La Burla – To Make fun of

English Version.

Ser inmigrante es una de las cosas mas difíciles que me ha tocado vivir en esta vida. Gracias a Dios estoy casado con una Colombiana y no tengo que lidiar con las diferencias culturales en mi casa como lo he tenido que hacer en el pasado, pero de todas maneras termino siendo alguien que no es ni de aquí ni de allá.

Cuando llega el momento de ser aceptado por una cultura, uno tiene que sacrificar algunas cosas. Una de las cosas que me toco sacrificar por mucho tiempo fue mi sentido de humor. El sarcasmo de los americanos es mucho mas negro que el de los colombianos y la recocha no es lo mismo. Este tipo de humor es solo usado entre amigos cercanos y uno no interactúa con personas particulares a ese nivel en ningún momento. En Colombia si alguien se tropieza la persona mas cercana diría, huy le movieron el piso, pero acá si uno dice lo mismo lo miran a uno como si uno no tuviera respeto. En Colombia esa clase de humor se utiliza para despejar el aire y vivir la vida un poco mas liviana, acá todas las relaciones se manejan a un nivel mas seco.

Ese fue uno de los cambios que le hacen sentir a uno mas solo en este país. Uno se aísla totalmente de los demás porque en realidad hasta para pedir permiso en un supermercado cuando estan pasando con el carro, parece que les cuesta trabajo abrir la boca a la gente, y cuando lo hacen es en un tono afanado y sin nada de cortesía. Yo creo que en Colombia estar listo con frases que uno conoce para muchas situaciones lo mantiene a uno conectado con la gente. Uno ya sabe que al momento que le pase algo inesperado alguien estará ahí rompiéndome el silencio con algún chiste acerca de la situación. Eso hace que uno le mire la cara a la vida de una manera un poco distinta.

Gracias a Dios he sido capaz de hacer de las personas alrededor mío mis amigos. En el trabajo hay varias personas las cuales están listos a cualquier momento de burlarse si yo con torpe que soy me llevo algo por delante, y aunque paresca tonto es algo necesario que le digan a uno al momento que uno tumbe cualquier cosa, “se lo empaco? o se lo lleva así?”

English Version

Being an immigrant is one of the hardest roles I have had to play. Thank God I am married to a Colombian and I do not have to struggle with the cultural differences at home house. I’ve had to do that in the past, but in the end I end up with two cultures being from there but living here.

If you want to be accepted by another culture you have to make some sacrifices. One of the things that I had to sacrifice for a long time was my sense of humor. The sarcasm of Americans is a bitter when compared to the flavor of the one used by Colombians and making fun of people is not the same. This type of mild sarcasm is used only with your closest friends. In Colombia if somebody trips the nearest person would say, “did someone moved the floor from under you”, but if one says the same thing here in the US to some on the street, they will look at you like you have no respect. In Colombia that type of humor is used to clear the air on many situations to make life a little easier. Here the relationships between most people are very dry and lack humor completely.

Changing that level of humor made me feel very isolated. One starts feeling very alone when people almost refuse to talk, I have seen people look almost annoyed at the prospect of having to ask someone to move their shopping cart at the super maket. When someone actually has to say something they seem to want to yell, out of the way. I believe that in Colombia all the smart remarks keep you connected with people. Everyone knows that when something unexpected happens somebody around will be there breaking silence with some joke about the situation. I think something that simple changes the way we look at life in an every day basis.

Thank God I have been able to friends with the people that are around me most of the time. At work there are several people who are ready at any moment to make fun of me if I am clumsy, which comes naturally to me, and although it might seem like something really small I find it necessary that the moment I knock something over, someone will be there saying “Do you want to take that home with you?”

13 Responses to La Burla – To Make fun of

  1. I know exactly what you mean.

    The worst case of people clamming up that I have ever seen is in a road race. You’d think that people would exchange glances, greetings, or just signs of life since we were all there, running, whatever mileage.

    Not the case at all. You run in silence, the whole way.

    Camaraderie gets put aside until after the race. But by that point, I’m so tired that all I wanna do is go home to get away from the people and nap! LOL. Irony.

    I wish people did talk more. Smile more.

  2. I was about to scream “No fair!” but then I saw an English version is available. Heh. You’re so considerate. :) Now I shall go back and read the entry!

  3. Ah yes. I think most people are just scared to put themselves out there here in the US (from what I’ve seen) because of fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of being told to mind your own business. Fear. Fear. Fear. I don’t usually go out of my way to speak to people in public but if a situation arises where it’s needed, I do it and hope for the best. This post actually inspired me to want to talk more! (Yep, that could be bad.) :P Good post. Have a great weekend!

  4. Mis amistades y allegados que viven en Estados Unidos opinan lo mismo. En eso sí que hace falta este país Colombiano, el buen sentido del humor nos genera vida a la vida. No lo pierdas.

    Besitos amistosos para tí desde Medellín, Colombia!

  5. Being monoligual, I was only able to read your English translation, so I’m guessing there’s some nuance being lost here. Are you suggesting that Americans don’t handle public displays of sarcasm as well as Columbians? Is this another one of those “after I read Blink” things? (See what I did there?)

  6. You are obviously a different animal burro, however, like most Americans you just don’t know when to get some new material.

  7. No Habla Espanol!!! Hah. So are you saying that Colombians are a bunch of Silly Jokers? Nice!!!

    Seriously though, the level of public interaction all depends where you are in the USA. Get out of the city and find a small town, or go south where the weather is always beautiful, and you’ll find the most pleasant people ever.

    The problem is, many people have no free time, are over worked, under paid, stressed to the max, and the last thing they want is some small annoying thing to push them over the edge.

    This is one of the main reasons why I won’t live in Atlanta much longer — Life is too short, we all need to enjoy it more.

  8. @Eric: God knows they don’t have any underpaid people in Colombia.

  9. You hit it right on the head Eric, people here are overworked. Every time I compare the amount of effort put into work here vs the amount of vacation that we get and it is amazing. If we were the happiest nation in the world, I would buy into the whole, we just don’t want to be lazy… but when we are like 26th in the happiness scale (even thought like anything is just based on someone else’s criteria) I think we do need to change some things.

  10. tied for 25th with 10 other countries. The US may well be the 15th-happiest country in the world by those metrics, but has a lower suicide rate than any of the European countries that ranked higher.

  11. Ah!! te invito a leer mi última entrevista que le hice a una Argentina-Australiana, también imigrante.

    Un saludo cálido!

  12. Eric’s right, you’re just in the wrong part of the country. I’ve lived here in East Tennessee my whole life and hardly ever if at all see someone being rude to someone else for the incidents you describe. If I start to grab a shopping cart someone else is headed for, they’ll step back and let me have it or vice versa. We’ll see excuse me, sorry, or whatever’s appropriate. The South’s the place to be, and especially in this area.

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