Friday, July 3, 2009

---> Those little Chile things

Like in New Zealand, Chile has its own distinct 'groups' of people. There are the normal people, but then there are the groups that the 'normal' people turn their noses up at, and those are the Pokemonas and the Flaites. My host mum doesn't like us saying certain words because they are 'flaite' or 'pokemona'.

Flaite is basically the Chilean version of a gangster - baggy clothes, 'bling', that kind of thing. Normally if they wear caps though, they are with peaks. Not so much 'bling' as a typical gangster, and another thing they do is wear rosaries (like you can buy in any old market), but instead of being Christian rosaries, they have the names of the two enemy Chilean soccer teams on them, Colo-Colo or Universidad de Chile. Adidas is a huge flaite brand, and they might wear Adidas sneakers instead of skate type shoes, and Adidas caps too. Girls wear street clothes, like skinny jeans and small tops, but you can tell they're flaite from the colours they use and the exact style of their clothes, ad just by seeing them. It's hard to define a female flaite. Haircuts are normally mullets for the guys.

Now on speaking flaite - I'm going to get technical here so if you don't understand Spanish it might be a bit hard to follow. 
Speaking flaite means adding the reflexive part of the verb twice in a sentence. For example, to say 'I'm going to go' normally, you would say 'me voy a ir'. The 'me' part is the reflexive parte of the verb 'ir', to show that you are doing the action to yourself. But to make it flaite, you say 'me voy a irme'. The 'me' part has been added twice, and therefore is flaite, because that's how flaites speak. Also, apparently this is flaite but it's more of a slang that all young kids use, is to say 'reeee' (pronounced like 'red' but without the 'd') instead of 'muy' (very). For example 'es reeeee simple' instead of 'es muy simple' (It's very simple). 

Now for the music part of being flaite. Reggaeton is a Chilean style of music that is played at every party. It's distinct because it has a beat that is very good to dance to - like BOOM shicka shicka shick shick - and the lyrics are incredibly dirty, some are cleaner, depending on the artist. So there's the Reggaeton and then the more tropical sounding music that has . . . trumpets, but it's still flaite. Basically the lyrics are what make it flaite, the dirtier the better and more flaite. Not just flaites listen to the flaite music, because reggaeton is played at every big party.

Pokemonas are not those Japanese 'gotta catch them all' characters. They're the chilean version of Emos. But because chileans are pretty much really happy and nice, they don't fit with the typical NZ stereotype of emo, which is a wrist-slitting corner-sitting 'I'm so sad and everyone needs to know I'm so sad and I like getting attention because I'm so emo'. Pokemonas wear black and colour - generally red or yellow. They wear skinny jeans (both genders) which are normally not only black, like tartan red and black or striped. Lots of piercings, and perhaps wrist bands with black and another colour checkered. Pokemona music is not so easily defined, but maybe music from the United States like My Chemical Romance and 'emo' bands. 

A typical stereotype of a Pokemona, like if you wanted to pose Pokemona-style in a photo, the camera would be above your head, you would be looking at the camera and have your hand over your mouth and a shocked expression on your face.

They speak pretty much normal Spanish, but add the suffix 'iwi' at the end of words, like 'Hola' would be 'Holiwi'.

What Pokemonas are pretty well-known for is a thing called Poncia. So there are clubs in Chile for people more than 18 years old (because alcohol is sold there), and then because it's not fair for the younger ones to miss out, there's the Pokemona clubs for the people who aren't old enough, and for the Pokemonas. Why are these clubs different? There's like a competition called Poncia. The Poncia or Poncio is the person who kisses the most people - not just cheek kissing. So everyone shouts 'Poncia! Poncia!' and in the club everyone is kissing each other and trying to kiss as many people as possible. So it's quite dirty, but that's like a distinct group of people and one normal people like exchange students and their friends aren't part of.

Pelo laise and Cuica Rubia mean respectively 'Straight Hair' and 'Snobby blonde'. These are the groups of the upper class, or just names to give people who act snobby. The Cuica Rubias dye their hair blonde to appear more European, and the Pelo Laise have straight hair. They are upper class so dress upper class and that kind of thing. They talk fairly normal Spanish, but don't roll the 'r's'. 

Chileans have these distinct groups, but one thing I have noticed is there's not like the 'nerdy' people and there's really no such thing as a nerd in Chile. Same with the 'weird' group. Everyone is fairly indiscriminate about this type of thing. There are groups of friends who might be more 'nerdy' but really everyone is generally friends with anyone.

Now for some Chilean words:
bakan = cool
fome = lame
filo = forget it
buena onda = means literally 'good wave' but is used to describe a person, like to say they have a good vibe
next = yes, it's an English word, but in Chilean context people say it when something is lame and they want to move on to the next thing (they don't say it to people though!), although it came from a dating show when the lady would say 'next' if she didn't like a guy.
po = is added to the end of words like 'Sí (po)' just because it is . . . 
mish = cool
carrete = is literally the word for a reel of thread, but also means a party
cachai = understand? It come from Englsish too (did you catch that?)
pololo/a = boyfriend/girlfriend
pololeando = dating, but more just being a boyfriend and girlfriend (comes from the word for a type of bug, I believe, and is how those bugs behave around each other)
guagua = baby (but pronounced 'wah wah'

That's all I can think of for now. Until next time.

By the way, I was thinking of whipping out my camera at a correct time to snap a photo of a Pokemona or a Flaite when I saw one on the street, but decided Google Images might be a bit more couth.

1 comment:

claire said...

Hi Anita, This was a really interesting blog - maybe when you get braver you could take some real photos?