Being called by your appearance: gringo, chato, gordo, negro

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windsportinperu
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Being called by your appearance: gringo, chato, gordo, negro

Postby windsportinperu » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:16 pm

I have tried to understand a very subtle and at the same way strong cultural difference between people who speaks english and the people who speaks spanish..

Spanish as a language, let you call to someone by his/her appearance. So you may be called by your race as a "negro", "chino" "gringo", etc, but also by your physical appearance: "gordo", "chato", "flaco", "panzon", etc. It is part of the language.. And there is no racism or discrimination in it..

The great problem comes when some call you as a "gringo" in Peru to someone who don't understand the rules of this spanish language. It could be very shocking and coudd be understood as racism or at least as a sort of "soft discrimination"

It is neither racism nor discrimination, it is part of the language.. People will call you by your appearance and it includes the colour of your skin..


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Re: Being called by your appearance: gringo, chato, gordo, negro

Postby caliguy » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:20 pm

i don't have any problem with being called "gringo" or "flaco". even my peruvian family calls me gringo :D
every place has it's own spirit. you just need to tune into it.
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Re: Being called by your appearance: gringo, chato, gordo, negro

Postby Sergio Bernales » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:26 pm

Yeah, definitely, English is much more politicised. I agree with you about gringo generally not being offensive, but I think it can be used in an offensive, or at least derogatory way. I found it rather strange when I heard people calling each other Chinito or whatever. Although strangely with gordo/gorda, it's often used in an affectionate way towards someone and quite often that person is as skinny as a rake.
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Re: Being called by your appearance: gringo, chato, gordo, negro

Postby americorps » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:34 pm

Generally, when one says politicized or politically correct, that is code for not wanting to be respectful.

When I was growing up, it was more simple, My grandma called it good manors.

To say something that belittle someone or catagorizes them, or hurts them, when there are plenty of other ways to say the same thing without inflicting pain is simply manors. Those opposed are ill manored, not independent.

In Peru, it is great becuase they are NOT words oft used to make one feel bad, they are just descriptives.

Every group of friends has a gordo, a chato, etc.


In different countries, Gringo means different things. In mexico, for example, it is a negative word, in Peru, it is just a descriptive.
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Re: Being called by your appearance: gringo, chato, gordo, negro

Postby Sergio Bernales » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:42 pm

americorps wrote:Generally, when one says politicized or politically correct, that is code for not wanting to be respectful.

When I was growing up, it was more simple, My grandma called it good manors.

To say something that belittle someone or catagorizes them, or hurts them, when there are plenty of other ways to say the same thing without inflicting pain is simply manors. Those opposed are ill manored, not independent.

In Peru, it is great becuase they are NOT words oft used to make one feel bad, they are just descriptives.

Every group of friends has a gordo, a chato, etc.


In different countries, Gringo means different things. In mexico, for example, it is a negative word, in Peru, it is just a descriptive.


I agree with you to a point, as people can choose to take what they want to take from another person's words and by having a cultural agreement not to use terms that could be deemed derogatory, we avoid unnecessary offence. There is definitely an advantage to having language politicised, however, it's possible to argue that it has become unnecessarily restrictive.

In business, you can see this at all levels, where nobody wants to be a salesman, they want to be a sales executive. Nobody wants to be a manager, they want to be a vice president. In general, words are only offensive if as a culture we decide to make them so and this is the problem. This year's neologism could easily be turned into an offensive word if people start to use it in that way.

By the way, not wishing to be offensive, as that is what this thread is all about, a manor is a large house or estate.
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Re: Being called by your appearance: gringo, chato, gordo, negro

Postby americorps » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:47 pm

lol, just plan on taking out a red marker when you read my posts then.


I make mistakes like that all the time, part of a learning disability I have. Typos, transposed letters, spelling errors,

Yet, everyone know what I meant.
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Re: Being called by your appearance: gringo, chato, gordo, negro

Postby Sergio Bernales » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:48 pm

americorps wrote:lol, just plan on taking out a red marker when you read my posts then.


I make mistakes like that all the time, part of a learning disability I have. Typos, transposed letters, spelling errors,

Yet, everyone know what I meant.


Sorry, I'm in work mode at the moment, but I thought it was a great point, just having good manners is enough for me. And I often write their for there, its for it's and so on, especially if I'm rushed.
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Re: Being called by your appearance: gringo, chato, gordo, negro

Postby KenBE » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:14 pm

windsportinperu wrote:I have tried to understand a very subtle and at the same way strong cultural difference between people who speaks english and the people who speaks spanish..

Spanish as a language, let you call to someone by his/her appearance. So you may be called by your race as a "negro", "chino" "gringo", etc, but also by your physical appearance: "gordo", "chato", "flaco", "panzon", etc. It is part of the language.. And there is no racism or discrimination in it..

The great problem comes when some call you as a "gringo" in Peru to someone who don't understand the rules of this spanish language. It could be very shocking and coudd be understood as racism or at least as a sort of "soft discrimination"

It is neither racism nor discrimination, it is part of the language.. People will call you by your appearance and it includes the colour of your skin..

LOL! When I first came to Peru I was a bit shocked by this. Peruvians call eachother gordo, chato, flaco, pelao. I don't think it is part of the language, but more a cultural thing. If you called someone fatty or baldy in my country they would get very offended. In Peru it is perfectly normal. It is a cultural difference.

Another thing is that people in Peru will make comments on your appearance all the time, especially on your weight. If they feel you are a little over or underweight you EVERYONE will tell you. This is also perfectly normal in Peru, but in my country this would also upset people.
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Re: Being called by your appearance: gringo, chato, gordo, negro

Postby americorps » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:23 pm

good point kenbe. I am very overweight, and especially when I am traveling in the provinces, people come up to the, ask me how I got so fat and quite often, they rub my belly. especially children and older ladies.

It freaked me out at first, but there was not mean spirits in the comments and while I still do not like getting my belly rubbed, I tolerate it as it causes no harm.

It was a hard cultural adjustment for me at first though.
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Re: Being called by your appearance: gringo, chato, gordo, negro

Postby argidd » Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:38 pm

I think that through the years countries with high numbers of immigrants (like the UK and the US) have tried to stay away from this sort of "description", to the point where it is extremely rude, or even offensive to call someone by their appearance, probably to avoid making the outsider feel more like an outsider by pointing out the obvious.

Yesterday my husband was complaining that Uruguayans are racists because some footballer called another footballer a "negrito", now I don't know the context of why this was said or where, but my husband seems to still be upset about it. For the millionth time I told him that is the way we (Latinamericans) express ourselves without trying to be offensive. I guess since we mainly speak English, and so does my family to him, he hasn't really been exposed to the "flaca", "gorda", "negrita", etc. in my family...

My dad commented on this, where a lot of Americans and Brits don't know what to call locals in a particular place in the Caribbean... my dad said "they are black", other people respond "but isn't that offensive". My dad answers back "no, that's what they are!" (and no, people there do not find it offensive).
Regards,

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Re: Being called by your appearance: gringo, chato, gordo, negro

Postby Danny55 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:36 pm

This reminds me of the TV adverts run by Herbi for Christmas 2012.

In the UK or US there is no way that these could or would be shown on national TV. I must admit that I certainly found them entertaining and was delighted to see that here in Peru the political over correctness does not seem to exist.

Here is one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srhKVZAxKOs

By the way I am quite used to being called Gringo Karl or by my friends here Platanazo (from AFHS), neither I find offence, more entertaining than anything.
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Re: Being called by your appearance: gringo, chato, gordo, negro

Postby ironchefchris » Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:21 pm

When I wintered in Mexico twenty years ago I was often called Flaco. At my last physical a few months ago the doctor said I was a gordito, grado uno - 3kg over. I was just happy that he used the diminutive form of the word. In Mexico I often referred to myself as Gringo, figuring by doing so I took away any negative/insult connotation to the word. I'd rather be called gordito or gringo than idiota.
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Re: Being called by your appearance: gringo, chato, gordo, negro

Postby sunflower » Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:01 pm

Sorry, but the use of words like gringo, cholo, negrito, gordo, etc. is a clear case of double standards here in Peru. While Peruvians haven't got a problem if Peruvians use these words, they are offended as soon a foreigner uses them. So following the comments even here it's ok and normal that someone calls me gringa, but if I use the word cholo it's of course a completely different story and discriminating. Why?
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Re: Being called by your appearance: gringo, chato, gordo, negro

Postby argidd » Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:23 pm

sunflower wrote:Sorry, but the use of words like gringo, cholo, negrito, gordo, etc. is a clear case of double standards here in Peru. While Peruvians haven't got a problem if Peruvians use these words, they are offended as soon a foreigner uses them. So following the comments even here it's ok and normal that someone calls me gringa, but if I use the word cholo it's of course a completely different story and discriminating. Why?


Cholo is a different story. Eventhough sometimes it is used as an affectionate word, it has historically had a discriminative connotation (and it still does). It kind of is a double standard, but it is particularly with "cholo", and it's cousins... "chupaco", "cobrizo", "marrón", etc. I'm pretty sure that if most of the population (mestizo/indigenous) would not have been treated like second and third class citizens for so long, then we would be "choleando" each other with no negative feelings whatsoever.
Regards,

Argidd
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Re: Being called by your appearance: gringo, chato, gordo, negro

Postby KenBE » Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:27 pm

americorps wrote:

In different countries, Gringo means different things. In mexico, for example, it is a negative word, in Peru, it is just a descriptive.

Yeah, this is true. In Mexico and other countries in Latin America gringo=white foreigner (often American). In Peru a gringo can be any person that looks "white" or even has blonde hair. A Peruana can become gringa just by dyeing her hair blonde :D Mestizo Peruvians will also call upper-class white Peruvians gringos.
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Re: Being called by your appearance: gringo, chato, gordo, negro

Postby teamoperu » Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:21 pm

As long as they keep referring to me as el guapo, I'm good with it :D
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Re: Being called by your appearance: gringo, chato, gordo, negro

Postby Alan » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:51 pm

teamoperu wrote:As long as they keep referring to me as el guapo, I'm good with it :D



I thought they were saying "el guapo" to me, too.. then I learned they were really saying "el huaco" :shock:
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Re: Being called by your appearance: gringo, chato, gordo, negro

Postby WBillSmith » Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:09 am

I've been called “familia,” which in Perú is a colloquial expression for Afro-Peruvian.
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Re: Being called by your appearance: gringo, chato, gordo, negro

Postby windsportinperu » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:47 am

Some representative famous names that include the aspect of a person:

El Chato Barraza
La Chola Chabuca
El Gordo Porcel
El Flaco Olmedo
La Gringa Inga
El Chino Fujimori
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Re: Being called by your appearance: gringo, chato, gordo, negro

Postby curlyguy18 » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:31 pm

Alan wrote:
I thought they were saying "el guapo" to me, too.. then I learned they were really saying "el huaco" :shock:



LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: Being called by your appearance: gringo, chato, gordo, negro

Postby chi chi » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:56 pm

I rarely hear the word gringo up here in Tarapoto.

Foreigners are mostly addressed as ''Mister'' up here.
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Re: Being called by your appearance: gringo, chato, gordo, negro

Postby Sergio Bernales » Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:11 pm

Alan wrote:
teamoperu wrote:As long as they keep referring to me as el guapo, I'm good with it :D



I thought they were saying "el guapo" to me, too.. then I learned they were really saying "el huaco" :shock:


Actually, on that note, I've been meaning to ask about good dentists...

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