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You can see why I am interested in this article:

http://www.welovecostarica.com/public/795.cfm. :lol:

I am glad to hear that their experience has been so positive.

In general, Ticos are known to be very prejudiced. But not necessarily about blacks. They tend to look down upon those from other areas or countries where the standard of living is less than their own. This includes people from Nicaragua, Columbia, etc. Many of these people are darker than the majority of Ticos.

 

I am often amazed about my tica girlfriend's attitude. The way she talks you would think that she doesn't like anybody! I sometimes wonder why she likes me! She doesn't like anyone who is not Costa Rican! Come to think of it, she doesn't like many Ticos either! At least to hear her talk... I think that her attitude comes more from Tico cultural rather than personal experience. Like usual, people are afraid of the unknown and once they gain some personal experience the barrier of prejudice will fall away.

 

I find the Tico's prejudice a bit puzzling because it's been my observation that Costa Rica is much like the US regarding the blending of cultures. CR may have been settled by Europeans but there are immigrants from all over the region and from many distant countries too. The country is definately not black and white but rather the entire spectrum. There are even many Tico born, spanish speaking Chineese/Ticos!

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Ujoo,

 

Thank you for seeing me as a person.

 

It's nice to know that there are many countries in the world that are not "hung up" on race.

 

Laura K

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!Mark!,

 

Hopefully, the Ticos will learn to not judge people based on their nationality.

 

Too bad your Tica girlfriend doesn't seem to like anyone. May she learn to see the good in all people.

 

I like the racial diversity of Costa Rica.

 

Laura K

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Well I have friends from the four corners of the Earth, I see them all as individuals; I really couldnt care less where they are from or what shade their skin is, I take each equally as I find them.

 

Rich

Edited by potoo

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Rich,

 

It's nice to know that you have friends all over the world.

 

I wish my in-laws were as enlightened as you.

 

Laura K

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I am glad to hear that their experience has been so positive.

In general, Ticos are known to be very prejudiced. But not necessarily about blacks. They tend to look down upon those from other areas or countries where the standard of living is less than their own. This includes people from Nicaragua, Columbia, etc. Many of these people are darker than the majority of Ticos.

 

I am often amazed about my tica girlfriend's attitude. The way she talks you would think that she doesn't like anybody! I sometimes wonder why she likes me! She doesn't like anyone who is not Costa Rican! Come to think of it, she doesn't like many Ticos either! At least to hear her talk... I think that her attitude comes more from Tico cultural rather than personal experience. Like usual, people are afraid of the unknown and once they gain some personal experience the barrier of prejudice will fall away.

 

Ha Ha ...... are you dating my ex-girl friend??? ...... I had the exact same experience with my last novia.

 

I have to agree with you Mark. Ticos are very prejudice and really against just about everyone. It is not like Racism in the US. I don't get a sense that Ticos would take overt actions based on prejudice, but to deny that it is there and it is not pervasive is somewhat naive.

 

I think it has something to do with the isolation that came with being a very homogeneous "Mountain Culture" in the past to going to a situation where there is a lot more diversity associated with the growing economic development. Diversity is not part of the traditional Tico mindset and it is somewhat new phenomenon here. This used to be the poor (white) country with the capitol city in an isolated valley that no one ever came to. Surrounding countries had primarily indigenous populations that were some what isloated from Costa Rica by the mountainous terrain.

 

All that has changed of course and it is not easy for many to accept.

Edited by Kahuna

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Ujoo,

 

Thank you for seeing me as a person.

 

It's nice to know that there are many countries in the world that are not "hung up" on race.

 

Laura K

 

Many of the rest of us see you as a person also.....a person with something to contribute and a willingness to do so.

Your post in the Kingdom is still open if the decree is We gotta go with the King.....but keep this in mind.....I don't think I can last a full term......so if your name is in the pot ........well.........keep postin..........john

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Ticos are very prejudice and really against just about everyone. It is not like Racism in the US. I don't get a sense that Ticos would take overt actions based on prejudice, but to deny that it is there and it is not pervasive is somewhat naive.

 

Race/ethnicity is very different in CR than it is in the US. They are much quicker to make racial/ethnic distinctions and are much more overt about it. I am very white and have been told many, many times by people that they "like" my skin color. You would be sent to "sensitivity training" in the US for saying this, but they just openly say it. I have also had light-skinned Latinas openly tell me that they assume I am not attracted to them because they "know" gringos prefer browner skin. Again, this is amazing. I suppose I notice (and I am becoming more alert), but I don't naturally see the shades that they see. I perceive stark differences, of course, but I don't naturally perceive the differences that they see.

 

However, I believe that their openness is healthy and good. It's not even really a prejudice, much less discrimination. It's more of a taste, like for blonds--something they just admit and get over with. And when it comes to blacks, which you just call negros here and move on, it's very different than the US. There are negros from Limon, from the Dominican Republic, some from the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua, some from the US, and so on. People notice the racial differences, sometimes mention them, but move on very quickly. No one gives a second thought to an "interracial couple" for instance, maybe because all couples are interracial the way they divide up the races.

 

I happen to have a lot of moles, common for white-skinned people, and THEY are commented upon. My standard retort is that the difference is that I have my darkness in spots while they have it spread around more evenly all over, and on the balance I prefer it spread around more evenly. At minimum, it is less of a skin cancer risk.

 

But the thing is, you just talk openly about this stuff and it is no big deal. The bias does seem to be in favor of white or brown, but people will tell you this up front and then forget it. In the end it is way healthier, in my opinion.

 

BTW, blond is "macho" here and a "machista" is a gringo-lover. Think Nazi. At the end of the day, being light-skinned types a person as a conquering invader. There are cultural costs in being fair and blond too.

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However, I believe that their openness is healthy and good. It's not even really a prejudice, much less discrimination.

 

It seems to me that the open Prejudice and the Discrimination is more based on Nationality than on skin color.

 

I also think that the focus on skin color goes a bit beyond taste and preference, though your point is well taken. I have a very clear sense that it is common for Costa Ricas to look down upon those that they feel are not their equal, which seems for many, to be just about everyone that is not Costa Rican.

 

I think what is different about Tico prejudice and Gring prejudice is that Tico are more polite and more civel to those that they look down upon. They don't seem to act on their prejudices in over ways.

Edited by Kahuna

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... I happen to have a lot of moles, common for white-skinned people, and THEY are commented upon. My standard retort is that the difference is that I have my darkness in spots while they have it spread around more evenly all over, and on the balance I prefer it spread around more evenly. ...

Kenn,

 

What are the (various) reactions to your 'retort" by the Ticos?

 

Yes, I will agree with you on the way 'differences' are perceived and commented on in CR.

 

Because of my weight I had a Tico friend who called me 'gordito'. Had I not long ago read up on the cultural mores of the Ticos, I prolly would have been miffed. But Ticos love nicknames and used them freely and happily.

 

Those researching Tico culture will sooner or later run across articles about this, some citing examples of nicknames applied and the physical features/aspect that prompt them.

 

¡Puras Palabras!

 

Paul M.

==

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Kenn,

 

What are the (various) reactions to your 'retort" by the Ticos?

 

Yes, I will agree with you on the way 'differences' are perceived and commented on in CR.

 

Because of my weight I had a Tico friend who called me 'gordito'. Had I not long ago read up on the cultural mores of the Ticos, I prolly would have been miffed. But Ticos love nicknames and used them freely and happily.

 

Those researching Tico culture will sooner or later run across articles about this, some citing examples of nicknames applied and the physical features/aspect that prompt them.

 

¡Puras Palabras!

 

Paul M.

==

 

First, Kahuna's point is well taken. It is more that taste, and taste draws from much larger patterns of inequality and discrimination. It may end up being merely taste, but it is a little misleading for me to make it sound so trivial. Tastes don't arise by accident.

 

Actually, my mole retorts don't get reactions. Probably a bad joke that needs to be replaced by new material. I don't feel that I create offense, it is only a retort and it halfway makes sense, but it doesn't do much. It's just me blathering.

 

Be happy that you are only called gordito! I refer to myself as "gordito" and have had Ticos raise their eyebrows and say, "Gordito? Gordo!!!" My good buddy even referred to me to another as the gringo gordo con cabello macho y largo, or something like that. Hey, vanity is punctured very fast here. They say what they see.

 

I have even had women comment at bars that I seem to be putting on weight. The only retort I know is to say that they are not so slim and trim themselves, which prompts them to examine their fat and to agree that they do have an extra couple of kilos.

 

However, they don't intend offense. They are just saying what they see. If they want to offend you, they will start in on your puta mother.

 

I also think that the Latinos are very health conscious, even nuerotic (and sometimes mistaken) about it. When they look at you it is as though they are examining a horse that they consider buying. They kind of check your teeth and your weight and watch your habits. It's all very earthy.

 

And they tell me, "No más chicharrones y ron!" It's as if they know that with affluence comes the temptation to over-indulge in the "finer things of life"--eating and drinking primarily--and don't fault you for it. They just notice and mention.

 

I don't completely know what I'm talking about, but I even call people gordito. The diminutive is more polite, I believe. You do though just say it and move on. It's not a big deal.

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In regard to Black prejudice in Costa Rica, you might find reading on the history of the United Fruit Company and the "great banana strike" of 1934 of interest.

I have observed rare occasional "debate" between CR locals regarding "skin tone" which appears to reference "the darker the skin tone the more likely of mixed ethnicity".

Usually meaning the person is of Afro-Caribbean descent. I say "debate" because the person to which the inquiry was directed did take some initial offense, but seemed to understand

the comment was not malicious. From there the conversation progressed into more of a lesson in the history of indigenous peoples to Costa Rica. To make a long story short, although I have observed what could be deemed prejudice against blacks in general, it is nothing like what I've experienced in the U.S. It seems more like an "interest" or "inquiry" as opposed to an accusation or condemnation. I should also mention the only instances I witnessed occurred in the Central Pacific region of CR and not Limon which has the largest population of Afro-Caribbean descendants.

As was mentioned in other posts, I've seen more evidence of prejudice against people of specific countries rather than race. (ie: Nicaragua, Columbia, Venezuela, etc.) In general, I find the people of Costa Rica generous, tolerant, and quite hospitable. Don't think I could ask for a better place or better company.

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