A FB friend shared this:
Movie “Hangover” is titled / advertised in Argentina: “Que Paso Ayer?” which literally means, “What happened yesterday?” Subtle difference.
The word for ‘hangover’ is different in almost every Spanish-speaking country.
Mexico: estar crudo
Peru: tener resaca / estar resaquiado
Colombia: tener guayabo / estar enguayabado
Those are just the regional variations I’ve learned. Spanish is like that. Pain in the ass if you ask me.
Another guy commented:
Or it simply could be that they found the word “hangover” offensive as a title and changed it so that it still reflected the theme of the movie.
I’m not going to argue on a friend’s Facebook update. But how many ways is he wrong? Answer: two. First, alcohol is not a controversial subject in Latin America. Second, Latin Americans’ brand of sensitivity is not oriented toward subjects like that.
Latin America is different from the States in this respect, and probably extreme. Alcohol doesn’t have a negative stigma at all. There was never a prohibition. People drink at a younger age – by law and social norms.
People get real drunk. People get fucked up. Yes, people in the States also get fucked up. But since moving down here, I’ve seen things I’ve never seen back home.
My first month in Arequipa I was riding in a taxi down a busy sidestreet. Traffic was slowed almost to a stop. Some drunk walked in front of our car and the driver hit the brakes. The drunk fell on the hood. Pushing up and balancing himself with his hands, he continued on. Nobody in the taxi mentioned it.
Another night my basketball coach gave me a ride home. Heading up Goyeneche we saw somebody trying to pick up his drunk friend and carry him to the sidewalk. The drunk had passed out in the middle of a 3-lane, one-way thoroughfare where cars haul ass at 40 mph. The guy was laid out in the middle of Lanes 1 & 2. Coach easily swerved clear. He continued his point on my consistent foul trouble, not even mentioning the drunk he just avoided.
One day I was passing through Plaza las Americas in Arequipa. An indigenous-looking drunk came up to me with an ear-to-ear grin. We shook hands. He had like three teeth. He held a clear, un-labelled bottle of clear liquid. I don’t remember the name, but I’ve heard it’s cheap, harsh, bathtub gin they drink in Peru. We parted ways and he stumbled off.
Aside from street drunks, educated young people get drunk in ways I don’t see in the States. On more than one occasion, I’ve seen dudes drink themselves to vomiting within an hour. They take down an entire glass of hard liquor, then do it again!
Here’s a popular drinking song from Peru, sung by a 10 year-old girl!
“Cerveza, Cerveza” by Wendy Sulca
In Colombia degenerating into a professional drunk is common. They’re all over, usually leaning against a wall with their hand out. I’ve seen big piles of puke on buses several times. Normal people don’t get mad about it. They dismiss it: “Es un borracho.” He’s a drunk – in the same tone as if saying it were raining outside.
Second point, Latin sensitivity. Here’s a case of a Latin novel mis-translated to be less offensive in the gringo market. Gabriel Garcia Marquez chose Memoria de mis putas tristes for the title of his last novella. The English edition was called Memories of My Melancholy Whores, which is a little less harsh than the literal translation: Memories of My Sad Whores.
In Latin culture, ideas or content of messages aren’t as offensive as the way the messages are delivered. I offended Peruvians a couple times in the way I’d give them a pen or pencil, dropping it on the desk in front of them. Or people being too blunt or direct can come off rude.
Another example regards fat people. In Gringolandia you’re not supposed to make fat people feel bad about their fatness. In Latin America fat guys are reminded of their fatness all their lives. If you’re fat in Latin America, your nickname is ‘Gordo‘. I’ve met so many Gordos that when I meet a group of guys, I already know the fat one’s name. You’ll not only be called Gordo (Fat Boy) as your nickname, you’ll also be referred to in the third-person as ‘el gordo’ (the fat boy).
One day I was talking to a Peruvian ex about hooking her friend up with a fat Peruvian friend of mine. She replied “Creo que a ella no le gustan los gorditos.” I don’t think she likes FATTIES, without a trace of malice in her voice.
I went to Girardot with my buddy Oscar, who’s really fat. If you’re really fat, you might get it worse than Gordo. We went swimming and all his cousins called him ‘Free Willy’ or just ‘Willy’.
Recently there was a verbal spat between Peruvian president Alan Garcia and Bolivian president Evo Morales. Responding to a question about some Peruvian policy, Morales replied that obesity is a mental illness. He thinks obese people are mentally ill. He explained that Alan Garcia is quite fat, and that his ideas are warped by this mental illness. These are heads of state!
Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is famous for making statements with sexual innuendos. He once said to George W. Bush they need to find the ‘g-spot in their negotiations’.
Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has a weekly, hours-long television show. He often lambasts his cabinet, seated in the front row on national television. Watch this Frontline documentary, “The Hugo Chavez Show” (features some of his public hazing). There’s also this video of Chavez insulting Bush for no less than 3 1/2 minutes:
Sexual harassment is, in the States, very sensitive, very taboo. In Peru I saw guys grab female coworkers. With the female fighting and turning her head away, he’d force her head toward his and kiss her on the lips. No big deal.
I worked as a server and bartender in college. Our kitchen was all Mexicans born and raised in Mexico (not Americanized). The restaurant hired a little retarded guy to bus tables part-time. A social organization wanted him to learn to do things, earn money, and have somewhere to go every day. Management agreed and we had a slightly handicapped busboy from the ghetto for a while.
The Mexicans started fucking with him the first day. They threw fries at him. The dishwasher would spray him with the hose. If he tried to confront them, they would square up to fight, picking up cutting knives and whatnot, all the while laughing their asses off. These were grown men – most of whom have a handful of kids.
In Latin culture, alcohol isn’t a sensitive subject. There aren’t many sensitive subjects at all.
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