Friday, March 16, 2012

Follow-up on the Guapa-thing

A while back I wrote about what a shock it was for me to come to Málaga and be yelled after wherever I went. Guapa! Guapa! Guapaaaaa! At first I didn’t even know what it meant so I had to ask my teacher haha. So I learned it means pretty/beautiful, and it was completely normal for men to say that to most females. It felt like it was just the kind of thing they were supposed to do, no matter their age.  (I’ve had it said from 18-year olds and 70-year olds, call me weird but I am thinking it would be easier to “accept” if coming from someone closer to my age?) I found it rather uncomfortable to be honest. But when I got more facts on the table I realized it’s quite harmless, and it didn’t mean they wanted anything more than just saying Guapa. They left it at that. 

Here in Barcelona it’s quite different, it still happens from time to time, but here it’s not common, it’s not what every guy does and it certainly doesn’t happen x times PER DAY. I am still very much Norwegian and more comfortable like this. There are big differences in many things from Málaga to Barcelona and this is one of them.

But I have been observing this phenomenon bere in Bcn too and this is what I’ve found out:
  • Among friends, (although there’s not necessarily any big prettiness involved) it's completely normal to say “Hola guapa” when they meet. Or “Que tal, guapa?” It just hangs on automatically to hello and how are you.And it doesn't mean the friend fancies the other friend... It's just friendly.
  • On the radio! When people call in, the host often says “Adios guapa!” when they hang up. Now this is a weird one. How can a radio presenter use the word guapa to someone he has never seen?

Conclusions: The word Guapa is a word for affection and endearment just as much as prettiness. It can be used as either. It creates a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. I am starting to get used to it, it's having a nicer and nicer ring to it and is no longer a word that gives me the creeps! 

10 comments:

  1. When I was young I hated men calling things to me in the street in the UK - it always felt demeaning. but the guapa thing is not like that. When I text my friends I say Hola guapa! Or Hola Wapa in text speak. It is like in English being called My love, or in Cornwall, my handsome, or in Scotland, My dear. It's affectionate and warming. In Catalan they also use Maca or Maco - meaning roughly the same thing.
    Have you noticed how people say it to children all the time.....I sometimes wonder how it would be to grow up in a place where people affirm your attractiveness all the time. Pretty wonderful in my opinion!

    Next challenge - try using it yourself - next man - hola guapo!!!!

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    1. In Norway there's generally no calling after you in the streets, nor do we say things like love and handsome a lot :) That's mostly done to someone you want to- or are already in a relationship with. Yeah I know, we're so dry up there!
      I always thought it was so sweet how in UK it's all "my love", "honey" etc though. The guapathing here is also growing on me, but back in Málaga it was a lot more agressive and coming from anyone at any time!

      I forgot to mention the thing you say about kids, I have thought about the exact same thing, I think it's wonderful. It's always "joooo que guapa/guapo eres" to children, in shops, from random people and all.

      I am not sure I am ready for the challenge, Kate!! :)

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  2. Cute! I suppose that is comparable to the "Ciao Bello/a" in Italy : )

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    1. I guess it is! But it takes some time to get used to, coming from Norway 8-)

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  3. That's so funny! I cannot imagine anyone doing that here in the southern US...that would just be considered beyond rude and inappropriate. Amazing how things are different from one culture to another!

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    1. Haha, that was my initial reaction, I was so uncomfortable. My saviour became my iPod, like that I could just walk on and not hear it. Made me more relaxed :)

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  4. Very nice to find your blog, guapa ;) Found you in Frk. Makeløs..

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  5. Encontre to blog en una búsqueda de un Tipo de licor ( Guapa )que se menciona en un libro acerca del Camino de Santiago . Que buena sorpresa y tambien ya te hise Like en facebook . Saludos de San Diego , California

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    1. Que divertido que me encontraste buscando un licor! Bienvenido, que tengas un dia muy bueno!

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