July 16, 2007

What Pacenos Say About Pacenos!

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What is a paceno? A paceno is a person who was born in La Paz city. There are other words to describe pacenos, such as chukuta, kolla, andino, or even some times arrogant.

Bolivia is more or less divided into regional parts, with each inhabitant of each region having a word to describe him or her. As much as a californian is a californian and a newyorker is a newyorker, a paceno or a camba is just that, a paceno or a camba. However, these last terms are 'loaded' terms. The appellatives have more than just geographical connotations. They have cultural, idiosyncratic, and even moral meanings.

The paceno word has its meaning, which many tend to equal to that of "arrogant inhabitant of the capital city". In recent days, La Paz celebrated its 198 anniversary. For that occasion, the Director of the La Razón newspaper, Carlos Rocha, wrote a special article giving 16 reasons to be proud of La Paz. In this piece, he talks about the paceno's bad habits. Now, if those are enough motives to be proud to be a paceno, I don't know. I, as a paceno, am not particularly proud of them (the bad habits). If this is supposed to be humorous, you can see what kind of humor pacenos are loaded with......!

Anyway, the article talks says that pacenos are dishonest, introverted, lack international relations, have no respect for the city they live in, have no respect for the local laws, intolerant, racists, lack of planning skills and thus improvise too much.

Wow, what a load of habits. In my oppinion, many of the habits are close to reality, others are just too general being able to fit anyone in the world.

But, read the article in Spanish, it brings the argument much closer. This way, you might just begin to understand your paceno amigo.