Sunday, 1 December 2013

Inverting Terminology.

I first saw it above the entrance to a broasteria that sells chicken and chips, and thought it unusual. Further along the street, a similar request, this time in the window of a shop selling computers and nappies. There after, with an acclimatised eye, the same inquiry appears everywhere. It seemed odd, the hinted distinction, the implied racialism. Defiantly non euro political correctness.

"Chollita", as a word, was composed as a derogatory term by the colonising Latino Spanish, in the same way as "nigger" and "boy" was or is in the southern states of the US. Used wrongly, it has the same connotations, the same results, and some guidebooks even recommend its usage with circumspect care. And yet the Andean culture has taken this negative description and turned it back in on itself and it's perpetrators. It's a badge worn with pride, to stand along side its uniform. The pollera skirt, the bowler hat, the braided plaits.

As a term I have used it with intended respect, previously in these missives, not entirely sure if I'm not being disrespectful. Now I have some physical evidence, although I suspect the word order is significant.

"Wanted......A Cholita or SeƱora to work in the kitchen"