Colombians live for the party. The South American country has more festivals than times of the year, and whether it’s the multiday revelry of Carnival in Barranquilla, the great kaleidoscopic displays of floral shades during Medell? n’s Feria de las Flores or Caribbean coastal residents dressing up their donkeys in drag and parading them down the streets during the Festival de Burro, there’s always a party to be had.
This specific is just one of many reasons an annual WIN/Gallup International poll ranks Republic of colombia as one of the happiest countries (and occasionally the happiest country) in the world.
The rumba continues despite Colombia’s seedy ? sleazy past. Most outsiders know the South American nation as a country rich in violence, with 50 years of civil conflict; as a place where kidnappings by left-wing guerrillas and right-wing paramilitaries were commonplace; and as the land of cocaine and narcos.
But this has ceased to be Pablo Escobar’s Colombia. And the eve of a shaky potential peace deal between the government and the state’s largest guerrilla group, the FARC, it seems appropriate to comprehend how residents have maintained their renowned joy in the face of unimaginable atrocity, damage and monetary hardship.
Request 100 Colombians about happiness and you will likely get a hundred variations on a similar theme. “Money is nice but it’s not the most crucial thing, ” “In general we are a culture that values what you have, ” and “We love people and music” were just some of the responses I got.
An individual see evidence of this value system every day. It’s in the welcoming spirit Colombians show to the rapidly increasing numbers of foreign tourists. Plus this goodwill extends to people in their own country as well.
Colombia’s human population is 90% Catholic. The particular biggest immigrant group is Middle Eastern Arabs – between 40, 000 and 50, 000 arrived here between 1880 and 1930, and today there are Arab communities throughout the nation (one of South Many most significant mosques is situated in Maicao, in Colombia’s Guajira Department). Despite this, there is hardly any religious stress. International terrorism has yet to reach the us, and crime statistics make no mention of anti-Muslim hate crimes here.
Maher Nofal is the second-generation Palestinian-Colombian owner of Shawarma Khalifa, an Arabian restaurant in main Bogot?. Inside, hijab-wearing Islamist converts work alongside with turban-wearing black Colombian women, often migrants from the impoverished Choc? region of the Pacific Coast. Thinking of the recent shootings of Indians mistaken for Iranians in the United States, I requested Nofal if customers actually cast a suspicious eye on his employees.
“No, inch he replied. “Colombians are innocent. They’re curious. They will ask the employees about the things they see on TV saying that Muslims are all terrorists. The employees explain that the minority doesn’t symbolize their religion, which is one of art and acceptance and love. In addition to Colombians accept that answer. ”
Of course Republic of colombia has had its share of homegrown violence and terror; no other country in Southern America has endured such a sustained period of conflict. But this is something that Oscar Gilede, a biologist who leads nature treks via his Colombian Highlands tour company, believes is integral to their notion of pleasure.
“I feel that that Colombians generally feel happy, and the perception of happiness is subjective. I suggest, it’s clear that a country that has resided with war for the last 50 years should see very low rates of happiness, ” he said.
Like many Colombians, war has come near Gilede’s doorstep. His brother was a military guard in Bogot? ‘s Plaza Récipient? var in 1985, when M19 guerrillas stormed the Palacio de Justicia and murdered 12 Supreme Courtroom Justices. “But, ” this individual continued, “that same reason for endless war means Colombians have become unsociable to situations of conflict. In other words, if the condition does not touch me straight, I must feel grateful, satisfied, optimistic, lucky. inches
Although Colombians have yet to achieve peace and stability, they continue to target it with unshakable solve
Rodrigo Mart? nez, a historian at the University of Antioquia, confirms, explaining that although Colombians have yet to achieve peace and stability, they continue to target it with unshakable resolve. “Colombians have always demonstrated outstanding, Herculean and powerful strength to war, death and also to the harsh history of violence and diplomatic failures, ” he told myself.
Gilede believes that Colombians feed this resilience through human connections and the communal experience.
“We live for parties, holidays, and fill the void with a fanaticism for sporting events and beauty pageants and entertainment and so on. And the moment one event ends we’re already thinking about the next. ”
One activity Colombians never seem to stop thinking of is dance. Jugo is the country’s music pulse, and nearly everyone dances it, especially in Cali. This enjoyable but unassuming city in southern Colombia’s fertile Cauca Valley is Mecca for jugo dancing. The planet championships are held here annually, and metropolis hosts the nation’s most famous salsa clubs.