don’t seem to realize that someone may be shy to dance because they feel silly, while the other culture might feel like everyone is pressuring them to dance. I figured if what I wrote was true for me, and for my friends, maybe it was true for other people too. I published it in case anyone wanted to read it, I never meant to say that it was true for everyone! It’s a satirical pieces, not a study. Thank you for addressing the nay-sayers, and to them I also say- everyone is entitled to their opinion, but there is no need to be rude or mean about it. I welcome all comments and have not deleted any, even ones that offended me (on what is, actually, my own personal blog). <3 Jessica

  147. Thank you for helping people understand and better appreciate our culture through your article.
    I enjoyed your article and I agree with most of it. I felt described in many of its items. I just don’t know how to dance. Growing up, my neighbors and friends were horrible criticizing people at parties saying things like “look at that guy! he doesn’t dance, but wriggles like a worm!”. That kind of comments really discouraged me from ever trying dancing. It also brings me to something that I would add. We (Colombians) can be nice, and considerate towards others, but we can also be very harsh critics -of others and ourselves. On the upside, this honesty makes us good friends -the person can know what we truly think about something. On the downside, it grants lots of dislike and distrust -our wording is often aggresive, it is hard to translate concrete examples but it is a cultural trait that we acquire growing up. It took me many years living abroad to realize and acknowledge that fact, and many would disagree with me. Thank you for helping people understand and better appreciate our culture through your article.
    I’m sorry that many have taken offense to some of the generalizations and observations you made. It is impossible to please everybody. My only advise to the naysayers is: if you don’t like was was written, then write your own article. I am certain they’ll face a flood of responses -just like this one- about their own articles. There is an Arab saying that goes “be mindful that your words are short and sweet… so they are easy to swallow [if you have to take them back]“, it comes true time and time again. Thanks again for taking the time to write about Colombia and its culture.

  148. I like all of these… except the first one. Different languages have different ways of spelling words, often to make them SOUNG correct when pronounced. Did you know that Japan is actually Nippon? And that Sweden is actually Sverige? Does that mean that we are spelling those wrong too? Canada in German is Kanada and quite frankly, as a Canadian I really don’t care. You will be happy to know that I spell Colombia with an O myself but only because that’s the way I first really learned it. Anyways, my point is that people who spell it with a U are not wrong, that’s simply the way it is spelled in their language. The difference is much less significant than for Japan and Sweden. I don’t think that Colombians need to worry so much about this.

  149. you’re speakin’ my language and said it more eloquently than I ever could. I lived in Medellin for 3 years, so I get this constantly, and I get just as pissed off if not more so than any other Paisa de pura sepa :)

  150. Thanks to write this article…….I’m from Colombia and I’m living in Montreal, your description is perfect about us……I shared your article in FB and my boyfriend confirmed everything that you are saying with his experience hahahaha ……….Everybody can dance……that’s for sure, refuse to help is totally true and everything about drugs and Pablo escobar have the perfect description that means for us…..:):):):):)

  151. Of all the nationalities I’ve met, Colombians are one of the most hard to deal with. So many little rules that you have to follow, otherwise they just sulk and deal with it behind your back.

    I’m still waiting for the day when I can meet a laid back Colombian that doesn’t flare up with the slightest mistake from my part. Somehow, they in turn have a free pass to be totally ignorant and offensive about my country, neat.

    Take a chill pill. People make fun of other countries all the time, yours is not that special.

  152. jajajjajaja aguardiente! guaro!

  153. Reeeeally good xD

    This truly reflects the mostly of our culture, come back any time :D i’ll invite you some burning water :)

  154. Great article. My gorgeous girlfriend is Colombian and although we have a tight relationship she has been known to get a little feisty with me when making certain stereotypes or using a “u” instead of an “o”…

    I have managed to iron out most of my irritable Colombian related habits, but I feel you have saved me from any possible future wrath haha!! Thanks

    It’s worth mentioning she’s not an angry person, she’s lovely and Colombia was a great country
    !! :-D

  155. I am a Colombian and I hate dancing. Not all of us love dancing and partying. Also you might add that, because we (colombians) always say “yes” or make plans with people; we usually stood up people. I really hates when this happens!, I never compromise with two people on the same day.

  156. I loved the article about Colombia… thank you for being so observant. :)
    I’m a Colombian who left my country too many years ago and have lived in various countries and learned different customs and ways of life. For instead, I also hate when people say Columbia instead of Colombia, but there is a big reason to say Columbia in Greece. My boyfriend there used to correct me inmmediately when I used to say I was Colombian… and used to even apologize to his countrymen every time I said the “Colo” instead of the Colu…you see, Colo means “culo” in Greek !!! ha ha ha
    Another thing that have always bothered me is how the Americans stole the name America for themselves. When I first came to USA and they used to ask me where I was from, I used to say that I was from Colombia and many times I used to have this weird reaction about my “accent”… they looked confused because they were thinking about Columbia, South Carolina. More than once, I was told that it was obvious that I wasn’t American and how come I was from “Columbia”. My answer was “of course I’m American” and then we had an argument about it. I learned to say I’m from Colombia, South America and stopped teaching them Geography.
    I worked in Spain for about 5 years and once in Seville a co-worker asked me –in front of the other two who were sharing our table at lunchtime– she had noticed that Colombians had an “inferiority complex”. I asked her what gave her that idea and she told me that it was because we spoke quietly in comparison to them. I got so pissed that I told her it was because we learned Urbanidad (good manners) since we were kids. But since that day I started to speak much louder than before and still do. No more “inferiority complex” … the only problem is when I go back to Colombia and they get bothered by my “high volume” when I speak… they think I got a “superiority complex” because I became North American… ha ha ha
    My name usually is not mispronounced but I don’t accept the American custom of cutting the words to monosyllables. If anyone tries to call me Yo or Yoli, I always say, “if you don’t have the time to pronounce my whole name, I’m afraid I don’t have the time to talk to you either.” Like they say, “it’s better to be red once, than to spend the whole day “purple”… LOL I hate the laziness in speaking, and now with the Tweet, is getting worse.
    In Colombia we love to talk for hours, maybe that’s why we are kind of late for everything. My excuse is that “I was born late and haven’t caught up with that delay”…. sorry punctual people. I love Colombia, but prefer to live in USA!

  157. Excellent !!! :D

  158. Great article! Can’t wait to go back!

  159. Great article. Greetings from Columbia LOL

  160. you nailed girl, you have made my day and I laught like crazy!!!!!! I am sharing this NOW!!!!!!!!

  161. Jessica:
    do you wanna dance with me?

  162. I loved the post. You are right in most (if not all) of your statements. I am a colombian, living abroad since seven years, and I miss the situations described in this article. Thanks!

  163. I completely nailed a good Colombian friend of mine once by casually saying “Shakira is my favourite Mexican singer!” I could almost see the the steam coming out of his ears. Then I started laughing.

  164. Great article. As a Colombiana, I can relate to all of these. Thank you for educating those who are less familiar with Colombian culture. Unfortualtley, even some Colombians tend to disrepect their own land just like every other country has good & bad. All we can do if continue doing our part & keeping our hearts in the right place.

  165. siguiendo el comentario hecho anteriormente, Colombia en uno de sus periodos despues de la independencia espanola se llamo “Estados Unidos de Colombia” y todo el mundo le llama Colombia…si el continente se llamara Colombia, lo cual no indica que fueramos los unicos en el continente, no dejariamos de llamarnos Colombia y los nacionales Colombianos…desafortunadamente existe ese malentendido, al tener el mismo nombre el pais que el continente…

  166. Hay algo que molesta y avergüenza a la mayoría de los colombianos… otros colombianos criticando y dándole palo a un buen artículo sobre Colombia.

    Si claro no todos los colombianos somos lo que describe Jessica, igual que no todos los rusos son espías ni todos los “gringos” tienen mapas en sus carros.

  167. para Juan Carlos, como la mayoria de las personas que les molesta que los americanos se llamen a si mismos americanos…yo vivi y creci en ese país, siendo colombiano y no lo entendía, hasta que comprendí que el nombre del país es ” Estados Unidos de America”….en otras palabras el nombre del pais es… America!, que da la casualidad que igualmente es el nombre del continente pero no tiene nada que ver con la molestia de la gente de decir que ellos se creen los unicos americanos… como contesto Suzette, existe “Estados Unidos de Mejico” y todo el mundo le llama Mejico…

  168. I’m Colombian but I’ve lived in London for the majority of my life, and I relate to some of these points 100%. However, I do have some points I have to discuss.

    - When you say “Americans”, you’re referring to “North-Americans” right? Because one thing that pisses ME off as a Colombian/South American/Latina is when “American” is used exclusively for the Northern continent of America.

    - Just as you bash Escobar, you should balance it out with the atrocities the government have done also. Or, just keep your opinions moderate; because not all Colombians will have the same viewpoint as you. I know I don’t.

    - And, Colombia is still in many ways a third world country.
    How many people are homeless, uneducated and to a certain extent ‘uncultured’? Millions.
    What has the government done to help? Nothing positive.
    Just look at the ‘Ollas’, ‘Limpieza Sociales’ & the displacement of thousands and hundreds of civilians across the country, due to the US intervention on ‘The war on drugs’. We may be emerging financially but we’re not emerging as a stable nation. That’s the difference.

  169. I enjoyed a lot reading the article, I think it’s very precise, I’m Colombian I have traveled the world and visited several countries and I have taken my culture with me everywhere of course, late sometimes because I was doing someone a favor, sleeping less when trying to spend extra time with some amazing people no matter the duties next day, we care about others, and always try to help, we are warm, and polite, it is not always 100%, every country has that minority, those smalls groups ruining things and moments and giving a bad impression.
    I had to adapt to every culture and I have done it very well indeed.
    I’m very proud to be Colombian. It is totally normal to love the place that has given us everything, don’t you love your country guys?
    I’ll posted on my wall
    hugs

  170. Okay Juan Pablo went there so I have a rebuff. I taught in Colombia for two years and have made this argument many a time. I am an AMERICAN. There is nothing else you can call me in English that describes my nationality. My cedula said estadounidense but there is no equivalent in English. I was always warned not to say I was from “Los Estados Unidos” because Mexico is the same. You can’t take all our descriptions from us and expect us to be happy with the slang gringo. That would really piss ME off.

  171. Just one little thing… and it is that i think that most people in Latin America Are also Americans isn’t it right? one thing sometimes pisses me off about North Americans is that they refer to them as Americans and to theyr country as America… come on! America is a large continent starting in Patagonia finishing in the tip of Alaska or backwards if you prefer, including the islands to. Colombians also understands politeness and wont invite more people to an exclusive dinner party, it is true we like to share a lot and we value food an the effect that food has that makes everyones so close but we also understand that sometimes it is limited for many reasons an one reason can be the exclusivity of the event ;) .

    Greetings From Beautiful Colombia and the Cloudy Bogota.

  172. Great piece. You get an A from me.

  173. Hey, cool article, Tho I must say… most of these don’t hit the spot for me, I think ColUmbia is correct in English as Kolumbia is in German. Even if it wasn’t, I do find the spelling acceptable and won’t be arsed to try and change it. I appreciate punctuality (it drives me mad how my fellow colombians suck at this). I approve exclusiveness, saying no and dislike patriotismo. I do however go out of my way to help others, except I don’t ever ask for favours for me much less for others. I guess I am the exception of the rule… :)

  174. This article is not only good because it is partly accurate but also because it also demostrates how ignorant//uninformed people can be about Colombia and their people. This is naturally a global problem due to the fact that the media is constantly showing the same things, e.g: bombs, violence, cocaine, farc, prostitutes…etc.

    What you wrote here it is something which goes beyond stereotypes. That´s obviously positive. However, it is just like it should be… I mean, this should be understood even by the average simple minded tourist.

    point 3, 6 and 12 ( great)

  175. Just great. Simple and kinda funny. I loved it!

    Sometimes people forget that stereotypes are awful, sometimes true, but awful at the end.

    Colombia is a great country with its highs and lows, as every other country.

    Regards!

  176. Hi my name is Juan, and yes its JUAN, thanks for your words about it, I’m from medellin and also afro-colombian, and I think you should talk also about the multicultural aspect that my country has (read multicultural = racial), this land is the product of whites, indigenous, mestizos, and blacks, and that’s important to talk it because people from outsiders think that ALL colombians look “brown”as “Mexicans”, and that is not totally true, we are the product of many cultures. Second , I think we can also include the difference of weather and temperature of Colombian, many people think that we are a Hot land just because we are located in the tropic, without knowing that in cities like Bogotá and Tunja cold can crush you. I see very funny and interesting your post, thanks for sharing

  177. Another bad joke is to relate a colombian with the Farc. It’s the worst insult.

  178. Well put!!! I’ve been living in the US for several years and it has taken me a long time to even realize these differences existed. I wish I could’ve read you Americans so well when I first came, it would’ve saved me some frustration, indeed!!

  179. have we met? hehehe…. After reading that I just feel like you described my frustration living abroad for all these years and having to deal with those exact conversation topics, questions, stereotypes, etc… and also the things i miss from my country like what you said on #8, 10 and 11… people here (lets say Europe in general) behave like automated zombies…

    Very accurate radiography of Colombia you present underlying those 12 facts in my opinion. You have managed to capture in few words, and some well-elabored generalizations the essence of the beauty of my culture, thank you for your words. im just curious, in which cities u conducted your observations? and for how long was your over-all experience?

  180. Yes, you can absolutely use it if you like, just please cite the original source

  181. Colombians are over sensitive people… I think that hides a huge inferiority complex.

  182. I found your article very interesting and confirmed some of my own experiences. I work and travel throughout Latin America and even dated a girl in Bogota for 6 months. I learned very quickly that I had better dance when we went out with her friends…..

  183. Excellent! Except I take exception with the “it’s not a third world country” bit. Its big cities are awesome. Some of its rural areas are as poor as it gets. Some are gorgeous. It’s a country of extreme contrasts. It’s a gutwrenchingly unequal country, where $$ and power is centralized in the hands of so few, that it’s hard to see how it will accomplish all it’s capable of (and vanquish the likes of the FARC) without dealing with this challenge head on while avoiding at all costs the ways of Chavez. But Colombians are innovative problem solvers with great collective sense of humor and business acumen and ingenuity, which gives me hope. Mucha esperanza! It’s certainly my adopted homeland, where I’m free to where my Columbia softshell jacket while scaling a Nevado and downing cheese and agua de panela :)

  184. Thanks for this article, Jessica. I agree with Juan that tardiness is not a cultural trait but an unfortunate choice some people make. Like many of my fellow Colombians, I am multicultural and was raised to be punctual. I find it very disrespectful for people to be late, as they are in fact stealing time from me. I also have to disagree with number 10. I think people should not dance if they do not know how to, or do anything they do not want to do. Since I am a non-dancer who has been on the receiving end of requests to dance, I politely (and with a wide smile) explain that I do not know how to dance and do not care to learn, but “muchas gracias de todas maneras.”

  185. Some interesting comments here, i agree with you as much as i disagree. I was lucky enough to have spent a little over two years in Colombia, working in a variety of fields including social work with displaced people, English teacher and translation. I was also able to travel to many different departments, absolute love this country!

    Saying ‘no’ to a dancing invite is definitely not something anyone should do, doesn’t really matter. If you do say no, he/she will convince you quickly while pulling your hand trying to lead you to the dance floor anyways. You said no to a dance invite….in colombia…..girl you crazy!

    You got a few things wrong though. Yes, Colombia is recently developed in many areas and continues to develop at a steady pace. But NO, those in that country who use coffee beans as a currency (in several parts of this country poor peasants also use coca paste, or cocaine as currency) do not choose to do so necessarily. Colombia has about 40% of its population living in poverty, these people do not choose to be so poor that they live on a day to day basis trading beans, fruit, coca etc just to put a meal on the table. Coffee farmers have every reason to be proud of their labor and especially the fruits of their labor, but you have definitely not traveled to remote areas of the country if you think 15 hour work days involving physical labor, just to keep food on the table and maybe send their kids to school, its not a choice its a necessity. As i worked with some of the regions poorest, most vulnerable population I realize that not only is it a necessity, but it is one that millions in the country are forced to live with and their “choices” are extremely extremely limited. Talking about Colombia in general as a poor country would piss anyone off, but recognizing the reality of the social and economic situation does not. Chicago suffers from gun violence, this is true and my Chicago friends probably wont be super offended if i say that.

    I found Pablo Escobar to be a topic that Colombians brought up often. Don’t forget, there are people who actually mourned his death (i.e. the recipients of the housing project Pablo constructed). I always managed those conversations with care, respect, and i listened more than i spoke. Like you said, we don’t understand and we never really will. But in my neighborhood there were people who actually worked for him, people that grew up close to him, people that hate him but its part of their history and asking questions about it was never looked at as being rude.

    Im not sure i get the being in a rush thing, did someone actually tell you to stop being in a rush?? If you ever worked in Colombia, had a schedule full of meetings and events, being in a rush happens, is not looked at as rude, nor is it a crazy concept. I use to run around Medellin going to meetings and pitching ideas for projects and the people we met with were always friendly, welcoming and gave you the time you deserved, then sprinted out the door to another meeting on the other side of town, saying ‘chao’ as they walked out the door. Yes they are late a lot, its generally accepted but depends on the situation. Many of my friends in Colombia also work, study and help out around the house and are very busy and thus, in a rush.

    I never looked for cocain and saw it a lot. At the soccer games, sit in the Popular sections, and you’ll see it in a much more open way than in the USA.

    In Colombia I also saw an infatuation with English, many younger kids would proudly tell me the English version of their name, thinking it was cool and interesting to hear their name in English. I also saw faces light up when i would tell a Colombian how they say their name in English after being asked how we say “Juan” in English.

  186. Estoy de acuerdo con sus cometarios. El de llegar tarde es de pésima educación. A nosotros (los puntuales) también nos molesta. Lo de la cocaína es un desastre. Hemos tenido que sufrir y aguantar mucho “gringo” mal informado que quiere hacer un chiste flojo con el tema que tanto dolor nos ha traído. Y de los favores tiene toda la razón, nos ofrecemos para todo y nos extraña cuando los extranjeros no dan ni las gracias.

  187. We don’t like the English version of our name because we are not wanna-be latino-amaricans, who they themselves pronounce their latin name with an English accent (we find this very distasteful). We love our roots, and want to keep them that way, in our own language.

  188. Leyendo los comentarios de tu articulo parece que puedes agregar un punto numero 13: “escribir un articulo sobre los colombianos” al parecer hay gente que se lo tomo a mal…
    A mi me encanto!

    Edgar

  189. Hay cosas en las que no estoy de acuerdo, eso del “no” no es cierto… o no con todos… estás pidiendo que no se generen estereotipos y es lo primero que haces…

  190. LOVED THE ARTICLE. I am an American, born in Colombia and I have a lot of these tendencies. For the longest time my husband and friends were like, “why are you always late” I would say because it’s rude to leave someone mid sentence. I would not say no. I hate hurting people’s feelings. I’ve been called co dependent, I’ve been taunted for having time management issues…well you can relate! I would say, no it’s cultural!!! but then they thought it was an excuse….

    thanks for this!

  191. You missed one: We hate when a blog about Colombia only has pictures of old people and small towns, (unlikely to be found) instead of the cool cities and interesting people that we see everyday

  192. Born and raised in Canada, i always refused to accept being called “John” as some teachers would request on the 1st day of school. My response would be “if my parents wanted to name me John, they would have”. My name is Juan and you can call me Juan or any variation/misprounication version of that name.

  193. Jajaja buenísimo, la cuarta en verdad nos saca de casillas, muy buenos insights, otro que también hace enojar: Hablar de lo deficiente que es la selección de fútbol, o si eres de USA, decir que el fútbol es un deporte para niñas.

  194. I deeply love your article!! as a Colombian (and Paisa ;) ) living in Montreal, I feel like you really understand a great deal of who we are. I love all your points, and even though there might be some missing, iI think you displayed the most important ones. Honestly, the 11th point gave me shrivers and I think that’s probably one of the most sacred behaviours taught to me by my family. However it seems to be hard for many different cultures to understand it, but when they do they really appreciate it. I guess being nice can be contagious :) Thanks for the kind and positive words about Colombia, and I hope I can buy you a beer if you are around anytime!! Cheers!!

  195. Just a small comment. Columbia isn’t just a sports jacket; it’s also a small town in south central PA :)

  196. I’m Colombian, and thou i did enjoy your article and found it sometimes acurate and overall well intended, i believe such depiction of colombians and what bothers them only works for self righteous-right winged-nationalist-rich nationals who aren’t willing to embrace the reality and history of our land. It’s a real shame that stereotypes like the ones you named it exist, but they carry along a lot of true of the country with them.

    On the other hand, your descriptions about the dancing, the habit to bring friends along and the attitude towards helping were great.

    Thank you

  197. Jajajaja awesome article, you have truly unfold and explained our culture and ways to relate with other people, but the most accurate part was the one about dancing jajajaja, certainly if you say you dont dance you challenge us to prove you wrong :) …….

    Keep writing like this ;)

  198. Gracias Jesica! Es necesario que la gente lo tenga claro.

  199. I really love this article!!! I love your sense of humor! I just subscribed to this site, only to know who was the author. Thank you very much! I´ve identified with almost everything! But my favorite is ¨Colombians are not exclusive, so if you invite them, you also by default invite people that they want to come. Colombians also tend to invite themselves, or friends, to your plans.¨ Anyone who knows me, knows that if they invited me to a party, I come along with my cousin and my best friend. jeje I am Colombian. :)

  200. Yo quitaría la 10, es cuestión de respeto, ¿no bailas? bueno, te lo pierdes, en mi caso me lo pierdo gustosamente.

  201. I’ve got to admit that people spelling Colombia with a “u” really ticks me off too.
    Not saying “no” on the dance floor is something that has spread to salsa dancing communities in other countries, too. You don’t refuse a dance (without a decent reason) ahywhere :-)
    Nice article!

  202. I am Colombian, and while I agree with most of the dated and inaccurate stereotypes you mentioned (Colombia=drugs, Colombia=Mexico, etc), there’s one thing I really don’t agree with: Not every Colombian likes to be late. In fact, a lot of us consider being late as a very rude thing. And it has nothing to do with “quality”, or “showing up at your best”. It’s just poor planning skills, and not caring about other people’s schedule, but yours only.

  203. Great article!!!

  204. “You can choose to live on a beach and sleep in a hammock or you can choose a modern apartment. So donʼt ask if people ride donkeys to work or use coffee beans as currency, because if they do it is out of choice, not because Colombia is not modern.” – This is complete and utter non sense. Poor people in the countryside obviously have chosen not to live in modern apartments? They ride donkeys because they’re “green” and not because they can’t afford cars or roads? What Colombia did you visit?

  205. In the other hand, people always confuses costa ricans with colombians (even in spanish speaking countries) because of their accents, and ticos HATE that.

  206. Tu artículo comienza criticando los prejuicios que tienen otras culturas -sobre todo la americana- sobre los colombianos. No obstante, me parece que lo único que has hecho es criticar prejuicios con otros prejuicios. Reemplazar. Eso es todo. “No todos los colombianos son narcotraficantes, ¡pero todos los colombianos bailamos, somos alegres, y hacemos mil favores!”. Mejor dicho, si el punto era alejarnos de los prejuicios, no hemos hecho mucho.

  207. No importa cuanto nos discriminen en el mundo, siempre me sentire orgulloso de ser Colombiano.

    Que Viva, Colombia!!!!

  208. Great post and also learned more about americans (haha) !! I am mexican but lived there for five years and I loved it!!

  209. Great article. I have been living in the UK for 5 years now. I’m Colombian and I understood my culture better that when I was living there. Funny points and I definitely say it is 90% accurate . Well done Ms Observer ;)

  210. Me he reido montones. De verdad muy buen post.

  211. Absolutely delightful to read! I’m colombian but I’m currently living outside my country, and this post is just perfect for sharing with my non-colombian friends… They will second every single item you wrote in here!
    Thanks a lot, it made my day

  212. Excellent research!!!!! so true!!!! my name is NOT ALEXANDER!!!!! PLEASEE!!….warm regards from Houston, Tx.

  213. Mmmh, wonderful, but I think, as a Colombian, that I’m not quite as colombian as one could think. There are things there where I stand with americans.

  214. Very good article Jessica! Talking about Escobar is the most offensive of all. Please make a writing about this in the NY Times, BBC or an Australian newspaper if you can because the whole world is wrong about Escobar, unfortunately for Colombia. It’s almost like talking about Hitler for the germans or talking about Pinochet in Chile (though some of them curiously still love him). Thank you for your sincerity and objectivity. Hugs from Colombia! :)

  215. Interesante y divertido.

  216. …”So donʼt ask if people ride donkeys to work or use coffee beans as currency, because if they do it is out of choice, not because Colombia is not modern.”

    Geniaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal!!!! Hahahahahaha me reí como nunca!! No es que seamos under-developed por falta de inteligencia es que NOS GUSTA ASI – Deje así!!

  217. Qué emoción. Al fin alguien presenta una informaciòn mas equilibrada. Sin negar nuestras dolencias, nos ufanamos de nuestros aciertos. Mil bendiciones,

  218. Such a lovely post, thank you very much for fighting against the stereotypes, I’ve just shared this post on my Facebook wall

  219. Jessica … Excellent !!! I have enjoyed a lot reading the article. Good description about Colombian culture. I was laughing so much while I was reading Say you donʼt danc”. Very funny

  220. Jessica … Excellent !!! I have enjoyed a lot reading the article. Good description about Colombian culture. I was laughing so much while I was reading “Say you donʼt dance”. Very funny !!! Cheers from Colombia

  221. Jessica … Excellent article !!! I have enjoyed a lot reading the article. Good description about Colombian culture. I was laughing so much while I was reading “Say you donʼt dance”. Very funny !!! Cheer from Colombia

  222. Beautiful article. It´s great to see the stranger´s point of view about us. I agree in most of the points, and I fell like a foreing too with the dancing issue. Thaks for a happy reading. Are you still in Colombia?

  223. haha amazing article, very good, congratulations, it is so good to find someone who is not from Colombia but is able to describe us the way you did. Thank you!

  224. You forgot that some Colombians (and Central and South Americans as a whole) sometimes get annoyed when people refer to Yanks as Americans, the common reason: ¨From north to south, we’re all Americans!¨

  225. Jajajaja muy cierto todo esto!!! Es horrible cuando me dicen “Claude” o casi que “Cloudy” en vez de Claudia jejejeje. Muy buen articulo!

  226. It’s excellent! It could be used in the classroom.

  227. Wow!! Que artículo tan increíble!
    ¡Felicitaciones!
    No se si viste el especial de Anthony Bourdain en CNN sobre Colombia. Es una buena forma de complementar todo esto que has escrito.
    Es muy bonito encontrar gente que muestra de verdad quienes somos y hace un homenaje a nuestra cultura y nuestro país.
    Felicitaciones de nuevo y espero muchísima gente lea tu post porque realmente ale la pena.
    ¡Lo compartiré!

    Abrazos apretaos ;)

  228. Although you clearly took the time to explore colombian culture (most don’t) there are some points on which you fall on your own premise of wrong stereotypes, but i guess it’s difficult enough to get to know all aspects of a country when you are a local i can’t imagine how hard it would be being a foreign. Overall nice article.

    Nicolas Villamizar, Colombian who does not dance, hate it when people are late and despise unwanted guests.

  229. awesome post! really….. its unbelievable how many things here are true and we colombians sometimes didn’t realize them. thank you for offering everyone a fresh look of what a colombian really is, cuss this post says more than its written. its says that colombians are really good, caring and honest people. thank you for taking the time.

  230. Thank u Jessica! As a Colombian I can tell u that those thigs are what really piss us off! It’s like saying that all Americans are dumb or that all blondes are light-headed bimbos. They are just stereotypes because people don’t know. I appreciate you writing all this about Colombia and I’m sure that it will get positive responses. Live, travel and love this wonderful country!

  231. Yep ,we are like that ,excellent Jessica :)

  232. Haha, this was sent to me by my Colombian best friend and oh my! how has he not killed me yet!
    Wonderfully written post, I laughed out loud many times. Thank you for educating all of us on being more culturally sensitive =)

  233. muy bueno! pero creo que la mayoria calzaria en todo sudamerica. a nadie le gusta el estereotipo, especialmente si lo unico que el turista conoce es el plato favorito, la cocaina o al asesino mas famoso. es como ir a USA y preguntar por el tio sam, el KFC, un asesino en serie y llamarlos Juan en vez de John.

  234. Great article!! Congratulations for your tolerance and interest in understanding. It´s not always easy :)

    If I may add, we also (and I think many south and latin-americans do) bother when you use the word “America” to refer only to 1 country (EEUU for instance). America is formed by many other countries, including Canada, Mexico, Brasil, Argentina, Costa Rica and the list goes on and on… Just as an advice :)

    Best wishes!

  235. Thanks for the good comments about our culture. You are absolutely right about everything. I lived in Australia for an entire year, and i realy hated when people asked mi about cocaine. It is nice to know that people like you realy understand that Colombia is a nice place to be.

    Cheers from Cali

  236. I stopped working the momment I saw this article posted by a friend on facebook.

    Sweet, really sweet. It made my heart gloom.

    Thanks for taking the time to try and understand us, specially about the drug issue.

  237. Hola!! está genial,.. pero hay algunos que también son muy incómodos… la guerrilla… muchos desconfían inmensamende de Colombia al asegurar que solo con el hecho de ir, los van a secuestrar, a robar o a herir… y tocar esos temas siempre que inicias una conversación es algo MUY molesto …

    Excelente artículo.. ;)

  238. There is more than one lie on this article, so this make me think on one thing Americans always do, and that’s always give an opinion on everything, even when they don’t know what are they talking about.

  239. Here, I joined this thing just in case.

  240. Excellent post! Super insightful and funny!

    Que Viva Colombia!

  241. Great article! Other than that I see the subjunctive may also be a source of headaches …. “…que te quieras quedar!”… ;)

  242. Fair enough.. for me specially 2, 4, 6, 9 and 12, one thing i´ll add in 10th point is that we dance with everyone I can´t understand when people says I don´t want to dance because I have my boyfriend there bla bla bla bla come on it´s just dancing!

  243. I shared it in Facebook, it’s just great !!

  244. This is one of the best articles ive read. It describes colombians with such detail and respect. Also enjoy it, and laughed too. Cheers from Colombia.

  245. hola Jessica,

    gracias por tu reseña, es bastante precisa. Hace cuatro años vivo en Australia y por lo tanto mantengo un contacto estrecho con la cultura anglosajona y hay algo que en realidad me resulta muy desagradable de parte de ustedes: es el uso de la denominación “América” y “Americanos” exclusivamente para los Estados Unidos y sus ciudadanos. Del Rio Grande hacia el sur, ustedes y el resto del primer mundo nos llaman “Latinoamérica” y “Latinoamericanos”, eso no es preciso y sobre todo no es justo, porque aunque seamos muy diferentes, ustedes y nosotros vivimos en un mismo continente. Entonces todos somos AMERICANOS

  246. I know that people can get upset by pointing out cultural differences and are going to say “get over it”, but I want to comment on point No. 9 of your lovely article, which is very true and it can be looked the other way round: coming from a country where people are communal and gregarious like Colombia, it’s really difficult to live in a country like Germany where people in general are more individualistic, and sometimes tremendously. Of course, there are always exceptions and I’ve been lucky to enjoy them in some occasions! And of course, I could always criticise severely my own country and tell the things that Colombians can learn from the Germans. Moreover, I don’t know if it’s a thing of new generations or just of Northern Germany, but here are some impressions/observations:
    1) A German can get pissed off if you invite someone else to a party or reunion without previous notice, and sometimes even with it. In Colombia there is a say: where two people eat, so can three {donde comen dos, comen tres}.
    2) If Germans have a visit over a weekend or so, they dedicate a lot of time to them, which is lovely, but they tend not to introduce their visit to other friends. They don’t do too much an effort to conjoint different social/friend circles, IF they have several friend circles.
    3) People here can expend the whole day, even several days confined in their own bedrooms. You can share a flat with 6 or 7 and you don’t see them.
    4) Many here don’t do an effort to be polite by introducing someone you don’t know by their names. They expect you to introduce yourself or sometimes they don’t even care.
    5) This one I still don’t understand. Even people who you considerer a good friend or they consider you a good one, can say to you: I have a series of important exams coming in three or four months, so, I will see you after that. WTF? A Colombian will always find the way to spend some time with you, even if they have a lot to do, and even if it’s only for an hour, which of course ends up being two or three hours. But hey, just sleep two hours less this day and go out to meet a friend. And please: physical contact is not always flirting or a personal invasion of your personal space.

  247. Jessica loved this article. My friends from L.A. posted it on fb.
    In fact I wanna do a cartoon of it.
    drop me and email. Or how else can we get in touch?

  248. “colombia is not a third world country” – yeah right, mija. Salgase del norte de Bogota y vera lo que es un thrid world country de verdad.

  249. This is AMAZING! I’ve been living in the US for the past year and this blog describes exactly how I feel!! Thank you for making such an accurate description of us :)
    Honestly, I feel like I should print this and give it out to everyone I meet from now on!

  250. I have been living in Colombia for the past five years and i have to say that this is very much only partly accurate.

  251. Dear Jessica,

    Quiero agradecerte por la buena lectura que me acabas de brindar, también por tomarte el trabajo de estudiar la gente y el porqué de sus acciones. Voy a compartir esto con mis amistades y voy a leer el resto de este blog. Te mando un saludo cálido desde la capital de Canada, y te extiendo una invitación para cuando visites por estos lares.

    Éxitos,

  252. Wow… This is the closest description to what we are…!!! definitely you hit the nail in the head. Thank you for an accurate description of US. Even my husband (who is american) had to learn than my name is not “Ang” or “Angie”… or any other variation… It is Angelica!!!

  253. Muuuuuy preciso. Me he reído como enano leyéndolo. Excelente.

  254. Great article :) if you don;t mind can i use it on my website about colombia? http://www.showmecolombia.com

  255. I just loved it!! it’s so accurate, I’m so glad you had a wonderful experience and could meet great Colombians… sometimes there are a few idiots out there…

    but essentially, all of us Colombians are what you described….thank you very much…I hope everyone reads this…

  256. …you missed one more thing that pisses Colombians off…this article.

  257. Jessica, an amazing article! doing my best to get as most people to read this. Thanks!

  258. Felicidades Jessica muy buen articulo, soy una colombiana orgullosa, saludos desde Sydney.

  259. In simple words, I was glad to read the article not only because of the honest insight but also because as a Colombian living abroad is nice to have an idea of how the others might see me. Indeed, many things I consider as normal are completely different, specially here in Europe and through your article I’ve come to realize how Colombian I am.
    Being abroad for two years now, has made me aware of the fact that each single country has its “dark side” and that, what overshadows Colombia is no more than an matter of negative advertising based mostly on former events; and those issues that the country still deals with, are common even to the so-called “first world” countries, and they don’t affect the visitants who are so welcomed and shown the worthiest of our land and our people. In an age like ours, of the Media and the internet, keep believing in Myths and misleading information, shows just mediocrity and lack of interest.
    For those who love travelling, meeting new peoples and enjoying the diversity in all areas of our planet, that is one, Colombia offers a marvellous setting with the best of each. It is my pleasure to thank Jessica and to welcome everybody to Colombia, a country where the boundaries of razes and nationalities mean nothing and everybody, if eager, may feel as at home.

  260. GENIAL!!
    Amo ser Colombiana, gracias por dar a conocer nuestras costumbres y la otra cara de Colombia.

    Seria bueno que articulos como este, salieran en los grandes periodocos. pero para la prensa siempre sera las cosas malas y horribles las que ocuparan primer lugar.

  261. Ja, ja!…muy buena guia. En realidad yo no me molesto si alguien no pronuncia bien mi nombre…pero bueno hacer un esfuerzo ja, ja!. Para sumar a tu lista de que no decir o hacer: no asumir que en Colombia todos somos de raza negra o indios (cosa que somos en parte y me gusta), pero nosotros somos el resultado de una mezcla racial y cultural y tenemos todos los fisicos posibles…a mi me abren los ojos cuando digo de donde soy (tengo piel blanca y cabello castano). No culpo a nadie si tambien piensa que solo nos desplazamos en caballo o canoa y la selva es nuestro unico habitat…todo debe ser por las peliculas que muestran a los colombianos viviendo en un pueblo llamado Bogota, todos con bigote, con cara de malosos y disparando sin parar. Algo de todo tendremos, pero no generalizar.

  262. At the same time colombians piss me off when they keep asking me if french people take showers !

    Appart from that they are awesome people, courteous with a strong sense of humor. Plus the women are beautiful, I guess that’s why I’m getting maried in Colombia this year ! ;-)

  263. I don’t know what it is with names that is so important to us. I lived in the States for a year, and it might have pissed me off a little to have people call me the english version of Julián (the stress mark is there for a reason, folks). I eventually come to the realization that they were never going to get it right, and just introduced myself with the English pronunciation.

    On the other hand, and now that I think about it, is also quite important to get other people’s names right. At Uni (in Australia) there were a lot of Indians, Chinese and Koreans, and I went to absurd lenghts of time to get the pronnunciation right – and was quite surprised that some of them would take “english” or “western” names and introduce themselves with those names. Every time I met a Chinese who claimed to be “Jessica” or whatever, I would ask them for their “original” Chinese name, and then proceed to learn how to say it.

  264. Excelente articulo, me siento feliz que alguien pueda entendernos y dibujarnos tan bien, de una manera posistiva, alegre y orgullosa.
    Me encanto lo de los nombres, y si mi nombre es dificil para las personas que no hablan espaNol. Y si, prefiero que pronuncien mi nombre a lo colombiano.

  265. Cool, i love when people can talk good things about Colombia… i keep talking about my beautiful country….congrats for these lines!! ;) ….cheers from France!

  266. Muy interesante el articulo y como colombiana estoy de acuerdo con la mayoría de los puntos. Con lo único que no estoy de acuerdo es que para los colombianos el baile es algo mucho mas serio de lo que la mayoría piensa. Hay diferentes pasos para cada tipo de música y siempre tratamos de hacerlo de forma correcta. Es por eso que desde que estamos muy pequeños nos enseñan a bailar y nos muestran cada movimiento.

    Muy buen artículo :)

  267. “Seventh grade me can only wish she had gone through her awkward stage in Colombia.”

    love it. lived in that beautiful country for five years. miss it every day.

  268. Lu said on April 29, 2013

    This was spot on!
    I live abroad and I’ve tried so many times to explain some of these to my friends/acquaintances/colleagues, but I couldn’t put it as clear and straightforward as you, thanks!
    Funny that you made me realize of #12, where I live they tend to remove my first last name from documents and things, and it pisses me off so much, I really have no clue what’s the reason behind this…
    Thanks again!

  269. As a colombian I don’t agree with the thing about names, as yourself, I also love hearing my name in other languages. Also when speaking in other language I present myself mispronouncing my name (not that hard when your name is almost the same in every occidental language). I had never heard that colombians don’t like this, I don’t get it either. But maybe it is because the first time I heard my name pronounced by someone whose mother language is not Spanish was abroad, so you get used to it and even embrace it.

    Some of the things you say are true for most colombians, but that doesn’t mean that those are behaviors that should be accepted or even encouraged, lack of punctually being one of them. Anyways, it seems that you have spent a lot of time in Colombia, kudos to you. Nice article, thanks for it.

  270. I’m a Colombian. Last week, in Paris, I organized a reception for 20 Colombian representatives, 20 mayors of different towns, who behave in the worst possible way. Vulgar, insulting, they LITERALLY slept (or simply chatted and looked at their toursit maps) through the conferences which they were supposed to listen to carefully , since they had been able to afford the trip thanks to the Colombian tax-payers’ money. They didn’t even give a shadow of respect to French officials, to their interpreter, to the Colombian organizer of the trip whom they ended up calling names, saying she was an amateur and trying to blame her for THEIR behavior. Later, at the restaurant, they almost yelled at the peaceful and patient waiter, who was dumbfounded, unable to understand what the hell was going on with those people.
    There are still lots of people in Colombia who adore Pablo Escobar, even whole neighborhoods whose inhabitants mourn his death. More than half the people in Colombia live in dreadful conditions of utter poverty, driven out of their homes, sadly crowding the roads of the country’s main cities. Do you think many people can write Burkina Faso or Kualalumpur without making a mistake? Hell, I don’t even now if I spelled it right! What about asking an ordinary Colombian citizen to write “United States” or even “Argentina” or Uruguay correctly!
    Other countries DON’T ask for this kind of idiotic respect, yet they SHOW respect when abroad. As a Colombian, I cheerfully abhor all this complacent, self-indulgent agrandizement many Colombians are so prone to. I’ve never seen any other country in the world that so often and so pertinaciously demands that every other nation respect it while all the while doing the least effort to earn that respect.

  271. Hello,

    I think this is amazing insight and also thank you for reminding me of my roots. I have forgotten a lot and it is sad, I migrated from Colombia to the United States about third teen years ago. However I still remember and honor some of this traditions. I thank you again for reminding me that I am not weird or out of style that this is actually something all Colombians do. I am really glad. Thank you again.

    -Beatriz

  272. Oh my ! this article is just GREAT … I enjoyed its reading and point of view. Finally good things are said about Colombia and COLOMBIANS.

    ……The risk is that you want to stay …..

    Cheers !!

  273. I agree, it describes our way to be. Excellent insights!

    Cheers from Colombia!

  274. Ah, this is SO good. We recently have made many Colombian friends here in Quebec. I think we might be guilty of 50% of these. Thanks for helping us to hopefully not commit the other 50%!

  275. Awesome post! Very accurate, especially the dancing part. Only way Colombians will leave you alone when it comes to dancing is if you out dance everyone there. I would say they don’t like the english version of their names because they don’t like how it sounds, or they just look at it like it’s a different name.

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