by Ivo Henfling
Last week, in my blog on Machismo in Costa Rica, I told you a bit about piropos or cat calling. They are like pick-up lines in English. A piropo is the Latin American way of giving another person a complement and they are a tradition in Costa Rica, like it or not. Originally, machismo would allow only men to give women a piropo, but with society having changed and making acceptable what was not before, you will hear piropos now from women to men, men to men and women to women, and why not? Isn’t it nice to have someone say something real nice to you?
Piropos are supposed to be romantic, which is what Latin Americans generally are a lot more than Caucasians but they can also be very offensive. Caucasians, I guess due to the Lutheran upbringing, are generally not romantic, so we’re not used to say piropos or to receive them. Depending on the education though, piropos can vary tremendously; they go from romantic to humorous to daring to sexy. It is a way for men to pay a beautiful woman their compliments. There is a huge amount of piropos that don’t pass because of their vulgarity though.