LOS PAISAS


July 15 the 2021

These are just some of the expressions and euphemisms that you will find if you plan to visit Medellín. This happens because paisas origin is as authentic as it is romantic, but that is their way of expressing themselves, and more importantly, of showing affection and making you feel welcome.

This way of speaking is part of their culture, culture being understood as the set of autochthonous characteristics of a region. This is how paisas speak. Now, the term "paisa" comes from "paisano" which means "mountaineer", which refers to the fact that Antioquia is surrounded by mountains.

Paisas have been considered a genetically isolated population. According to some research, they even have European ancestry, due to the fact that the Spanish settled in their region during the 16th and 17th centuries. But, as a matter of fact, they are a miscegenation, they come from indigenous people, Afro-descendants and whites.

The fact that their origin is so varied gives them many advantages. Their musical influence is wide and they enjoy a wealth of gastronomy. Just as they can fill a song with melodies, they can fill your table with many flavors.

Being Antioqueño means being resilient. Having overcome the defeat of adverse governments and recovering from bankruptcies. Start from scratch, get up after each fall. That's where his charisma comes from. It is rare that you come across with a bitter paisa. You will see him a little serious, if he is in a bad day, but he will always be willing to help, he will offer you a smile with the greeting and if you enter his house he will offer you at least coffee and a good talk.

The paisa is the person you want to meet on the street if you are looking for an address, he will guide you selflessly and if he does not know the place you are looking for, he will tell you who can you ask for that information. He is known as the "alive" (who is not fooled by anyone), the "street worker" (a good seller, of things and ideas), the "mamagallista" (joker) and the good businessman.

He generally doesn't have a lot of money, but he does have great taste, and he often gets into debt. Leave things for last, but saves them. Paisas are good at sharing… it is common to ask the neighbor from a given lemon to a borrowed screwdriver. They have good manners and also well defined limits. Very good humor personally, but protective and jealous with their loved ones, their family.

They are the "echao's pa 'lante" (who do not allow themselves to be overcome by obstacles), those who are proud of their drive, those who nicknamed Medellín as "the city of eternal spring" for its climate and the "little tea cup" for its snacks in the afternoons and "little silver tasting" for its fine constructions. In Medellín you can find everything, but generally beautiful people who will welcome you and make you feel at home.

Those are paisas, warm smiles, hardworking people, wanting to get ahead, optimistic and in good faith. Coming to spend time with them means missing them once you are away. They know how to get a smile out of the worst moments and they have a good heart. And if they are old acquaintances and you return, you will always be well received: "My home is your home" is what they usually say. Welcome!...

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